Hey kids, let's play void your warranty and break the terms of your contract!

On most Nokia phones, the programmer's menu can be accessed by typing in *3001#_____# where the _____'s are the security code (default to 12345). Once inside, you can play around with a bunch of features that'll probably make little sense, or, as you're wondering how to do by now, change the Alpha Tag on your cell phone's display. Unfortunately, information on how to do this is limited in that few of the codes required to do so are known.

Once in the programmer's menu, do the following:

  • Select NAM1. Take note of your Home System ID.
  • Scroll down to the PSID/RSID's.
  • Select a PSID/RSID from the list (it should work with any).
  • Select Private under System Type
  • Scroll down to PSID/RSID. Find your P/RSID on this list -- http://www.cellphoneuser.com/tricks/ids.asp, and enter that in P/RSID (this might work if left as '0' or '1'. Conflicting reports say differently, if you're brave, test them all, if not, go with '1' ;) )
  • Scroll down to Connected System ID, and enter the System ID you saw under the NAM1 menu.
  • Select Alpha Tag, and type in the text you'd like to be displayed.
  • Select Operator Code, and input your operator code (incomplete list, little information is available :-( )
  • Select to Country Code, and enter 310 for the US, or 302 for Canada
  • Power down the phone and cross your fingers.

If everything goes well, instead of the yucky "AT&T" or whatever you had before, you'll have your own custom text. Great for impressing your friends, as you can tell them what a l33t ph43k3r you are.

With CDMA providers, or at least with Qwest, you don't even have to go that far. Type in the above script, select NAM1 (99% of you are going to be using NAM1), then scroll down to Alpha tag, and boom, change it. No need for operator codes or anything.

This has been tested to work with:

Nokia 6185
Nokia 5170 (and 5170i)
Nokai 5185 (and 5185i)

The "i" usually means that the phone has a retractable antenna.

yesno's tactic has been crippled on the 5185i by requiring that the sublock code be entered after selecting Alpha Tag.

If you do manage to find your sublock code by some way or another, enter that at the prompt. A screen will then be shown with the prompt "Alpha tag:" and the sublock code in the box. Hit OK, and an "Accepted" screen will appear, then drop you back to the Alpha Tag menu entry, which will still display your old tag. Hit Select now, and the "Alpha tag:" prompt will reappear, with your old tag displayed in the box. Anything you type now will erase the old tag.

Hit OK to save your changes, power off, then power on. Voila.

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