Lost or stolen Mac? How to track & find my Mac using the serial number
Want to know how to track and find your Mac using the serial number? In this blog article we look at whether this is possible, and what steps can be taken to protect your Mac from loss or theft in the first place.
Proud owner of a Mac? Here’s the importance of taking precautions
A laptop is stolen every 53 seconds – with bars and public transport being two prime hotspots for light-fingered thieves. This stat is scary enough for any Mac owner, yet Apple products in particular are especially sought after, with thefts of this brand accounting for a staggering 14% of all crime in NYC.
"The increase in incidents involving the theft of Apple products exceeded the increase in overall crime incidents of crime by 265. As if to mirror the market place, thefts of Apple products increased this year as the theft of electronics by other manufacturers decreased."
So, if you’re lucky enough to be reading this in a bid to protect your Mac BEFORE loss or theft, you should take action TODAY.
For tracking, you have two options – switch on the in-built ‘Find my Mac’ or use this app alongside a more robust premium app. Let’s compare the standard Apple app against the premium protection app ‘Hidden’.
“Hidden immediately began to gather photos and location information from my stolen MacBook. Two officers from the Oakland Police Department recovered it later that evening.”
- Joshua, Oakland-USA
Encrypt and back-up – Using Airport and FileVault
The Apple Airport Capsule is Apple’s heavy-duty, super intuitive backup device. Capable of storing up to 3TB of data, when teamed with your Mac’s in-built encryption app, FileVault, your data will be continually uploaded to the cloud, while your data will be inaccessible to any criminal – even if your Mac’s hard drive is removed.
Top tip for outsmarting intelligent criminals
What if your Mac can’t be tracked? What if you’ve not installed the ‘Find my Mac’ app? Or maybe the burglar is super smart and has circumvented your security set up. In this case, invisible markings can demonstrate that the Mac is yours if it’s recovered by police or sold on (as well as being a deterrent for stealing your Mac in the first place).
‘SmartWater’ is one compelling solution. This clever invisible ink has a unique forensic signature and arrives with a SmartWater sticker for your windows - as it’s been proven that 74% of criminals won’t commit a crime on a property with a ‘SmartWater’ stickers displayed. If ‘SmartWater’ is out of your price range, at least consider an invisible property marker (they can be purchased from around £3 on Amazon).
Can I track & find my Mac using the serial number?
Unfortunately, despite there being some misleading information online, it is NOT possible to track your Mac using the serial number alone – your Mac MUST have ‘Find my Mac’ switched on, or you must be using an active tracking app.
If your Mac has been stolen, here are the steps you must take:
- Change your Apple ID password immediately to stop anyone from getting into your iCloud data or using services (such as iMessage or iTunes).
- Change your passwords on all of your other accounts – including email and social accounts.
- Report the theft to the police. You will need your serial number for this, which can be found on:
- The product's original packaging - check the barcode for the serial number.
- The ‘Devices’ tab in iTunes preferences.
- The original product receipt or invoice.
If you do have ‘Find My iPhone installed, follow these steps:
1. Sign in to iCloud.com on another computer.
2. Download the ‘Find My iPhone’ app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
3. Locate on the map, lock the mac, play a sound (if you’ve lost your Mac in the house) or remote erase your Mac.
Hidden – it’s the app that protects your Apple devices, and your privacy.
Using proven technology, Hidden tracks your missing Macbook, iPad or iPhone and collects the evidence needed to get them back. And don’t worry. Your personal information stays locked away, too.