One week ago my MBPro has been stolen, and unfortunately no "Where's My Mac" like's helped.

My idea for securing my next MacBook is to create Password-free/guest-like account in case of another bad luck.

When thief will open the lid, he will log in, and maybe some installed software will take picture from front camera? Maybe some keylogger will help? Maybe some sneaky Prey-like software in background? What do You think? How to find my Mac even if my someone will reinstall the OSX?

2 Answers 2


There is some literature out there for you (e.g.here or here). Basically there is different means of protection.

  1. Locating the device (Find my Mac)
  2. Surveillance apps (also have a look at the OS X Back to my mac, which reportedly freed some Macs from their thieves)
  3. Data security / encryption (e.g. Filevault2 encryption, Firmware password)
  4. Physical protection (e.g. Kensington lock)

Watch out when using Filevault2 for Full Disk Encryption. This will make your data safe but will maybe not lure the thief into reveling his / her location, since only a limited version of OS X is booted.

Setting a firmware password will prevent others to boot different disks.

But watch out. These features (filevault and firmware password) require more care with backups, etc. The risk that you lock yourself out is significantly higher.

  • Sadly, when firmware password is enabled, there is no way to use the guest mode without entering the firmware password. Hence effectively making guest mode useless/disabled.
    – adib
    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:37

I suggest you take a look at using Fire-vault 2 on your next Mac. This will keep your data safe. In addition, set a firmware password by following instructions here: http://www.imore.com/how-set-your-macs-firmware-password-and-why-you-shouldnt. This will prevent anyone from booting the Macbook without a password as mentioned below by n1000.

If you want to go the stealth route, you can create a password free account with and place a Remote Keylogger(Don't install freeware like Keytext, you need to have access to the Mac to retrieve the log files). Do a quick Google search and read reviews for a key logger that you can access remotely. You may have to pay for that software. When you have the key logger set up install something like http://excesapp.com to encrypt your home folder.

Above all else, make sure to keep your laptop safe; don't leave it unattended, keep it with you at all times. Of all the laptops I've had, my data has always been safe, because I always kept it close by. Make sure to keep a better eye on your laptop in the future.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Sorry, but this answer has a lot of faulty information. Using Filevault2 will not prevent booting the recovery partition. Activating the guest account with Filevault2 will actually activate the recovery partition in a special guest mode, in order to activate Find My Mac and locate stolen Macs.
    – n1000
    Jul 22, 2015 at 18:43
  • @n1000 You are correct, but the special recovery partition prevents anyone from erasing the OS X install as seen here howtogeek.com/209672/… Jul 22, 2015 at 18:47
  • As I said, you can still enter the recovery partition by pressing cmd + R at startup, no matter if FV2 is active. From there you can do pretty much whatever you want (except for decrypting the FV2 partition.), including a disk erase.
    – n1000
    Jul 22, 2015 at 18:58
  • I am fairly certain that the howtogeek article is confusing some things. Even if you couldn't wipe the disk from the recovery partition, you could still mount an external USB drive - unless you set a firmware password.
    – n1000
    Jul 22, 2015 at 19:14
  • @n1000 I confused Firmware Password with Firevault2 :( Sorry for the confusion. Fixing the answer to give correct info. Jul 22, 2015 at 23:52

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