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Does find my Mac have to be turned on under the system preferences in the computer or can I somehow link the serial number to my icloud and still be able to use it? Asking because I believe my macbook pro was stolen and I didn't have find my Mac turned on in the physical computer.

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You are out of luck. If you didn't turn on Find My Mac in System Preferences > iCloud your MacBook was never registered, and cannot broadcast its location, or respond to location pings. If you have all the important information about the computer (serial number & whatnot) you should report the theft to your local police station, constabulary, gendarmerie, etc.

  • Do you think if I gave apple my serial number they could track it for me and possibly locate it? – Mdomin45 Oct 25 '15 at 14:38
  • I don't think Apple offers this service. I have an iPad which was left behind at event where I work, activation-locked with a Gmail password. After exhaustive attempts to locate all the people who attended the event, and repeated public notices (we're a school & its easy to send all parents/students an email) we've gotten no response. Apple will not contact the owner of the iPad, even with the serial number. Their only suggestion was to contact the local police. This may be your only recourse. – IconDaemon Oct 25 '15 at 14:46
  • That's not what I was hoping for but thanks for the help. – Mdomin45 Oct 25 '15 at 14:47
  • I hope it is returned to you. Good luck. – IconDaemon Oct 25 '15 at 14:49
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    It’s worth pointing out that this is a very deliberate feature. Having “Find my Mac” on can be very useful, but carries some dangers of loss of privacy: imagine, for instance, if a stalker found your credit card number, convinced Apple they were you, and asked to turn on “Find my Mac” on your laptop. Because of such concerns, it’s important to many people that Find my Mac can be turned off if desired, and can’t be turned on remotely. – PLL Oct 25 '15 at 17:27

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