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Someone has broken into my apartment and stolen my MacBook Pro and my roommate's Mac. Neither of the two devices was logged in to iCloud. Is there a way to track my device through its serial number?

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  • According to Apple, Find My Mac is the only Apple service that can help track or locate a lost Mac. If you didn’t set up Find My Mac before your Mac was lost, or you can’t locate it. Your best bet would be to "report your lost or stolen Mac to local law enforcement. They might request the serial number of your computer." - Apple. There are databases for submitting lost device's serial numbers, these alert buyers for example when a device is marked stolen. I'd recommend getting onto this as soon as possible.
    – ProGrammer
    Jan 12, 2018 at 23:52
  • Is there a way to locate my Mac by serial number? Jan 13, 2018 at 0:33
  • Same question in question and subsequent comment : answer NO - you did not sign up for the Apple service so you can’t use find my mac. All you can do is report it stolen and give the police the serial number - then make suitable offerings to the computer gods ...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 13, 2018 at 0:37
  • @ShakibFarah Were you successful in any of my steps listed below? I'd like to follow up with on this.
    – ProGrammer
    Feb 12, 2018 at 3:14
  • If such a service existed, it would be a privacy nightmare. You could track anyone’s MacBook simply by knowing the serial number, since it couldn’t require that you have physical access to the machine to prove it was yours. That’s why it doesn’t exist.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 11, 2019 at 17:44

2 Answers 2

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In short: No, you can't

Why?
Well, according to Apple, Find My Mac is the only Apple service that can help track or locate a lost Mac. If you didn’t set up Find My Mac before your Mac was lost, you can’t locate it, this includes the serial number.

What Can You Try?

  • Your best bet would be to "report your lost or stolen Mac to local law enforcement. They might request the serial number of your computer." - Apple.

  • There are databases for submitting lost device's serial numbers, these alert buyers for example when a device is marked stolen. I'd recommend getting onto this as soon as possible.

At set up and with macOS upgrades, Apple almost forces all this additional security because it works. By default, services like the Find My Mac are checked, you would have had to make the conscious decision not to enable the service. Naturally, what isn't enabled can't be called upon.

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ProGrammer's answer is correct from my previous experience with Apple. But you can request a note attached to your Apple account stating that a device with that serial number was stolen. When the device is brought to the Apple Store for repair and the Apple employee enters the serial number, it will show up as stolen.

Some Apple representatives will not tell you this and that you can do nothing unless you have "Find My Mac" enabled, which is true if you limit yourself to the iCloud system. You can request this extra step from the representative if you know about it.

To request a call with Apple, this page has no direct contact, so instead go to this page and choose "The topic is not listed", then write an explanation at the next page, e.g.:

My MacBook Pro computer was stolen and I want to give the serial numbers to Apple so it is black-listed.

You can and should also report the serial numbers on websites such as Immobilise.com . From talking to the Cambridgeshire police Constabulary:

Immobilise.com is the main website we use, we don't use many others. It's also the most secure. It's also used by cash converters and second hand goods: before taking material, they check that website, and if they find a match, they call the police straight away.

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