A friend of mines has a MacBook with MacOS X 10.5.8 Leopard on it but it doesn't bear a serial number.

We checked "About this Mac".

We checked "System Information".

And we even checked underneath the MacBook where Apple usually engraves the MacBook's serial numbers.

My friend can't view most websites and doesnt have any of the original packaging.

Is there anything else we can do to find out the MacBook's type and serial number?

  • 1
    Could you post screenshots or photos?
    – Pratik
    Feb 28, 2018 at 4:24
  • @PratikaRana I couldn't take them because she is in another state but I'm waiting for her to get back with me on the photos. Feb 28, 2018 at 4:31

3 Answers 3


If the main thing you're after is the serial number, you can use Terminal to fetch it.

More specifically:

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Copy and paste the following command:

    ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber

  3. Press return

NOTE: If the above doesn't work then something strange is going on. However, depending on the model of MacBook, you may be able to remove the battery and check around the battery bay to see if the Serial Number and Ethernet ID are printed there.

  • I'll try this tomorrow, if it doesn't return a value then what next? Feb 28, 2018 at 4:33
  • 1
    That command should work, it's been around for a long time. However, if it doesn't then David's answer is also correct. Clicking on Version 10.5.8 will cycle what's displayed from Version to Build to Serial Number.
    – Monomeeth
    Feb 28, 2018 at 4:39

If you see an About This Mac window like the following, double-click the version number beneath “OS X” to reveal the serial number:

enter image description here

  • Yup, tried that, it said Serial number - Feb 28, 2018 at 4:41

Contact Apple support and collect any and all receipts or purchase information you might have. The WiFi and Bluetooth and other serial numbers might help establish the serial number unless the machine was assembled or repaired with parts from several machines.

A logic board repair can cause the serial to be wrong or missing. Some very few models may ship without a serial and electrical or physical failures can also cause this.

  • Lol I work at Apple, she has no trace. It was brought 2nd hand, via a friend of her husband. Feb 28, 2018 at 4:42
  • 1
    @MelvinJefferson AppleCare can usually verify a legitimate request to regenerate the serial number or trace parts. Could be something simple though like a failure of the SMC and serial storage chip.
    – bmike
    Feb 28, 2018 at 15:37
  • Yup unfortunately she needs the original proof of purchase (receipt) Feb 28, 2018 at 20:16

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