My Mac Mini was stolen from my office and I think it was stolen by my colleague. They are all software engineers and I think the thief will install a fresh version of macOS on the stolen Mac Mini.

My question is , can I see my Mac's location even after the thief installs a fresh clean macOS onto my stolen Mac ?

I know Find My Mac information is saved in NVRAM and the thief can erase it without booting the whole Mac by some shortcut keys.

Is the serial number of the machine paired with The Find My Mac function at Apple? If yes, can I find it even after a clean macOS installation?

  • Did you register your Mini Mac in Find My Mac? Easy to check, just log into icloud.com and see whether it's listed there.
    – nohillside
    Mar 16, 2019 at 7:30
  • Modern Macs are tied to the Apple ID used to install MacOS and must be released from that before it can be tied to another AppleID. Much the same as for iPhones. Mar 16, 2019 at 9:40
  • 1
    Please don't type entirely in Title Case, it makes things very difficult to read [& takes a long time to fix] Also, this is essentially the third time you've asked the same question. Once on here & twice on Super User. Please post one clear question on just one site.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


I bought an iMac from a colleague - he wiped it completely and it was in the power up install process choose language.

Then as I continued the normal install it stopped as it thought it was stolen...

The serial number is checked against Apple ID’s and as it was still listed against my colleagues Apple ID it refused to continue...

Once my colleague removed it from his device list for his Apple ID all was then fine as I added it to mine.

So it may not work for them even if they do a fresh install until you remove that serial number from your Apple ID - at least that was my experience.

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