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Can the new Find My service from Apple locate laptops even if the disk is wiped?

I had a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) running macOS 10.15 Catalina that was linked to an iCloud account and had Find My Mac enabled. This laptop recently went missing; it's still connected to my iCloud account and still shows up in the list of all devices, but only as Offline.

According to news articles, a Mac running 10.15 will periodically emit a locator beacon using Bluetooth Low Energy when it's awake or sleeping (but not while powered off, I assume).

In upcoming versions of iOS and macOS, the new Find My feature will broadcast Bluetooth signals from Apple devices even when they're offline, allowing nearby Apple devices to relay their location to the cloud. Wired

Would the laptop still emit a Bluetooth locator beacon that could be picked up by other macOS/iOS devices, even if the disk has been wiped?

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  • I don't have a verifiable answer but no, to the best of my knowledge it wouldn't carry over, however a T2 based Mac wouldn't let you erase or disable Find My Mac without the iCloud password. Feb 5, 2020 at 0:45
  • This feature of Catalina only works on Macs that have a T2 chip. The 2015 MBP I was using when I asked this question didn't have a T2 chip.
    – Nic
    Aug 12, 2020 at 4:47

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If you use the Find My application to remote wipe your Mac you will no longer be able to track it.

All content and settings will be erased when this Mac connects to the Internet. An erased Mac cannot be located or tracked any longer.

For further details see the Apple Support document If your Mac is lost or stolen.

Bottom line...if your Mac is wiped, whether remote or done locally, it will no longer be tracked. Most likely it’s been sold for parts if the security cannot be bypassed.

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  • I did not request remote wipe the laptop. I’m asking about if somebody who has local physical access wipes it.
    – Nic
    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:25
  • As I have said this would only be possible on older Macs and yes it would be the same as Allan is stating. Feb 5, 2020 at 1:27

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