Every Apple computer that is purchased from the company has a unique identifier better known as the serial number. This number helps you and Apple identify the type of MacBook you have. Most people won’t need to know their serial number offhand, but when it comes to service, a trade-in or warranty registration, it’s good to know exactly how to look up your Mac’s serial number.
1. Finding the Serial Number via “About This Mac”
If your MacBook is functioning, finding the serial number is super easy.
1. To start, head to the Apple menu icon in the upper-left corner of your MacBook.
2. Click on it and select “About this Mac.” Your serial number will appear on the very next screen, likely as the last line on the screen.
3. Alongside your serial number, you will also see some information about your MacBook including which version of macOS is installed, processor, memory, graphics card, etc.
2. Finding the Serial Number If Your MacBook Won’t Turn On
If your MacBook won’t turn on, there is still an easy way to find your serial number. Turn over your MacBook and find the serial number imprinted on the computer. Right below the bold text identifying what type of MacBook you are using, you will see a bunch of numbers including assembly location and a bunch of compliance/FCC information. On the second line of text, at the very end, you will see your serial number list.
3. Finding Serial Number Via System Report
If, for any reason, the “About This Mac” lookup does not work, there is another option to find your serial number from the Apple menu.
1. Head back to the Apple menu icon in the upper-left corner of your MacBook.
2. Click on “System Report.”
3. A large pop-up instantly appears showing a huge selection of information about your MacBook, including hardware, software, network, etc. The initial screen that pops up is labeled “Hardware Overview.”
4. Look at the second to last line on this screen, and you will see “Serial Number (system).”
4. Do Not Have Your MacBook Nearby
Don’t have your MacBook nearby but still need your serial number? No problem.
1. Log in to the Apple ID account website with your Apple ID.
2. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and look for a selection labeled “Devices.” Here you will find a list of all of the Apple devices you are currently signed into.
3. Click on the name of the MacBook you wish to find the serial number of, and the small pop-up window will display the relevant info on the third and last line of the pop-up.
5. Look on the MacBook Box or Receipt
If you still have the original box that your MacBook is shipped in, the serial number will be printed right on the bar code on the packaging. The same might be true if you have your original receipt as well (email or printed). If you have ever submitted a warranty claim, the Genius Bar documentation will also show the serial number.
6. Using Your MacBook Terminal
If all else fails to help you locate your serial number, turn to Terminal on your MacBook.
1. To bring up Terminal, the quickest way to is go into your applications folder and locate it. Alternatively, head to the Finder search icon at the top right of your menu bar and type “Terminal.”
2. Once Finder is open, enter
system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep Serial
and press enter.
3. You can also enter
ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber
and achieve the same result.
Whether it’s a warranty claim or trying to sell your MacBook, knowing how to find the serial number is worthwhile. Given that Apple provides a number of ways to locate and copy the serial number, you should never be without it. Know any other MacBook Terminal tricks you would like to share? Comment below.
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