How to find your Mac's serial number

Your Mac serial number is important information: If you need to get your Mac serviced, you'll need it. If you call Apple for help, they may ask you for it. But if you haven't written it down and can't read the number off the case, don't worry: There's another easy way to get it.

At the store I work at, customers often call for help with their computers; to help them with their problems, I like to double-check their machine against a database we have access to by running their Mac's serial number. That way, I at least know how the Mac was configured when it left the factory. But many of my customers have no idea what their serial number is, or how to find it.

Each Mac's serial number is printed on the case of the computer itself. But those numbers can get obscured: If you're using a laptop with an external case on it, like I do, then you can't see the number. What's more — especially on laptops — the numbers tend to get worn away over time. Apple also prints them in extremely small type; if you have anything less than perfect vision, it can be hard to make them out.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to get the serial number, assuming your Mac will turn on.

How to recover your Mac's serial number

  1. Click on the menu.
  2. Select About this Mac.
  3. The serial number is listed under the Overview tab, which should be the first one to appear.

You can copy this number and paste it into another document, write it down or do whatever else you need to with it. Tip: If you do write it down, remember that Apple doesn't use the letter O in its serial numbers: Any 0 you see is a zero, not an O.

Peter Cohen