How do I find my serial number?

If you’ve never brought your Mac or iOS device in for repair, called AppleCare over the phone, or tried to look up your computer’s specs online, you probably haven’t ever wondered about your computer’s serial number. This special identifier gives you access to your Mac’s manufacturer’s warranty as well as any extended AppleCare programs, and lets technicians know exactly what unit you have.

If you don’t have your original box handy, finding the serial number can occasionally be a hassle. Today we’re covering a few general ways of figuring it out, on both Macs and mobile devices like iPhones and iPads.

Let’s start with the Mac. If your machine is up and running, simply click on the Apple logo on the extreme top left of your screen, then select “About This Mac”. In current versions of OS X, the serial number will simply be listed there. In older operating systems however, you’ll have to click on the grey text right below the “OS X” line twice to reveal the serial number.

If the machine isn’t working, you can try flipping it over to read the serial number off the bottom plate. This can be tricky on iMacs thanks to their weight; if you are flipping yours over, make sure you rest the display on something soft to protect it. On MacBooks the serial number should be laser-etched onto the bottom in tiny text.

For iOS devices, you can view the serial by going into the Settings menu, selecting General, then About, and scrolling down to the Serial Number field. If your device doesn’t turn on, you can also check the back side. If it has a SIM tray, you can pull that out too — official Apple trays have the serial printed on them.

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