How to Look Up an Apple Serial Number to Validate It: Ensuring Authenticity

Troy Reeder

Apple products on table

For Apple device owners, looking up the serial number is a crucial step. It’s a unique identifier used by Apple to confirm a product’s authenticity and eligibility for warranty and support services. Knowing how to locate this number is important for multiple reasons, including technical support, service requests, and insurance claims. Each Apple device has its serial number located in a specific place, which can usually be found by accessing the device’s ‘About’ settings. The number can also be found on the device’s surface or packaging. With the serial number, you can access your warranty status, check coverage eligibility, and get help with any issues.

Verify That Your Apple Device is Real

It’s easy to mistake a fake Apple device for a real one. A little investigation can save you a lot of money! Counterfeiters can be tricky, and they can even make devices that look real at first glance. One helpful way to verify a device’s authenticity is to validate its serial number. Here’s where you can do that:

How to Make Sure an Apple Serial Number is Legit

Before purchasing a used or refurbished Apple device, it’s crucial to verify the legitimacy of its serial number. Here’s how:

  1. Find the Serial Number:
    • iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings > General > About
    • Mac: Click on the Apple logo (top left corner) > About This Mac
    • Other devices: You will usually find the serial number on the back of the device or its packaging.
  2. Validate Using Apple’s Website:
  • Go to Apple’s “Check Coverage” page:
  • Enter the serial number and complete the captcha verification.
  • The page will display the device’s model, warranty status, and other information if the serial number is valid.

Apple Check Coverage: Apple’s official coverage checker is the most reliable way to validate a serial number. It will show the device model, warranty information, and other important details.

Third-Party Verification Tools

Several reputable third-party websites can also help you check your Apple device’s serial number:

  • EveryMac: A comprehensive database of Apple products that lets you look up device specifications by serial number.
  • Chipmunk: This site specializes in decoding Apple serial numbers, offering details about manufacturing dates and locations. Note that the site is in Dutch but you can translate to English.
  • iUnlocker: Provides carrier lock status, iCloud status, and other information linked to a serial number.
  • Another useful resource with similar features to iUnlocker.


It’s always a good idea to use multiple sources and compare the results when validating a serial number. Be extra cautious with used or refurbished devices, and always purchase from reputable sellers.

Key Takeaways

  • A serial number validates an Apple device’s authenticity and support status.
  • The serial number can be found in ‘About’ settings or on the device’s physical body.
  • Knowing the serial number is necessary for technical support and service claims.

Locating the Serial Number

When you need service for your Apple product, or you want to check your warranty, you’ll have to find the serial number. It’s unique to your device and is essential for any support you may need.

On the Device’s Hardware

For most Apple devices, the serial number is etched directly onto the hardware. On an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, you can find the serial number usually on the back case. For a Mac, turn it over and look for the serial number at the bottom.

In the Operating System

If your Apple device is operational, you can find the serial number in the operating system. On a Mac, click the Apple menu, then choose About This Mac. On an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, go to Settings, then tap General and then About. Here the serial number is listed along with other details. When using Finder or iTunes, connect your device to the computer and locate the device tab where you’ll see its serial number.

On the Original Packaging

If you have the original packaging of your Apple product, you can find the serial number. Check the box and look for a barcode label. The serial number is printed here and can be used to verify your device without turning it on or if the device is no longer functional.

Lookup Warranty Status Based on the Serial Number

Apple’s “Check Coverage” page ( is the best place to get the warranty status of your Apple device. After entering the serial number:

  • Valid Purchase Date: This confirms the device was originally purchased through authorized channels.
  • Telephone Technical Support: Provides the status of your phone support eligibility (typically 90 days from purchase).
  • Repairs and Service Coverage: Indicates whether the device has AppleCare or an extended warranty.

Can You Verify an iPhone’s Legitimacy Based on the Serial Number?

A serial number check can help you identify these factors:

  • Authenticity: A valid Apple serial number indicates the device is genuine.
  • Stolen Status: While not foolproof, checking a serial number against online stolen device databases (consult your local law enforcement for reliable resources) can sometimes reveal a red flag.
  • Warranty Details: Provides insight into the device’s purchase history and repair status.

Important Point: While serial number validation is a good starting point, it’s important to conduct a thorough physical inspection of any used Apple device before purchasing.