Can The Police Track Your Stolen MacBook? (The Police Say)


If you are one of those unlucky people whose MacBook has recently been stolen and you are wondering whether you can get it back somehow, this post is for you! This article explains whether you can track down your stolen MacBook with the help of Apple or the police. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Police cannot track your stolen MacBook even if Find My Mac gives you a location. Find My Mac gives an approximate location, but it is not precise especially in densely populated areas. Police cannot use a search warrant to search for a stolen mac unless they know the exact location.

Even if the police wanted to find it in the words of Patricia WesselsOpens in a new tab., spokeswoman for the Rotterdam-Rijnmond police- the police “are not allowed to just start searching 300 homes” if Mac’s location is in a densely populated area like an apartment block.

Since you cannot find your stolen MacBook with the help of the police, keep reading to find out whether you can shut it down or block it with Apple’s help. 

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Can Apple Shut Down Stolen Macbook?

Apple cannot shut down stolen MacBooks. However, the owner can shut down a stolen MacBook and set a passcode by using the Find My feature. The next time someone tries to reboot it, they won’t be able to do so until they enter that passcode.

When it comes to tracking or shutting down your stolen devices, Apple can be of no help. They would advise you to contact your local law enforcement or track your device using the Find My feature. They won’t even lock the device if you ask them to. So you will need to manage it by yourself with Find My. 

If your MacBook is stolen and there is a chance that you can get it back, you should consider shutting it down rather than erasing all the data. The Find My feature can help you with that.

Read Apples guide on how you can shut down your stolen MacBook by using Find MyOpens in a new tab.

How to Shut Down A Stolen MacBook

Here’s how you can shut down your stolen MacBook:

  1. On another Apple device or PC, go to iCloud.com.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials.
  3. Click on the Find iPhone icon.
  4. Now click on All Devices in the top bar and select your MacBook. You will be able to see its location and when it was last active. 
  5. Now click on the Lock button.

Note: Only choose the Lock optionOpens in a new tab. if you think that you can somehow retrieve your MacBook. Locking the device will shut down your MacBook. You will also be prompted to set a four-digit passcode for your MacBook. This way, no one can reboot or unlock your MacBook without entering that four-digit passcode. So your data is safe from being compromised.

However, if there is no way you can retrieve your stolen/lost MacBook, you should opt for the Erase Mac option. Erase Mac will permanently delete all of your files, programs, applications and even the operating system, making sure that none of your data falls into the wrong hands

Speaking of stolen MacBooks, if you have ever purchased a second-hand MacBook at unbelievably low prices, chances are that it is a stolen device. Read our articleOpens in a new tab. here to find out how you can check whether your MacBook is a stolen device.

Can Apple Block A Stolen MacBook Pro?

Apple cannot block any of its devices or users. There are chances that Apple keeps a list of the serial numbers of stolen devices. But it never blocks any stolen MacBooks or phones. They leave it up to the user to block their lost/stolen device using the Find My feature. 

Apple would not do anything without a court order if your device is stolen. They leave that up to the law enforcement agencies. Instead, they suggest their users to block their stolen devices themselves by using Find My.

Your best bet is to block your MacBook using Find My. Moreover, contact Apple SupportOpens in a new tab. and tell them about your stolen MacBook. Request them to keep your laptop’s serial numberOpens in a new tab. in their registry so that whenever someone brings it in the store for repair, they will be alerted.

Next, change all of your passwords, including those of your credit cards, debit cards, PayPal or any other payment services, social media accounts, Apple accounts, and any other accounts that you had logged in on that MacBook.

Now block your stolen MacBook by logging into iCloud.com and using the Find My feature to locate and lock your MacBook. It will shut down your MacBook and set a passcode selected by you to prevent anyone from using your MacBook. However, this would only work if the stolen MacBook is connected to the internet. 

Whenever I transport my MacBook I always have it in a case, but do cases damage your computer at all? Learn the truth in our article.Opens in a new tab.

Can A Stolen Laptop Be Tracked Via MAC Address?

You cannot track a stolen laptop by using a MAC address. It is not possible because when a laptop gets away from the local network, it cannot be tracked. It cannot be located unless the stolen laptop gets on the same network again, which is highly unlikely. 

But if the stolen laptop is being used on a college or a corporate network, you can track it down. You will need to contact the network administrator about the theft and give him the MAC address of the stolen laptop. The network administrator can then know whenever that laptop is logged onto that network.

But if you wonder whether you can track the stolen laptop over the internet by using its MAC address, the answer is no. Because this data is not transferred to the third-level ISP through the router. So your laptop is probably gone forever.  Speaking of losses, if your MacBook screen is damaged and you are planning to get it replaced, hold that thought and read our articleOpens in a new tab. first to learn why that is a bad idea. 

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