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#1 +warwagon

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 00:42

How to locate the serial number of a dead iOS device when all else fails.


In this guide I will tell you how to locate your Apple device serial number. Sometimes you have an Apple device that will not turn on because it's broke (DOH!). That same device might have a serial number on the back of it you can't read, and you have long since thrown away the packaging. So now how the heck are you going to find the serial number? The good news is, iTunes records all the serial numbers for your iOS devices. You just need to get creative!

Let's try the easy way first

Finding your serial number(s) via the iTunes help / about.

1) Open iTunes
2) Click on the help menu and then hold down the control key. Now click "About iTunes".

If successful it should show your device ID's. For me, it had, my iPod Nano and my iPad but It didn't have my iPod Touch, which is the one I was looking for. So I had to get a little more creative.

Next we will go hunting for the all great and powerful iPodDevices.xml

In Vista and Windows 7 this file is located in C:\USERS\(username)\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes
In XP it should be located in \Documents and Settings\<userName>\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPodDevices.xml

Posted Image

Open the XML file with word or wordpad and do a search for the word Serial number. With any luck you should find your serial number in this file. If you have more than 1 iOS device I would recommend trying the first method first, and then take a screenshot the number it screen gives you. Then compare them with the one in the file. That way you can easily tell which serial is the one you are missing.

Hope this helps someone with a dead iOS device, who is trying to locate their serial number before they call Apple support.


#2 cybertimber2008

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 00:49

Looks like room for someone to make a small application to find this and display it to a user ;)

#3 firey

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:48

Looks like room for someone to make a small application to find this and display it to a user ;)


For the hell of it, I decided to give making it a shot, and I got a very basic one written, I left it open enough anyone could add to it. I've included the source (C#, .NET 4.0 Visual Studio 2010). If you don't have visual studio, just go to the /bin/debug/ folder for the .exe

Took about 20 minutes, Im sure others may approach it completely different, but basically everything is commented, and done as cleanly as I could in the time I did it.

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#4 OP +warwagon

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:51

For the hell of it, I decided to give making it a shot, and I got a very basic one written, I left it open enough anyone could add to it. I've included the source (C#, .NET 4.0 Visual Studio 2010). If you don't have visual studio, just go to the /bin/debug/ folder for the .exe

Took about 20 minutes, Im sure others may approach it completely different, but basically everything is commented, and done as cleanly as I could in the time I did it.


Impressive! That little tool will be quite popular. Good job!

#5 firey

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:55

Great Scott!

Impressive! That little tool will be quite popular. Good job!


lol thanks, if anyone has ideas, but not sure how to add them in the code, or doesn't have the tools, let me know and if I have time I can add them. There are a few spots for advancement, but like I don't know all the devices with the familyID's (I used my two ipods to get the Nano 2g, and Ipod Touch 4g) but those are all I have. So instead of saying IPod Touch 3g it would say Ipod Family ID: xxxxxx

#6 javagreen

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:56

How to locate the serial number of a dead iOS device when all else fails.


In this guide I will tell you how to locate your Apple device serial number. Sometimes you have an Apple device that will not turn on because it's broke (DOH!). That same device might have a serial number on the back of it you can't read, and you have long since thrown away the packaging. So now how the heck are you going to find the serial number? The good news is, iTunes records all the serial numbers for your iOS devices. You just need to get creative!

Let's try the easy way first

Finding your serial number(s) via the iTunes help / about.

1) Open iTunes
2) Click on the help menu and then hold down the control key. Now click "About iTunes".

If successful it should show your device ID's. For me, it had, my iPod Nano and my iPad but It didn't have my iPod Touch, which is the one I was looking for. So I had to get a little more creative.

Next we will go hunting for the all great and powerful iPodDevices.xml

In Vista and Windows 7 this file is located in C:\USERS\(username)\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes
In XP it should be located in \Documents and Settings\<userName>\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPodDevices.xml

Posted Image

Open the XML file with word or wordpad and do a search for the word Serial number. With any luck you should find your serial number in this file. If you have more than 1 iOS device I would recommend trying the first method first, and then take a screenshot the number it screen gives you. Then compare them with the one in the file. That way you can easily tell which serial is the one you are missing.

Hope this helps someone with a dead iOS device, who is trying to locate their serial number before they call Apple support.



Nice tip, you kinda forgot to hide your username in the explorer pane....not sure why you'd want to hide it though, not like it's giving out any personal details :p

#7 nominak

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:03

Or.. you know.. look at the back of your iOS device... where the serial is located....

#8 OP +warwagon

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:04

Or.. you know.. look at the back of your iOS device... where the serial is located....


In this guide I will tell you how to locate your Apple device serial number. Sometimes you have an Apple device that will not turn on because it's broke (DOH!). That same device might have a serial number on the back of it you can't read, and you have long since thrown away the packaging. So now how the heck are you going to find the serial number? The good news is, iTunes records all the serial numbers for your iOS devices. You just need to get creative!


In my case the serial was so scratched up I couldn't read it.

#9 TokyoKiller

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:04

Just to note that for any cellular network capable iOS devices, the serial number and IMEI are located on the sim card tray.

#10 JJ_

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:31

For the hell of it, I decided to give making it a shot, and I got a very basic one written, I left it open enough anyone could add to it. I've included the source (C#, .NET 4.0 Visual Studio 2010). If you don't have visual studio, just go to the /bin/debug/ folder for the .exe

Took about 20 minutes, Im sure others may approach it completely different, but basically everything is commented, and done as cleanly as I could in the time I did it.


Forgive me for asking but is there any reason why the software attempts a TCP connection on launch to 2.17.189.15?

#11 firey

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:35

Forgive me for asking but is there any reason why the software attempts a TCP connection on launch to 2.17.189.15?


It doesn't.. the code is right there, feel free to look at it, you will see there is no network code at all.

#12 JJ_

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 21:05

It doesn't.. the code is right there, feel free to look at it, you will see there is no network code at all.


Hmm today it tries to connect to a different IP but in the same range :s

Posted Image

I unplugged my ethernet lead and with no connection the app throws up a hissy fit and crashes

Posted Image

#13 firey

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 21:08

Hmm today it tries to connect to a different IP but in the same range :s

I unplugged my ethernet lead and with no connection the app throws up a hissy fit and crashes


Not sure what to tell you, the code is right there for you to see, there is nothing hiding. You sure something hasn't attached itself?

Quick google search shows:

IP Address 2.22.77.15
Area Code
Country Code UK
IDD Code 44
Country Name Posted Image United Kingdom
Time Zone +00:00
Region England
ISP Akamai Technologies
City London
Domain AKAMAI.COM
Connection Type DSL
Coordinates Posted Image 51°30'1"N -0°7'34"W
Weather Station Code UKXX0085
Postal Code
Weather Station Name London

as I live in Canada, I'd have no use for anything in the UK, the only thing I could think of is that it might have something to do with the parsing of the XML but I dunno, you sure that's not your IP?

#14 Soldiers33

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 21:15

may I ask why anyone would even need it?If its dead whats the point

#15 JJ_

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 21:48

Not sure what to tell you, the code is right there for you to see, there is nothing hiding. You sure something hasn't attached itself?

Quick google search shows:

IP Address 2.22.77.15
Area Code
Country Code UK
IDD Code 44
Country Name Posted Image United Kingdom
Time Zone +00:00
Region England
ISP Akamai Technologies
City London
Domain AKAMAI.COM
Connection Type DSL
Coordinates Posted Image 51°30'1"N -0°7'34"W
Weather Station Code UKXX0085
Postal Code
Weather Station Name London

as I live in Canada, I'd have no use for anything in the UK, the only thing I could think of is that it might have something to do with the parsing of the XML but I dunno, you sure that's not your IP?


Nope that's definitely not my IP. I am not implying there is any rogue code but I'm just a little curious why it needs internet access. Can you try disabling your network connection and fire it up to see if it opens ok for you?