Finding a serial number for a missing iPod
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: How do you find the serial number of an iPod without the iPod?
A: You can find this information hidden away in an iTunes preference file, provided you still have access to the computer that you were syncing the iPod with.
iTunes actually keeps track of every iPod that you have ever synchronized with it in a file named com.apple.iPod.plist for Mac users, or iPodDevices.xml for Windows users. On a Mac, this preference file is located under Library/Preferences in your home folder, on Windows it’s under a folder named “Local SettingsApplication DataApple ComputeriTunes” within your home preferences folder. Note that this path will vary slightly across different versions of Windows, so you may find that the easiest way to find the file on a Windows platform is to simply perform a search for “iPodDevices.xml.”
On Windows you can simply open this file in a text editor and you should be able to find the serial number listed in a section labelled “Serial Number.”
On a Mac this file will likely be a binary properly list file so you will either need to convert it to XML or use a Property List editor app. If you’ve installed the Mac Developer Tools you should be able to find an app called “Property List Editor” by doing a Spotlight search on your Mac that will be able to open this file for you. Alternatively you can use the Mac Terminal and the “plutil” command to convert this file to a text-based XML format.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Report: Developers losing interest in making watchOS apps
- Source: New AI set to give Siri a massive improvement
- India officially rejects Apple’s bid to sell used iPhones
- Apple’s new ‘Echo rival’ may feature a camera
- Apple ‘working rapidly’ to extend Apple Pay to more countries
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)