How to Tell If Your Laptop Is Registered

By Serm Murmson

i Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Laptops often switch owners through both legal and illegal paths. Given the prevalence of laptop theft, registration of a laptop is especially important. Registering your laptop will often help locate it if it is stolen or can help you determine whether a laptop you have bought or wish to buy was stolen from its rightful owner. If you wish to check if your laptop is registered--by you or somebody else--there are a number of ways to determine this.

Step 1

Locate your laptop's serial number. Most laptops have a serial number on the underside of the machine. A Dell laptop also has a 'service tag', which is useful in looking up purchase and warranty information.

Step 2

Check the registration of your laptop at the manufacturer's website. This can often be done by entering the laptop serial number or service tag into an online form. Alternatively, you can call the laptop company, and check the registration of that particular machine.

Step 3

Check the registration of the laptop's operating system. In Windows, this can be done by right-clicking on "My Computer." In Mac OS X, this can be done through the Apple menu (you can access the serial number in this way, as well). Often, this will not give you the exact identity of the owner or previous owners, but might give you some relevant information, such as a pseudonym.

Step 4

Contact any institution under which the laptop may have been registered. For example, many universities and various governmental bodies require laptop registration. If your laptop appears to have been the property of such an institution, contact the relevant tech support staff to determine its registration information.