A serial number is usually a unique number given to each produced copy of a mass-produced product, such as an appliance, a computer, a phone or even a piece of software. It's often used to access customer support and warranty information for your product and to validate that you own a legitimate edition of the product. Find the serial number on the product itself or in your receipt, and do a serial number or S/N number lookup on the manufacturer's site to see more information about your product.
Serial Number Search
Where you can find the serial number on a product depends on what kind of product it is. In many cases, the serial number will be physically printed on the surface of the product. Search the item in question for a serial number, remembering to look inside the product if it has any openings, including battery compartments. If it's an electrical device, you may want to unplug it before you begin searching it for a serial number for safety's sake.
Software products, computers and cellphones can also have serial numbers and often do. If your device doesn't have the serial number printed on it, you may be able to access it digitally. Search the documentation for your product online or in materials that came with it to figure out how to access the serial number. Contact the manufacturer for help if you aren't sure how to access the serial number.
Search Your Records
If a serial number search of the product itself isn't fruitful, or you have a digital product that you can't turn on because it isn't working, you might still have a way to access the serial number. Check your receipt for the product, assuming you still have it, to see if the serial number is listed. If you have had service done on the product in the past, the serial number might also be on your receipt from the repair.
If you bought the product online, you may be able to find the serial number on the website where you bought the product. If it's a product that you registered to access certain features or for warranty purposes, you may also be able to find the serial number on the manufacturer's website. You can also try contacting the store or website where you bought the product to see if the serial number is available.
Storing the Serial Number
Once you find the serial number, you may want to record it in a safe place. You can maintain a spreadsheet on a cloud-based system like Microsoft Office or Google Drive to keep serial numbers of various items you own.
That can be helpful if you ever need warranty repair for any of the products on the list or if you need to file an insurance claim if a product is in some way damaged, lost or stolen.
Using the Serial Number
Once you have your product's serial number in hand, you can often use it to see if the product is covered by a warranty or extended service plan, if the product has been recalled and to see other information about the product. If it's a digital product or a computer, smart TV or something similar, you may also be able to see if there are any software updates available for the product.
Visit the manufacturer's website and see if there is a way to do an S/N number check on the website and see what information is available. If you don't see that information online, give the company a call and see if someone on the tech support or customer service line can look up your product by serial number.