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Q: What do I do if I found a laptop?

  • What do I do if I found a laptop?
  • I found a laptop and I think it may belong to someone at MIT. What should I do?
  • I think this laptop I found may be an MIT student loaner laptop. How can I return it?
  • I was going through my stuff after I got home and I found this laptop that doesn't belong to me. I think it might be my roommate's, or it might belong to MIT. What do I do?


  • Found MIT laptop
  • Student Laptop Loaner Program
  • MIT-tagged laptops



  • It's an MIT-owned laptop that was distributed to someone for MIT-use, but somehow got misplaced
  • It's an MIT-owned laptop that was made available as a loaner for temporary personal use (Student Laptop Loaner program)
  • It's an MIT-owned laptop that has been deactivated by the MIT Property Office
  • It's a personally-owned laptop that was used on MIT campus
  • The laptop has no "MIT affiliation"


There are several possible ways to identify which category the laptop you found might fit in. Here's how to self-identify laptops with various MIT associations.


An MIT-owned laptop will usually have an MIT property tag on it. Property tags look like this:

In addition, an MIT-owned laptop may also have a STOP security tag on it issued by MIT Police. This is usually a metal security tag, attached to the top (outside lid) of the laptop. There may also be a red information sticker attached to the laptop's top or bottom face.

MIT-owned and part of the Student Laptop Loaner program

The student Laptop Loaner Program tracks its laptops by MIT property tag number and vendor serial number. If you found a laptop that you suspect belongs to MIT and is part of the Laptop Loaner Program, please send an email to the Laptop Loaner Program with the following information:

  • MIT property tag number
  • Vendor serial number or service tag
  • If available, the MAC address of the wireless network interface (don't worry about it if you do not have this)
  • If available, the MAC address of the wired network interface (don't worry about it if you do not have this)

MIT-owned and deactivated

MIT will sometimes deactivate property that has reached the end of its useful life at MIT, or has been sold, donated, or transferred outside the Institute. Such equipment usually has a red "Deactivated" sticker placed next to the MIT property tag.

Personally owned but used at MIT

Laptops in this category may have an MIT Police metal STOP security tag on them and a red informational sticker to go along with it. Personally owned laptops do not have an MIT property tag.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

October 29, 2011

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