How to Quickly Track a Package from Mac OS

May 25, 2017 - 9 Comments

Track a package from the Mac easily

You can quickly track any package or parcel from the Mac, all you need is an email or message that contains the tracking number. The instant package tracking ability is a data-detectors feature that will automatically recognize most tracking numbers in commonly used apps on the Mac and allow you to take action to quickly track the package via the tracking number.


The easiest way to try this out is to have an active tracking number for a package or mail item sent to you through email in Mail app or in Messages on the Mac, or shared through the Notes app. The rest is super easy, here’s what to do to try this out:

How to Track a Package by Tracking Number in Mac OS

  1. From an email, note, or message containing a tracking number, click on the tracking number (it should be underlined)
  2. Track a package by tracking number on Mac OS

  3. Wait a moment and a pop-up contextual window will show up with the proper parcel service tracking page, allowing you to see the package and track it via the number provided
  4. Tracking a package by tracking number in Mac OS

  5. Optionally, click on “Open in Safari” to open the package tracking number and page in a web browser window

Is that convenient or what? Anytime you receive a tracking number by email in Mail for Mac or in a conversation with Messages for Mac, you can quickly track a package this way.

This same type of data detector trick works to track shipments from iPhone and iPad with a similar feature in iOS too, so if you’re on the go you can also quickly and easily track a package.

The data detectors ability requires a reasonably modern version of Mac OS, it allows for other interesting tricks on the Mac and iOS too, including tracking flights by flight number, getting dictionary definitions, information about movies, and much more.

Of course you can also just open a web browser and go to the respective parcel or package service an track the package directly that way, but that’s certainly more time consuming.

Have any other tips or tricks about quick package tracking or data detectors in Mac OS? Let us know!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

9 Comments

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  1. Luis says:

    I believe this functionality is also available on iOS devices. Also, parcel tracking numbers are not the only numbers recognized: macOS and iOS also recognize airline flight numbers.

  2. Simon says:

    inbox for gmail does exactly the same thing

  3. Bert says:

    Is there an option to add it to your notifications so I can quickly take a look in the future?

    • Ted says:

      Why would you need to quickly take a look in the future? You look one time, see when your Luv Ewe is being delivered then wait patiently. That is a stupid question.

      • Jan says:

        Stupid? Why you think it’s called “tracking”? To look one time?

        • Ted says:

          Do you think looking at when it is being delivered more than once will make it get there faster?

          • Jan says:

            Is that what you thought of people who regularly check their parcel’s tracking information?

            Checking more often will tell you when to exactly expect your parcel, instead of just that it is on the way to arrive some day.

            Checking more often will show you when your parcel finally passes barriers like a country’s customs authority, which can delay a parcel’s trip and make it difficult to predict the delivery date.

  4. no way says:

    I always have tracking alerts via email, works just fine from that, no need for more text messages.

  5. Tom says:

    I’d rather use Deliveries, which synchronizes with iCloud, allowing it to work across my iOS devices and my Mac.

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