Lost Your USPS Tracking Number? – Here’s What To Do & How To Prevent A Repeat

USPS offers one of the most affordable ways to ship parcels across the United States. Every item has a unique identifier or tracking number that allows you to confirm the status of your package. What do you do if this identifier gets lost? 

There are several ways you can retrieve a lost USPS tracking number. While the easiest way is to contact customer service, other methods include checking your USPS account or Email. 

This guide looks deeper into these options and provides tips to help you prevent or stay safe if you lose a package’s tracking number. But first, let’s begin with understanding how the USPS tracking system works. 

Understanding the USPS Tracking System 

Each USPS mail or parcel has a unique tracking number, known as the “Label Number”. This number can contain anywhere from 13 to 22 characters, completely numeric or alphanumeric. 

They aim to provide all the information you need about your package’s journey when you enter them into the USPS tracking portal. How fast you receive your mail will depend on the sender’s chosen service option. 

How to Retrieve a Lost USPS Tracking Number


Losing a tracking number can be a frustrating experience, but it is not the end of the world. Below are some of the ways you can retrieve these unique identifiers: 

1. Check your USPS account 

Lastly, you can log in and view your order history if you own a USPS account. When you click on the order you are interested in, details such as the tracking number and name of the package will be displayed. 

Therefore, if you do not have a USPS account, I would advise creating one for future reference. This is by far the easiest way to retrieve a lost tracking number. 

2. Search your email inbox 

The first step to retrieving a lost USPS tracking number is to check your email box. If you are familiar with online shopping services, you will agree that every order receives a tracking number via email. 

You only need to find an email in your inbox and retrieve the tracking number. 

3. Contact the sender or receiver 

If you are expecting a package and have lost the tracking number, you can contact the sender or retailer and ask them to send it. To do this, go to the retailer’s profile where you place the order and check for their contact information. 

On the other hand, if you are the sender of a package, you can contact the receiver to check their email and send the tracking number to you. This is usually a rare occurrence. 

4. Contact USPS customer service 

If you cannot retrieve the lost tracking number via email or by containing the sender/receiver, channel your energy toward USPS customer service. 

They may be able to retrieve the tracking number for your package if you provide evidence (of ownership) for the package. For context, such information includes the correct shipping date, the destination, and the weight of the package.

3 Ways to Avoid Losing a Tracking Number in The Future

Now that you are aware of the possible ways to retrieve a lost USPS tracking number, here are three ways you can keep your tracking number safe: 

Save the tracking number 

The easiest way to avoid losing the tracking number for a package is to save it as soon as you receive it. You should save it on devices such as your phone, PC, paper, or jotter. 

Use a shipping software 

Shipping software such as ShipStation or ShippingEasy can help you back up tracking number information. Aside from saving shipment tracking numbers, they allow you to print shipping labels. 

Opt for package insurance 

Package insurance is a pricey option but may be necessary for customers shipping valuable items. This service relieves you from any panic should you lose a package or its tracking number during transit. 

USPS offers different types of package insurance, which can be added by default or at a nominal cost depending on the shipping service. 


How long until USPS declares a package lost?

If your parcel does not arrive seven days after the estimated delivery date, it is safe to consider it “lost”. You can either submit a search request for the package or contact USPS customer support. 

Does USPS refund lost packages?

USPS refunds lost packages when the sender or receiver files a claim for an insured parcel. Every claim must be filed within 60 days (from the date of mailing) and feature an original mailing receipt, proof of insurance, and value. 

How does USPS track lost packages?

USPS tracks lost packages via USPS® Mail Search. The service receives and confirms missing mail search requests and periodically updates the search status. 


Losing a USPS tracking number can be frustrating. However, it is amendable thanks to the different retrieval methods discussed in this guide. 

Some include checking your email inbox, contacting the sender or receiver, or contacting USPS customer service. 

Better still, you can avoid such an occurrence by saving the tracking number on another device, shipping software, or shipping services that completely insure your parcel. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Here is how to track a USPS package without a tracking number

Thanks for reading.