It varies person to person but laptop has become larger than life for mostly people these days. They have to work on laptop, and then also use it for consuming entertainment content by streaming favorite videos and enjoying music, last but not least using for organizing the day and productivity management tools on it.
What if someone stole your laptop in which having critical data stored related to work progress and all the improvement plans, nobody wants to start from the zero which otherwise would be the most frustrating experience.
In this situation, you should ask yourself how to track a stolen laptop with Serial Number or any other possible way.
There is still possibility that you do not remember the laptop serial number and neither wrote it on paper to address such situation, but you do not need to worry and there are still other ways to track stolen devices.
It is important to get ready for such situation before someone has actually stolen your device already, we are going to share with you all the information to prevent such situation to happen and if device has been lost then how to track the stolen laptop successfully.
We are going to share the solutions based on two following situations.
1. First situation is when you want to take all precautionary measures to successfully track the stolen laptop if such incident happens in future.
2. The second situation is about your laptop has already been stolen and now what measures you can take to get it back.
Let’s start discussing one by one in the following.
Things You Need To Make Sure Before Someone Steals Your Laptop
Cure is better than prevention and similarly taking precautionary measures can guarantee your machine safety, otherwise the probability of tracking the stolen laptop is almost zero.
- Make sure have already registered your laptop with its manufacturer.
- Choose the best tracking software and install it on your laptop.
- Keep this feature Enabled on laptop: “Find My Device”.
1. Make Sure Laptop is Already Registered With its Manufacturer
Every laptop is assigned with unique serial number which helps the manufacturer to track it for you. Actually laptop works in a way constantly transmitting own serial number to ISP (Internet Service Provider) and they can recognize the location of your laptop if not exact.
You can only register complain and ask for help from your ISP, if laptop is registered with manufacturer, then your internet provider can share its location details otherwise not.
2. Buy and Install Powerful Tracking Software on Laptop
There are various powerful tracking software available online at affordable price. They offer useful features such as drive lock, data export, stolen alert display, relocation tracking, Wi-Fi positioning and remote delete.
These above features helps the user whose machine is stolen and they will be powerful enough to lock the hard drive to prevent the access on personal data, they can also export the data on given destination and keep tracking the relocation through and without Wi-Fi positioning.
These powerful tracking software are definitely going to help you a lot in recovering the stolen laptop.
3. Keep Enabled “Find My Device” Feature on Laptop
This feature is available on both operating systems, Windows and Mac named as “Find my device”.
In the settings, this feature is disabled by default and a concerned user has to turn-on this option to keep the track record of laptop’s position and access it from anywhere if stolen or lost.
As far as “Mac” are concerned, it comes with the same feature named “Find my Mac” and performs the same function and allows its user to access the device from the unknown position.
How can we enable “Find my Device” feature on Windows 10 Laptop?
You need to follow the below steps which will help you in enabling this feature on Windows 10 laptop.
- Go to the “Settings” and then further go to the “Update and Security”.
- You can see on the left sidebar, this feature “Find my device” needs to click on it.
- On the click, it will show you whether “Find my device” feature in On or off.
- If it is “Off”, then you can click to turn it “On”.
- Go back to the main settings and then go to the “Privacy” option.
- You need to find option “Location” and click on it, then needs to activate these two features, “Geofencing” and “Allow access to location on this device”.
Once you have followed the all above steps, you may have already enabled “Find my device” feature on Windows 10 laptop.
To further check and confirm, you may log into your Microsoft account and it will show the details whether your device can be accessed by the Microsoft or it is not showing the location.
Other Ways To Access / Track Stolen Laptop To Its Current Position
If the unfortunate incident has occurred and your device has been stolen by someone in office or university, now we can try other ways to track the stolen laptop to get it back because we have precious data stored on it and those passwords which cannot retrieve from other sources.
Here are highly effective ways helpful in accessing device location.
- Track laptop by its serial number.
- Virtually use the already installed tracking software on laptop.
- Properly use the feature “Find my device”.
- By using the IP address.
Let’s discuss them one by one in the following.
1. Use Serial Number to Track and Access Current location of Laptop
The manufacturer of your laptop can track all its manufactured devices including laptop from assigned address or ID. Once the device will be connected to the internet, it will also share its CPU and Motherboard ID which can be used for tracking purpose.
User has to share the serial number of the stolen machine to its manufacture, so they can check accordingly from the current location of CPU which is also the location of your laptop.
However, it would not be the exact location but you may have an idea if it has been stolen by your friend or relative.
2. Virtually use the already installed tracking software on laptop
It’s time to value your money paid for laptop tracking software. A good software can help you in locking your hard drive to prevent access on personal data, export the data and find the exact current location of your device.
You can login on the Smartphone for using the tracking software paid for. Now, you will realize how good the decision was to buy such a useful tool which not only prevented the thief to access your sensitive data but can also export it on current device using.
3. Time to use “Find my device” feature on Laptop
“Find my device” feature can find exact location of your device because using its GPS technology.
All you have to do is login on your Microsoft account where the stolen laptop is already listed in your “Your devices” list, you just need to perform one click on “Find my device” button and it will provide you with all essential details including the current location.
It is available by default on both Windows and Mac; do not have to pay for this service.
4. By Tracking the Mac or IP Address
There is unique address assigned to every Mac device and so the IP address to Windows based devices. This unique address is assigned for the security purpose and government could detect every device if required.
When the thief will get connected with internet on your Mac or Windows laptop, its IP address will be identified by the authorities which also be sharing details in regard to location.
It has been experienced that Mac address was not every effective in tracking the exact device position but unique IP address shares highly accurate and authentic information.
Your Internet-Service-Provider can give you full access from the IP address and can catch the thief easily as well as get back the device.
How Dropbox Can Help In Recovering the Laptop?
Dropbox is an app which gets the IP address of every device access your Dropbox account. You need to perform the below steps to check when your Dropbox was accessed from stolen device and then get to know its location from IP address.
- Put the login details on Dropbox account to access it.
- Go to its “Settings” tab and then further go into the “Security”.
- You can see the page sharing all required information i.e, log-in sessions, time, and device name.
- Click on the device name (Your laptop name / model), it will get you the IP address and then find its location.
Dropbox and similar apps gets automatically logged in on turning on the laptop and accordingly produces login sessions.
Facebook / Other Social Media Platforms
You can login on your Facebook account from other device to check the all past login sessions and get the all details as much as possible. In the Settings > Security & Login, it shares the all details and can also get IP address for the stolen device.
Even, the thief never used your Facebook account but your Facebook would automatically get logged into your FB account from the stolen device because such settings are by default.
Gmail sends the instant notification if any suspicious activity takes place on your account. It is recommended to login on your Gmail account and see if you have received any alert email such as you account is accessed by another device.
Gmail officially provides you the all history of all recent activates and shares the IP address and country location.
- Login your Gmail account.
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on Details option.
- It will open the new window named “Activity Information” which shares Access Type, IP Address and Date/Time.
You can catch the thief from the last IP address and the recent activity; it will also give you the good idea if thief is your friend or relative.
Take Help from Outlook
It is better to take help from Microsoft’s own software and can track the exact location of stolen device. All you have to do is login your Outlook account and perform the click on profile picture.
It will appear you several options, you need to choose and click “View Account” and then “Devices”. This option will provide you the complete information about all connected devices.
You need to click on stolen device to see details and then click the option “Find my device”, after few seconds the exact location of your stolen machine will be on the screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are going to answer most frequently asked questions on this topic in the following.
How Lojack can help in tracking the stolen laptop?
“Lojack” is highly intelligent information system which is designed to recover the stolen devices through efficient utilization of GPS technology to track the exact location.
If this technology is also installed on your device, there is no doubt it can help you in recovering the device. This technology will give you remote access on your hard-drive and can remotely lock your drive to prevent the unauthorized user to see your sensitive data.
It also gives you the capability to delete the personal data by enjoying the remote access on your hard disk.
Can I still track my stolen laptop if thief has already performed factory reset?
Once someone performs the factory reset on machine, it deletes the all account information and any changed settings from by default, it will disable the “Find my device” automatically which you enabled for security purpose and then would not be able to locate the own machine.
How can serial number help in recovering the laptop?
Every laptop has unique serial number and its manufacturer can share the location of all manufactured laptop but you have to share its serial number. Otherwise, there are thousands and millions of laptops manufactured in factory, how to identify your unique laptop.
Everyone needs to take good care of gadgets especially those storing personal and work data. Once it is stolen or lost, the recovery processor would not be easy and having own complications.
However, there are features such as “Find my device” on machines like laptop which activates the GPS and authorized user can track the current location of own stolen laptop.