Laptops are an essential part of us because they carry a lot of our personal data. They hold valuable information that makes life easier.
When my laptop went missing on a trip away from my home state, the first thing that came to mind was all the data and personal information I’ll miss. Next, I realized that I knew nothing about how to track a lost laptop.
To make matters worse, I was not assaulted. I felt stupid and dumb for having no fair idea of how to track a stolen laptop with serial number as it would have been a form of immediate intervention.
If your laptop has been stolen (worst case scenario) or you simply lost it, all hope is not lost. The situation, though scary, happens regardless of how much you take care of your laptop. While it is understandable that some of the events surrounding this circumstance happen so fast and may not be controlled, with the right help, you can track your stolen device without a laptop tracking hardware. If you use one, you should know how to track a lost laptop. This article focuses on how to track a stolen laptop with serial number as well as other steps you can follow to keep track of a stolen device.
Can You Track A Stolen Laptop With Serial Number?
We all hope for the best and try not to expect the worst. It is in line with this that you should take some precautionary measures. Record the serial number of every device you own, including your laptop. Your devices are constantly transmitting their serial number to the provider’s network, enabling them to recognize them on sight.
To be sure, your serial number cannot locate your device’s precise location, however, if you call your provider informing them of the theft. They can easily recognize the device on sight.
Some customer support services from manufacturers also collect the serial number when you log in a complaint about your stolen laptop even though the terms of your hardware warranty says that the company does not guarantee recovery. Also, if you make a police report, they use such specific information to confirm their findings.
How To Find Lost Laptop Using Mac Address?
Your MAC address is six sets of two figures or characters held together by hyphens. To know your address before an incident, go to utilities and start the terminal app.
Or use “Command + Shift + U. You’ll have a display of all network interfaces and their MAC address.
When your laptop disappears in a coffee shop or airport, a decent chance of recovery is contacting your network administrator. However, computer buyers don’t usually register their devices on a central network. But if you did, getting in touch with the administrator is paramount so that the device can be marked for monitoring.
- The MAC address is usually specific to each device. Therefore, the administrator can use a process known as MAC address filtering to prevent strangers from accessing a network or limit their access.
- Informing the administrator gives them a heads up that the device is no longer in your care, and in this manner, with a change in IP addresses, they can track where the connection is coming from. So, it’s important to keep your MAC address private.
Finding A Windows Laptop
In a windows device, Microsoft has a built-in feature known as Find My Device. This feature was first introduced in 2015, and it uses the operating system to help you track your laptop if it gets missing. Microsoft has amazing reviews and falls in the category of being a few of the best laptops for crafting. Check this detailed review of the best laptop for crafting. A recent addition, Microsoft Pro 6 has mind-blowing graphics and detailing. This is what to know if you lost that beauty.
How Can I Track My Lost Laptop?
Login to your device through your Microsoft account to get your Find my device working.
- Go to the start button and select accounts. Click on the account to select settings and move to ‘update and security’. Select the section tagged ‘update and security’. If your information appears on top of the screen, then you’re on. If not, you have to log in.
- When update and security pop up, look for the option ‘Find my Device’ on the sidebar menu. Click on it.
- You will see ON or OFF
- If OFF, click on the same button to turn it on. To be sure, you need a windows 10 to gain access to a Microsoft account.
- Log in to your Microsoft account provided that you have an existing account. When you’re logged on, now what? Go to devices that you have signed in with your account, select the stolen or missing device, and select find my device. Note that your device may not be powered on for this feature to work. Nevertheless, to get its specific location, you need an internet connection to look at its location with GPS.
- So, do laptops have GPS tracking? Yes, however, not all laptops come with the feature. However, devices like ThinkPads are known to adapt to the feature. Here’s a guide to help you choose which works best for you.
- Click on the lock button to remotely secure the laptop.
Your IP Address – Gmail And DropBox
Studies show that one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, which very much was in the days of movement without restriction. Now, the stat is not pleasant; thus, the question, can a stolen laptop be tracked? – is one to expect. Yes, there are several ways to track a stolen laptop. Even though many computer users are not aware of this, but it is possible to follow your laptop via certain apps. Unless you’re a techie, several tech terms may seem alien to you. Your IP address is your internet identity. The IP stands for “Internet Protocol”. It is called an address because it contains several figures forming a unique signature for each internet user. The address itself links every user to their internet activity. These addresses allow a form of communication between billions of users. Can a laptop be tracked without Internet? It’s almost impossible presently as you have to access a large chunk of information via the Internet.
- IP addresses are probably the most straightforward method of tracking a stolen laptop. So, go through the settings of your recently used site on another laptop or device.
- Go to the recent login sessions. The culprit will most likely switch on the laptop, and your drop box makes an automatic synchronization, especially when they’ve had access to the Internet. So, your Gmail account receives an automatic notification.
- Dropbox is a good option because it’s constantly logging in. Click on your account icon at the upper right corner.
- Then select Settings >Security.
- Then, scroll down to the web browsers section and check through the information icon in the most recent activity column for the select device.
- Gmail help because you receive alerts notifying you about new logins and where it happened if the action is suspicious. When this pops up, you can use the last known location as a starting point.
- To use Gmail effectively, log in to the web version, and scroll down where you’d find a details option at the bottom right corner. Click on it to see all the recent activities on your account. Tap again on show details to show the last activity on your account and copy the comprising link or IP address. While it may not give you a precise location, you can know the town or area or even the road where the device is.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can You Track A Stolen Laptop With Serial Number?
A laptop’s serial number is a primary form of identification even though they’re mostly figures. They are a form of identity for the device. Although they only go as far as immediate recognition, they can be useful for the police report, insurance, and pawnshop complaints when physical contact occurs.
It is difficult to track your stolen laptop with a serial number only. Usually, this information may be used alongside others to track the device if you decide to use tracking software.
2. How Can I Track My Lost Laptop Using IMEI Number?
Talking about numbers, does the laptop have IMEI number? Only cellular devices such as phones and cellular modems used with laptops and notepads have an IMEI number. Otherwise, a laptop cannot be categorically called an IMEI number carrier.
If your device has a functioning 3G/4G modem, then it’s possible to track the IP address as long as the thief keeps the data plan alive and didn’t change the IMEI carrier. On its own, an IP address does not mark a specific place, but you could get an area.
3. Can A Laptop Be Tracked After Factory Reset?
In the unfortunate scenario that you did a factory reset for your laptop before it was stolen, there is a way.
- You should have tracking software installed on the device (ThinkPad, MacBook, or Apple).
- You must have been paying its service fee until the incident took place.
- As long as the tracing system can identify your information, including your trace code number (allocated to only active customers). Then, depending on your preferred software, events unfold. For instance, when the thief tries to use the Internet on your computer, the system transmits to a remote server. Or, a spy software takes pictures of the thief, sends them a warning message, and even by-pass several firewalls remotely, thus helping you pin a location to ongoing activities. All of these are possible with a factory reset.
Losing your device is not the end of the World as long as you know how to track a stolen laptop with serial number. Using a software is great too and the IP address system is another reasonable alternative.