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You will obviously feel bad if someone steals your laptop, especially when it has all your work documents and none of them are backed-up on your Gmail or anywhere. The good news is that you can track and get back your laptop.
You are left knowing just the laptop’s serial number in most cases. So, you may wonder how to track your stolen laptop with a serial number. Unfortunately, you cannot do much with the laptop serial number except complain to the right authorities or the manufacturers. The only thing you can do is identify the laptop with the serial number.
However, there are other means to track a stolen laptop to its exact location. Most of these means software installation before a laptop is stolen. Learn more about what you should do before your laptop is stolen and methods of tracking them.
Do laptops have GPS?
Your laptop does not have a built-in GPS location option, only ones that are attached. Manufacturers have made several upgrades to laptops that make them more like mobile devices. But, the one upgrade they are yet to do is putting a GPS location option on laptops. So, tracking your laptop has nothing to do with the laptop’s GPS.
Also, some can not communicate with wireless cell towers. However, a report has shown that Windows 10 can determine its current location. Even without the connection of an external finding device or software.
It takes just a few steps. First, open the in-built Map app on the laptop by searching close to the Start button in the search box. Next, click on ‘Open on the Maps app’, then ‘Yes’ if the prompt displays, asking you to let Maps know your exact location. The location marker will now be on the map where the device thinks you are.
Can a Stolen Laptop Get Tracked?
If your laptop gets stolen, you or the right authorities can track it to the exact location where it is. You can take quick steps when your laptop gets stolen to enable you to find it fast. However, these steps are not the major determinants of finding your laptop.
Things You Must Do if They Steal Your Laptop
- Change the passwords of your account and enable 2-Factor Authentication. This is to protect the vital information in your stolen laptop. Just login to your browser with another device and use it to turn off the automatic sign-in and also delete your password.
- Clear all Auto-fill from the browser. Perhaps you have used the auto-fill option on your laptop browser to automatically fill in your password and username. This step will help you clear them. Go to the menu option, then to the auto-fill in the settings, and off the auto-fill. Afterwards, change your password.
- Remotely de-authorize your laptop and log out of your accounts. Your Gmail, Facebook, and other accounts might still have you logged in to the stolen laptop. To avoid the thieves from gaining access, you need to log out of your accounts with another device and de-authorize your laptop. For example, log into your Gmail account, select ‘Details,’ and then ‘Sign out of all other web sessions.’
- Try to track your stolen laptop. After securing your laptop, the next thing is to track it. There are a few ways to do this, and they work efficiently.
- Reach out to your bank and other financial institutions connected to your laptop and notify them of the stolen property. Also, block your account till you recover your laptop for safety’s sake.
- If you are an employee, reach out to your employer. Most of your work documents might be on your laptop, so you need to notify your employer about the situation.
- Report the incident to the manufacturer of the laptop. Most time, you might not have the manufacturer’s office close to you. So, the easy way to do this is to go to the product website and lay your complaint in the ‘Help’ section.
Most times, the stolen laptop might not be very far from you, or the thieves might have sold it to a new user, and they have wiped every piece of your information from the laptop. You might think this situation will make the laptop hard to track in real-time.
But, it is not more difficult to track than when all information is intact. You need to do just a few other things on the laptop before it gets stolen. If you didn’t do them, then the chance of finding your stolen laptop is slim.
Things you need to do before your laptop gets stolen
- Make sure your laptop has strong security. The password on your laptop should be strong.
- Use a laptop that is registered and legal, as getting help from legal authorities when it is an illegal device might put you in trouble.
- Ensure that the ‘Find My Device’ option on your laptop is always on.
- You can also install other security apps on the laptop.
How to Track a Stolen Laptop With Serial Number
Your laptop serial number is mainly for identifying your laptop. If your laptop gets stolen and you want to make a statement to the police, you will need your serial number. You might often come across your stolen laptop and not recognize it, so the serial number can help you identify it.
But, for tracking, the serial number is useless to the stolen laptop. There is no method on how to track a stolen laptop with a serial number. But there are other ways to track your stolen laptop, and they don’t involve serial numbers.
But, for tracking, the serial number is useless to the stolen laptop. There is no method on how to track a stolen laptop with a serial number. But there are other means you can track your stolen laptop, and they don’t involve serial numbers.
How to Track a Stolen Laptop
Use Tracking Software
There are many tracking software and devices out there. Use the best tracking software to find your laptop. Download and install tracking software on a new device and follow the instructions to find your laptop. Most of the software programs are easy to use and self-explanatory.
Use the ‘Find My Device’ Option
Many people neglect the ‘Find My Device’ option on a laptop, and it is imperative to turn it on. This method of finding your stolen laptop is not possible if the ‘Find My Device’ feature in the stolen laptop is off. If the feature is on, go through the following steps.
- Go to Microsoft’s official website. Then, sign in to your account by inputting your account details in the space they provide.
- After login in, you will see your device on the list. Click on it to see more information about it.
- The device information will display, ranging from the location to the serial number. Now you have successfully tracked your device. You can also erase your data through this option.
It might interest you to know that you can use your Gmail to track your laptop. However, if you aren’t logged in on the stolen laptop, this method will be futile. Your Gmail often sends notification mail for new logins; it saves its activities and location. So it can be of great help. If you are logged in, follow these simple steps.
- Sign in to your Gmail account with the web version.
- Click on the details option at the bottom right corner of the page.
- Click on show detail, and all the recent activities on the account will display.
- Copy the links and the IP address to help you track your laptop.
To do this, go through these steps.
- Sign in to your Dropbox account with another device.
- Click on the Settings option in the menu at the top right side of the page.
- Next, click on Security Settings.
- All the details about the account will display on the security page, including the IP address, which will help you find the laptop.
To learn more, what this video.
Can You Track a Laptop With IP Address?
You can find your lost laptop using your IP address. An IP address is one most straightforward ways to find your lost laptop and is easy and precise. But, to tack your laptop with it, you must have used internet services with the laptop before it got stolen.
You can only access the IP address through internet service means. Services like your Gmail account and Dropbox can work. These services get automatically synchronized when the lost laptop has an active internet connection.
With the IP address, you can use software like Adeona, Absolute Software, and Advatrack to track the laptop. However, this software must be pre-downloaded on your laptop before it gets stolen.
When you download the software, it updates the developer on the laptop’s network IP address when it accesses the internet. If your laptop gets stolen, you need to log on to the software website with your identification and password. Then get information about the recent IP address. Then, your laptop is as good as found. With the IP address, you can find out the exact location of the laptop.
What the video to learn more.
Can a Laptop Be Tracked After a Factory Reset?
If your laptop got stolen and the culprit uses the factory reset setting, you cannot track it unless it is an Apple laptop or a ThinkPad laptop. The manufacturers of these products put extra protection on them for you. This is only the case if you pay a service fee.
It would be unfortunate if your serial number is the only thing you have after your laptop has been stolen. You cannot find your laptop with only the serial number. You can only identify your laptop with its serial number.
So, if you are wondering how to track a stolen laptop with a serial number, there’s no point because you cannot. But you can track your device with the IP address and the ‘Find My Device’ option.