If your laptop is stolen or you can’t find it anywhere, not all hope is yet lost. Losing your personal laptop is an overwhelming and stressful situation indeed. But don’t lose hope as there are multiple ways you can try locating your stolen laptop. But first, you need to know how to track a stolen laptop with serial number.
To locate your stolen laptop, first, pen down the laptop’s serial number, and then contact your internet service provider and laptop manufacturer. When you do that, provide them with the serial number and all the required information. Also, ensure to communicate with the police about the stolen laptop.
While I hope you never get to misplace your laptop, I have outlined what to do to track your laptop with a serial number. Also, I have listed other alternatives to tracking a stolen laptop. Keep reading!
Is It Possible To Track A Stolen Laptop With Serial Number?
It’s possible to track your stolen laptop using its serial number if you can recall it or have written it down somewhere.
Our laptops contain most of our personal detail in them, like email, personal files, passwords, and even other volatile information. That’s why we usually plan to take good care of it.
But future is unpredictable; you can misplace your laptop anytime, or someone can steal it. Whichever the case, it’s possible to track your laptop using the serial number and I will talk about how in a minute.
However, it’s important that while you still have your laptop within your reach, you should register it with the manufacturers. This is so because, that way, it’s much easier to track down the computer and recover all your information. Some customer care services from the manufacturers demand the laptop serial number while filing a complaint.
So, you should register your laptop with the laptop’s manufacturer while you still have it. Also, previously, it was not possible to track a stolen laptop without using tracking software programs in the laptop. But now, not only is it possible, but it’s also one of the great alternatives for tracking your computer.
Now that we’ve seen that you can track your laptop using its serial number let’s see how to do that below.
How to Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number?
If you’re concerned about How to Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number, this section will show you a concise set of procedures to follow.
We are considering how to track your stolen laptop using the PC’s serial number. If you’re ready, then let’s go.
Step 1: Find out the Laptop’s Serial Number
The serial number is basically used for device identification, as it comprises numbers and is separated by hyphens. You can find the serial number by checking the-
- Stickers attached to the box
- Purchase documents
- Bottom side of the laptop
- Battery housing
- Device information in laptop setting
This number can help you locate your stolen device, that said, you must understand that you can’t pinpoint the exact location of your laptop using the serial number alone.
However, the serial number is most useful for immediate recognition of your devices. If you take your laptop to a pawnshop, the manufacturer, or the police for a report, they will require you to bring it.
So, ensure to have the documents of your laptop when you purchase it. Keep it around you, and get the serial number so that you can use it for identification.
Step 2: Contact the Manufacturing Company
After that, contact the laptop’s manufacturing company through call, e-mail, or go there physically if you can. Then, log in your complaints to them. Note that most manufacturers will demand your laptop’s serial number. So, ensure to have it with you while communicating with them.
Step 3: Contact your Network Provider
While browsing the internet with your computer, it constantly logs in your laptop’s serial number to the network provider. Thus, you can contact your network provider and inform them of your stolen laptop, as they can identify your missing laptop once it logs onto the internet.
Usually, when located, you may track the stolen laptop down to a few kilometers around your location.
Step 4: Contact the Local Police
Also, rather than heading straight on to search for the criminal who stole your laptop, you should contact the local police. This way, if the thief is armed, you’re sure in better hands, as such cases of theft are not trivial ones. In addition, the police can do a more effective survey of the stolen laptop situation.
What Are the Other Ways to Track Stolen Laptop?
Asides from tracking your stolen laptop using the serial number, there are other highly effective alternatives you can try.
1. Using the Find My Device
Luckily, the entrant of Windows 10 brought about the ‘Find My Device’ feature that makes it possible to locate your laptop if it’s turned on before the PC gets missing. You can use this feature to track your lost gadgets and identify their current location.
However, the Find My Device feature comes usually turned off, and you need to turn it on by yourself. Sadly, most people don’t turn on this feature because they don’t understand the benefits initially.
For instance, good laptops for maths students will definitely have the feature installed, but the user need to turn it ON by himself.
It’s vital to turn on this feature because even mobile manufacturers have started integrating the Find My Device feature in recent OS versions.
However, after you turn on this feature on your laptop,
- Visit account.microsoft.com.
- Log in with your details or create a new account.
- Once you finish doing that, you will see all details about your laptops.
You can contact your internet service providers to ping the stolen laptop and find out its location within a few minutes.
Watch how to set up “Find My Device” for Windows 10 laptops.
In Mac laptops, this feature is called ‘Find My Mac’ and is very similar to the Windows version.
- Log into the Mac website.
- Input your Apple ID and password.
- Manually set up “Find My Mac” feature.
- When you have done that, you will be able to see the entire details of your missing Mac laptop.
2. Using the Mac Address
The Mac address comprises two characters separated into six groups and joined with hyphens. On your MacBook, go to Utilities and run the terminal software, or press “Command + Shift + U” to run it alternatively. All the network interfaces and their corresponding mac addresses will show when you do so.
If you can’t tell which one of them is your laptop, then contact the network administrator, as they’d have more knowledge on what to do. Also, a network admin will provide an expert’s advice on how to recover your stolen system.
Furthermore, note that each laptop has a unique Mac address, distinct from others. In addition, when you notify your network administrator about your missing device, you’d let him know that it’s not within your reach anymore.
3. Using Tracking Software Programs
This is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways of tracking your stolen laptop. Not only do tracking software programs provide accurate information, but they use advanced tracking features to do so. So if you’re using tracking software programs like EXO5, Prey, Adeona, HiddenApp, FrontDoor, etc., on your laptop, you don’t have to worry.
That’s because, using these kinds of software programs, you can control your laptop remotely, even lock, monitor, and track it at will.
4. Using Gmail, Dropbox, or Social Media to track the IP Address
One other effective alternative to track your stolen laptop is by tracking the computer’s IP address. You can tell if someone else is using it with the IP address.
Also, although it doesn’t give you the laptop’s precise location, you can still tell which road or town the laptop is on at the moment.
If your laptop has your Gmail account signed into it, then that’s an ideal place to start with. On a different computer, log in to Gmail using a web browser. After doing that, scroll to the bottom of the webpage till you can see the ‘Details’ button and the bottom right of the screen. Click on it to see more information.
The web browser will display a new window showing you the number of devices that have logged into your email, the time and date they did, and their locations. However, you might need to click on the ‘Show Details’ button before most of this information will be displayed for you. Then, you can take the case to the local police.
Alternatively, using the Dropbox web version, you can as well track your laptop’s IP address. To do this, navigate to the Settings section, and go to Security. In Security, scroll down until you locate the Web Browser segment.
Then, when you’ve located the stolen laptop, hover your cursor over the info icon under Most recent activity. It will display the laptop’s IP Address and the Date signed in.
If you wonder how to track a stolen laptop with serial number, this article has provided all the necessary information. Alternatively, you can track your laptop using the Find My Device feature, tracking software programs, the Mac address, etc. You can also track the IP address using Dropbox, Gmail, and even Facebook.
In addition, when you’ve gotten your lost laptop’s IP address and location, be sure to contact the local police.