How to track a stolen laptop with serial number?

Laptops have now become the most important thing for people after their smartphones because these are the two gadgets that they use almost 18 hours a day.

Not only that, Laptops tend to have a lot of personal information inside them as well so it is important to take care of it.

However, sometimes things happen and we forget where we last placed our laptop. It could also happen that we are in a public place such as a coffee shop or a bar and our laptop gets stolen due to our own negligence or due to other reasons.

A similar thing happened to me when I was working on my laptop during a busy Monday morning inside a popular club.

I was working on my laptop but had ordered few snacks for myself and when my order was ready, I went to take the order.

You can call it my negligence or my good faith in the people around me that I thought it is totally fine to keep my laptop open and just go away to take my order.

The next thing I saw was that my laptop was not on the desk anymore while everything was still in its place.

If you are going through a similar situation, do keep in mind that there are ways to track a stolen laptop.

And don’t beat yourself for not knowing how to track a stolen laptop because we don’t dream about taking such actions.

Even I was not aware of how to track my stolen laptop so I did my research and felt like I should share the same with you all as well.

While it is rare for a laptop to be stolen, it does happen. In a similar scenario, you might lose your laptop or misplace it and that is when you need to track your laptop as well.

Whatever the situation is, there are a few ways in which you can track either your stolen laptop or one that you have simply misplaced.

How to track a stolen laptop with its serial number?

find laptop using serial number
Image Source: AddictiveTips

Yes, the first solution to your problem is by tracking your stolen laptop via the serial number of your laptop.

Now, the obvious question you would have is regarding your laptop’s serial number and how can you find the same.

So a serial number should be mentioned on your invoice when you purchased the laptop.

However, you should always note your serial number of any gadget be it a laptop or a smartphone at a safe location for future use.

Once you have the serial number of your laptop, you can rest assured that it will be found.

Now, keep in mind that you do not have the ability to track the location of your laptop with its serial number but law enforcement agencies can easily track your laptop using its serial number.

If you have your serial number, either call the manufacturer or the place from where you purchased your laptop regarding your laptop theft.

They will then file a complaint and track the location of your laptop using the serial number.

How to track a lost or stolen laptop using Mac Address?

Mac Address on macOS
Image Source: Laptop Mag

The second method to track your stolen or lost laptop is via its Mac Address. Each and every laptop or any other device has a Mac Address attached to it.

You can find your own Mac Address using Command + Shift + U for Mac users and for Windows, you can open Command Prompt and type “ipconfig/all” which will show you a list of all your address.

Mac Address on Windows Laptop
Image Source: Windows Central

From this list, see the physical address which is your Mac Address, and note it down.

Again, keep in mind that you cannot track your laptop using its Mac Address. This is again the job of device administrators or the manufacturers to track the same.

So you need to inform the law enforcement agencies that your laptop has been lost or stolen, file a report and they will do the rest.

How to track a stolen laptop running Windows 10?

We know that Apple takes a lot of pride in its security and privacy features but it is worth noting that Microsoft is not far behind in this regards too.

It is worth noting that Microsoft has introduced a laptop tracker in Windows 10 that can be easily enabled to find the location of your laptop when it gets stolen or lost.

Image Source: Laptops Mate

To enable this functionality, you will have to go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Find My Device” and Turn it ON if it is OFF by default.

How to track a stolen laptop using IP Address?

Check your IP Address on Google
Image Credits: Self

Note that IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address which is an address or a number attached to whichever system accesses the internet or comes online.

Now, it is worth noting that there is a Static IP Address and then there is a Dynamic IP Address.

As the name suggests, the Static IP does not change whereas the Dynamic IP changes everytime you access the internet.

So if you have stored your IP Address, it is of no use because most computers nowadays have Dynamic IP and it gets changed everytime you go online.

To check your IP Address, you can type “what is my IP address” inside Google Search and it will show your current IP address.

Also, you can restart your PC and perform the step mentioned above once again and the address will change which tells you how your IP address does not remain the same.

Therefore, it is not possible to track your laptop via IP Address unless you have set your IP Address to static which is rare.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you find/track a stolen laptop using serial number?

Yes, it is possible to track a stolen laptop using serial number because serial number is a unique identifier attached to each and every product.

However, it is not possible for an owner to track the laptop using serial number but you can file a complaint of stolen or lost laptop and law enforcement agencies will find the laptop from pawnshops or if it is online.

Can you track laptop using IP Address?

No, as we mentioned earlier, it is not possible to track laptop using an IP Address because it changes everytime you go online since the address is attached to your network and not your device.

Can a brand new stolen laptop which was never turned on, be tracked?

The chances of tracking a laptop which was never opened and got stolen are only with the help of its serial number.

Because you neither have the IP Address of the laptop since it was never turned on and you might not have its Mac Address as well as other identifying information too.

Even with the serial number, the only option you have is to file a complaint and hope that the law enforcement is able to trace the laptop.

Conclusion

It is very tough to have a laptop stolen or misplace it in a place and then go through the entire process of tracking it.

We all lose hope when such things happen that we will ever get our laptops back but in such a situation, the best thing to do is file a report and hope for the best.

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