2 Effective Ways To Track Your Lost Or Stolen Laptop

Whether your laptop has been stolen or you have simply misplaced it, it can be a scary circumstance to find yourself in. After all, laptops carry many of our personal lives in them. They hold valuable information such as our bank numbers and financial information. They also have more sentimental things saved in them: pictures of loved ones we will never retrieve or the novels we will never be able to finish. Luckily, there are several ways to track your lost or stolen laptop.

Each method is varied, and there is almost certainly a way to track it, regardless of your circumstance. But keep in mind, both these methods are such that you need to implement from before such a mishap happens.

Let’s take a look at the two simple ways that I have been talking about in the headline…

Do note, if you did not have a software installed or/and don’t know how to track/trace IPs then its best to file a police report and follow-up with authorities.

Method One: Use a Good Tracking Software

The most effective and sometimes expensive way  to help you track your lost or stolen laptop is to install a good tracking software on the device before you actually misplace it.

I am not going to talk about iCloud or even Android Device Manager, because they are too specific and don’t cater to the mass laptops running Windows.

Also, the below mentioned softwares are something that you need to have on your laptop BEFORE an accident happens, not after!

LoJack

LoJack Standard will allow users to remotely locate your laptop via WiFi geolocation. WiFi geolocation uses the WiFi Positioning System (which is essentially a massive database of Wi-Fi access points) to discover the last place(s) your laptop was connected to the internet. Software that uses this technology is extremely handy when hoping to hunt down your laptop. If you upgrade to LoJack Premium you are guaranteed laptop compensation if they are unable to retreive your laptop.

Prey

There is also Prey which allows free and paid installation for Windows, iOS, Linux, Android and Ubuntu etc. Their free service protects up to three devices and stores a maximum of 10 reports per device.

Front Door

There is also Front Door Software which offers a free and paid plan both.

EXO5

For a business solution, we recommend EXO5

There are a few more solutions out there that should be listed here but we will cover those more extensively at a later stage. Let’s take a look at method number two to track a laptop.

Method Two – Gmail IP, Dropbox Sync and Social Media

Many people do not know this, but it is possible to track the IP address of your device through many popular apps and services like Gmail and Dropbox. For those of you who don’t understand tech lingo, an IP address is sort of like your address on the internet. It is a unique indicator to your internet device that can be tracked and located.

When you want to track your lost or stolen laptop, hunting down the various IP addresses it may access is the most straightforward way to do it. To track these sessions, simply go into the settings of your favourite, most frequently used sites from another laptop or device, and check the latest login sessions.

If the robber has opened your laptop then the chances are your Dropbox has made an automatic sync (if there is internet) and your Gmail has refreshed to download new emails.

These sessions usually have IP addresses associated with them, which will help you find your lost or stolen laptop. Dropbox is great for this because it syncs your information in the background, so it is technically constantly logging in.

Gmail is great if you are tracking a thief because they will often times scroll through your mail to find private information. Facebook has a specific tab for login locations, which should make tracking your laptop that much easier from there.

If you have a Macbook, you can also use iCloud to track it down. The function is similar to the Find My iPhone app that also works through iCloud.

As you can see, losing your laptop isn’t the end of the world because there are simple ways to help you locate and retrieve it. Tracking software is by far the easiest, but for those who want to proactively seek out their laptops, or just can’t afford the software, tracking the IP is an equally effective alternative.

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Zahra Habib
Co Founder of QZ Consulting & editor at TechVise, Zahra has over 15 years of content development & editorial experience. She is a novelist & has written for media publications, magazines, businesses & digital platforms.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Using third party applications could allow you to properly track your laptop, but they can become useless if the other person re-installs the operating system. Tracking the IP address still remains the best method, with it you will have to wait for the laptop to be connected to the internet grid, only then can the location can be found.
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  2. Great Information! Will make note of the software mentioned in this post. I also wrote a post on a similar topic, i.e. how to recover data from stolen/lost iPhone.

  3. I lost my laptop somewhere and wanted to get back. This article is really helpful for the person who buy a new laptop and want to secure the laptop from theives. Good tracking software always works to track the laptop.

    • Depends… does it have the softwares we mentioned in article? If not, then can you trace the IP via Facebook Location or Dropbox or Gmail. Of course, it has been few months, so maybe just file a report with the local police dept. yea?

  4. Someone I know stole my laptop and I reported it to the local authorities but he keeps saying he did not steal the laptop, I did not install any software to find my lost laptop as I did not not know about it.how can I trace my laptop?please help me find my laptop

  5. hello sir my laptop has been stolen last evening I don’t know its IP addresses please tell me how can I track it that laptop was gifted to me by someone,,, please help me

  6. I lost my laptop ,it is stolen in my room while i was away from the house and what is hurting me most is that I have stored everything about my life in it. I really need it , can you help me please, am willing to do anything to get it

  7. 2 days ago I jus lost my Dell inspiration laptop XP it was logged in with my Gmail and Facebook accounts since then am experiencing and recieving strange messeges staiting that failed to sync with new Email,
    Whats happening with my Gmail account?
    Please someone to help me here what can I do?

    • Its not syncing because they are changing the password to your gmail. Your gmail cant sync if it cant connect under the old password. A new password would have to be re-entered so that it can synce (new and correct password)

  8. Hello, I bought a expensive desktop computer (gaming one), but got stolen, was un-open, brand new , didn’t even see it physically…. Is there a way to track it? (Ups can’t do nothing) cuz it required “signature” but They didn’t even knocked when it got delivered… Soo, Is there something I can i to track it down?

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