How To Track A Stolen Laptop? (The Complete Guide)

How To Track A Stolen Laptop?

That’s a quite an undesirable question we would never wish to Google. Laptops have become an essential part of our lives and having yours stolen is actually dreadful. Years of collected data, family photos, you favourite music etc.  just fly away in a few moments by some notorious play. It’s a great loss for passionate gamers: a a high configuration gaming laptop  and your favourite games. I understand!

If you had not installed any anti-theft software on your device then it becomes even much hard to track it. If the thief is smart enough to know that he could be tracked, and wipes your laptop of the essential data that is needed to track it, then you would hardly be able to track it.

Though your laptop is in a pinch by being stolen, here a the last resorts you must try to track and save it form the trouble it has got into.

Track your Stolen Laptop Using IP Address:

The thief who stole your laptop might try to access your personal account on the device. It is possible that your thief might check your mail account or Facebook or other services. These services all have a tracking feature to track the device they were used on by you. This feature will come in handy and you can use it to track the location and IP address of your stolen laptop. Let’s see how you can track using these services:

How To Track Your Stolen Laptop Using Gmail?

  1. Open your Gmail Account.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find Last Account Activity at the bottom right corner of the page.
  3. Click on Details. A new window will open with all Gmail sessions of your account containing IP Address and the location from where the account was accessed. You can use this information to track laptop and the thief movements.
  4. If you wish to prevent the thief from accessing your account, you can click on Sign Out All Other Web Sessions.

Find your Stolen Laptop With Dropbox

  1. Open your Dropbox account and navigate to Settings.
  2. Click on the Security tab and a list of all your previous and active sessions will appear.
  3. Hover over the i icon beside the session under Most recent activity and you will be shown the IP address from which your account was accessed.

Using Facebook To Track Your Stolen Laptop

Facebook comes with handy feature of tracking your account activity. Let’s use it to trace your laptop:

  1. Open your Facebook account. Go to Settings and navigate to the Security option.
  2. Scroll down to Where you’re logged in where you can see the details of your Facebook sessions. You can also see all the activities that were done during that session by clicking on the Not you? option from the session options. You can further secure your account to prevent trespassing by the thief.
  3. Hover over any session to know the IP Address of it.
  4. Select Log out from the session options to log out of your account from that particular device.

What to do with the IP Address?

Knowing the thief’s IP Address does no good to get back your stolen laptop unless you take any action. Tracking your laptop’s IP Address was the first part, but now you should file a police report, and send a court warrant to the ISP(Internet Service Provider) of that IP address to find out the location where the thief is located. This procedure is however  a lengthy one and time consuming, but you should stick to it if the data, your stolen laptop had is of great importance.  You should not try to track down the thief by yourself to get back your laptop because that could cause all sorts of trouble.

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How To Prepare For Laptop Tracking In Advance?

It becomes more difficult to track your stolen laptop if does not have any anti-theft software installed on it. Therefore preparing for this situation in advance is a must do precautionary step.

You can do this easily with Prey, an efficient tool that can help you you track your stolen laptop or if has been lost. Prey is free for up to 3 devices of any kind( laptop, smartphone or other). It also supports all major operating systems like Mac, Windows, Linux and Android. Also the tool provides rock solid tracking of the device it is installed on.

It also allows you to lock your laptop remotely, play alarm, send message if the person who found it is kind enough to return it. The only loophole in this rock-solid performance by Prey is that is must be connected to the internet to function as it should.

Prey is also not fool-proof as it will fail to serve it’s purpose if the thief entirely wipes your laptop, however it works awesome if that’s not the case. Follow the below steps to setup Prey on your device:

  1. Open your Prey account and click on the green plus in Your Devices.
  2. Select the operating system your laptop or device is running on. This will download the suitable Prey application for your OS.
  3. Install the Prey application and launch it. Connect to your account by clicking on Existing User. The message: ”Sweet! Your Computer is now protected by Prey. Try it out or protect an additional device, please visit” ; will be shown on a successful connect.
  4. Click on OK and Prey will start tracking your laptop.
  5. If your laptop gets stolen by a thief you can now just login to your Prey account on any device select it under the Your Devices section.
  6. Click on Set Device To Missing and set the Report Frequency as it suits you. Advanced Options can even help take snapshot of the person who has stolen your laptop via it’s webcam. However, this may alert the thief, as the feature causes the webcam LED to blink at regular intervals.
  7. Finally click on Yes, My Device Is Missing and select if it’s Lost or Stolen and you’re done. Prey will start tracking your laptop and your can keep a check on the thief’s activity to accordingly take a suitable action. 

Though laptop stealing is frightening these methods provide you a ray of hope to get back your device if the lost data is very important and your’re willing to make this effort. However, it is always better to be prepared in advance and applications like Prey and LoJack for laptops can help you in tracking your laptop in the time of need.

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