Losing a laptop or any electronic device to theft can be quite traumatizing. However, there is always hope of regaining your lost device through tracking. This article will look at one of the most common ways of tracking your laptop device’s location -by using the serial number and installed tracking software. Let’s delve deeper into this.
What is a Laptop’s Serial Number?
The laptop serial number is a unique and special string of numbers and letters assigned to a device for identification and tracking purposes. Every laptop has its serial number, which you can find through commands or by looking at distinct places, mostly at the bottom of your computer or under the battery compartment.
How to Find Serial Number of a Laptop
There are different ways of finding your laptop’s serial number. Note the following:
This is the simplest and most accurate way of knowing your laptop’s serial number. You need to key in a few commands to reveal the serial number, which you can then copy to a different document. However, keep in mind that your laptop will have to be operational at the moment for this to work.
How do you do it? Simple. Type cmd into your laptop’s search bar before keying in wmic bios get serialnumber at the command prompt and press enter. You can easily view the serial number immediately after the prompt.
Through Physical Means
You can also find your serial number physically, especially if your laptop won’t boot up or you don’t fancy commands. Just turn your computer over and look for the word’s serial number or S/N, generally followed by a unique string of numbers and letters. You can also find this on your laptop’s box on a closer look.
These are some of the main ways of identifying your laptop’s serial number. However, there are other places you can look if commands and physical screening won’t work. You can check with the laptop’s manufacturer if you registered it at the point of purchase or check the registration documents, warranty service receipt, or email confirmation after purchase. Also, take a look at the purchase receipt.
Now that you know how to get your laptop’s serial number, it is time to learn you can use it. The first thing to do is appreciate that your laptop’s serial number can help you recover it when it gets lost.
Tracking Your Laptop Using the Serial Number
After purchasing an electronic device such as a laptop, the first thing you should do is to record its serial number. Remember, this unique combination of letters and numbers is often transmitted to a provider’s network, allowing them to recognize the laptop easily.
Here is a shocking turn of events; You cannot locate your device’s accurate location using the serial number. So, then why is it important? You can reach out to your provider to recognize the device immediately and use it with other pieces of information to track the device through special tracking software. Also, note that some manufacturers will ask you for the stolen device’s serial number despite the hardware warranty forbidding any recovery. Your serial number will also come in handy during police reports.
Remember, this is usually the laptop’s main form of identification despite being random figures. The serial number will mainly help you when making a police report to law enforcement, in insurance claims, and pawnshop complaints in cases of physical contact.
Can a Mac Address Be Used to Locate a Missing Laptop?
The MAC address is quite different from the serial number or IMEI. These two sets of six figures are usually bound together with hyphens and can be easily located by going to the utilities and starting the terminal app. Alternatively, you can use the Command +Shift + U keys to display all the available network interfaces and their respective addresses.
So, whether the MAC address can be used to locate a missing laptop or not, the answer is yes. You can do this by contacting the network administrator, who will know what to do. However, it can only be successful if you register your device in a central network, which many computer buyers do not.
If you were careful enough to register your device on one, the administrator would be able to mark it for monitoring immediately. Note that this address is usually unique and specific to each computer or laptop. Therefore, your administrator can limit a stranger’s access to a network or prevent one from accessing it through MAC address filtering.
We advise you to immediately inform the administrator the moment your laptop goes missing so that they know it is no longer in your possession. They will then be able to track your device’s connection when there is the smallest change in the IP address.
How to Find a Window’s Laptop
What should you do when your Windows laptop gets lost? You only need to follow a series of steps, and you will be good to go. Do you know that Microsoft has a built-in feature called Find My Device built-in 2015 to help you identify your laptops location if it gets lost? Well, this feature uses the Windows operating system to locate your stolen computer.
This is one of the reasons why Microsoft devices are loved internationally. Here are the steps you will use:
You first need to log into your device using your official Microsoft account and access the find my device feature.
Finding the Find My Device Feature.
Finding the find, my device feature should not be that hard. Once on the start button, click and select accounts, which will reveal different settings. Once in the settings, move to ‘Update and Security’ to disclose your personal information. Log in if your information doesn’t appear. A popup will come up, after which you should click on ‘Find My Device’ right on the sidebar menu.
Turn the feature on.
Clicking on Find my Device will bring you an ON and OFF option, and all you have to do is click on the same button to turn it on. However, note that your device will need Windows 10 software to access your Microsoft account.
Log in to Your Microsoft Account.
The fourth step is to log into your Microsoft account, which will only be possible if it exists. You should then search the devices you have signed in with your account and single out the stolen or lost device before finding your device. The good news is that your phone does not have to be on for this fourth step to happen, even though an internet location may be necessary if you need a specific location, thanks to the GPS feature.
You must wonder whether laptops have GPS tracking, and the answer is quite simple. Yes. However, note that not all laptops support GPS tracking, although the high-end ones are known for this feature. Use the lock button found in this feature to secure your computer remotely.
How GMAIL and Dropbox Can Be Used to Track a Stolen Laptop
Certain applications can help you track your stolen laptop and help you beat the ever-growing number of reported laptop thefts. This is possible through your laptop’s IP address and your general network identity. It is the short form for internet protocol and contains an array of figures that gives every internet user a unique signature. It ensures that every user is linked to their internet activity, allowing different people to communicate freely.
One of the easiest and surest ways of tracking a laptop’s location is through its IP address, which you can achieve by checking the settings of recently used sites using a different laptop. This shouldn’t be hard to accomplish once you understand how to navigate the application in question.
Just visit the recent log-in sections of your dropbox, which luckily synchronizes automatically your laptop is on and running. Your Gmail account will also immediately get an automatic notification. 0ne of the reasons we often advise you to try Dropbox is that it is always logged in. therefore, click on your account’s icon, which should be at the upper right corner, select settings, then security. Lastly, scroll downwards to the section containing the web browsers, and from the information icon, check for your recent activities.
Just like Dropbox, Gmail can also allow you to track your laptop’s location, saving you from losing your finances or important information. Remember, Gmail will always come in handy in monitoring your computer since you normally get alerts informing you of new log-ins or anything suspicious with your account. These alerts also tell you where your device is at the moment, which will help you begin your tracking activities.
However, we advise that you use the web version of Gmail when logging into your account to track your device. Once you are logged into Gmail’s web version, scroll down to the details option at the bottom right corner. You will be able to see the last activities on your Gmail account and copy the suspicious link or address. You will know your device’s region, even though you will not find the right location. Knowing your device’s town or area is a good starting point for finding it.
How To Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number | Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Stolen Laptop Be Traced Solely by Its Serial Number?
Even though your laptop’s serial number acts as its primary identification and a form of identity, You cannot use it to track your device solely. After finding the right tracking software, you will need other applications or details to track your device.
Note that the serial number mostly comes in handy when making police reports, during insurance activities, and for pawnshop complaints, especially during physical contact. Other ways to track your laptops location but not solely rely on the serial number.
How Can I Track My Lost Laptop Using IMEI Number?
No, since laptops lack IMEI numbers. However, you can do this for your stolen phone, especially if you are an ethical hacker or have learned how to do it well, as it is an entire concept. Also, note that your phone has to be activated or online to be tracked using the IMEI number. If not, you can track the last stage.
For laptops, you only get to track and locate one easily if it has a functional 3G/4G modem, making it possible to track its IP address as long as the data plan is active and you did not change the IMEI carrier. Remember, you will get a particular area and not the exact location.
What Happens When a Stolen Laptop is Reset to Factory Settings?
One of the hardest pills to swallow is accepting that you may not be able to easily locate your laptop once it is restored to factory settings. However, do not freak out since there may be a way out for you. You should ensure that you have tracking software installed on your device, which mostly works for Apple, MacBook, and ThinkPad devices.
You should have also been paying for the tracking device until the theft occurred, as it is generally impossible to track one without fully paying the service fee. Ensure that you include your trace code number for as long as the tracing system can identify your information. This number is only given if you are active. Events will happen depending on your proffered software.
It is also worth noting that for a successful factory reset, one needs to know the manufacturer’s factory reset procedure t. We advise you to set up remote wipes while still with your device to help you save personal and company information in case it gets stolen. Note that it is generally impossible to remotely wipe the entire device easily once it is gone and wiped. All in all, we wish you all the best in finding your device.
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