How can I track my stolen laptop?

Timothy February 28, 2012
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My laptop was recently stolen. I would like to find where it is being used. How can I track it down?

  1. Hitesh Gulati
    October 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Anyhow Someone has stolen my office laptop, that can only be login through my official Id and password. I'm not aware about tracking software had been installed into my system or not. Bul let's suppose it had not been unstalled, in that case how can I track my laptop. I have rest all necessary details like model no., serial no......

    Please suggest.

  2. dylan717
    September 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Can microsoft use remote acess to track my laptop down? it was stolen a week ago. There ust be somtho.g icrosoft can do throigh remote access..

    • susendeep dutta
      October 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

      For any remote connection,there must be agreement for communication between two sides.Since,your laptop is stolen,unless there are some tracking software installed like Prey,it's very difficult.

  3. sugandha sood
    September 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    sir my laptop has been stolen can it be traced i have d mac adress pls rply back soon

  4. zuhraa alamin
    August 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    iwant to know haw can iget my serial number laptop cause itwas stolen 20 days ago

  5. audai alhyasat
    August 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    serial number of my laptop:68986k

  6. Shian Shepherd
    July 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    My labtop was stolen by someone sunday.I have Mcafee security on it ,it will expire in eleven days..It is a acer aspire laptop with windows 7,hd and the last time i used it was on sunday in the day.

  7. Ted
    July 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I lost my laptop and had prey installed on it, but found no trace!!! A friend told me whoever took it could have formatted the harddrive and by doing so removed the spying program. Is he right?

    • Tina
      August 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm


      Was your user account password protected? If the person that stole your laptop could not log into any user account, then they probably had to format the hard drive to use the laptop in the first place.

      So yes, your friend is right. Prey only works if the person logs onto your account. If they remove the hard drive or format it, Prey is useless as it's removed.

      • LocoTech
        September 29, 2012 at 2:31 am

        Just so you know it is not hard to wipe a computer with out the users account password there are also many ways to erase a users laptop if the computer dose not have a boot password installed then all they would have to do i insert a OS Cd in to the Computer and Format it with that !!! Not that hard i have had to do this with my moms be fore so i know know for sure it dose work :)

  8. Chanel Ross
    June 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

    my laptop is missing and is not anywhere around the house , it doesn t have any tracking device installed on it but is it possible to still find it cause my mum and dad are very angry and think i have taken it somewhere or lost it but it hasnt left the house. i really need it back.

    • Bruce Epper
      July 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Based on your first statement ("not anywhere around the house"), I'd say you're screwed. But your later statement ("it hasnt left the house") would be your sliver of hope.

      If the second statement is true and the laptop is not completely off, you should still see it connected to your router. If you have another computer, you can just log into your router and verify that it can see the sleeping or hibernating laptop by viewing the MAC addresses of all connected computers. This would show that it is still within range of the router at least (a couple hundred feet).

      If Wake-On-LAN is enabled, you can make the laptop spin up (sometimes a simple ping will do it) and if it is in the same workgroup as the other machine you are using and remote control is enabled on the laptop, you should be able to start a remote control session (if the ping doesn't wake it up, this will) and start it playing a sound (make sure to set it to repeat endlessly). Then you can simply walk through the house tracking down the sound.

      If it has left the house and you don't have tracking software such as Prey installed on it, you are out of luck.

      • Serg
        September 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        My house was burglarized in April and I'm beginning to think it was the neighbors. My wife's laptop was a dell less than 2 months old with facial recognition. What can I do

  9. Mapuii
    May 28, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I keep my laptop in my bed.i went for duty.that time my window was open.when i came back.i stolyn my laptop.pliz help me to found my laptop.

  10. Malik M. Sufyan
    May 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    my laptop has been stolen.i want to find it.any solution?

  11. fadi
    May 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

    just i have a serial number , can you help me how i can find my stolen laptop////?
    kind regards :)

    February 29, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Hello, if your laptop has no tracking software installed there is no chance of tracking it.

  13. Smayonak
    February 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    This is a fascinating subject because it crosses over from the realm of the technological into the courtroom.

    On the technological side, have you heard of Dropbox? It's the most popular cloud storage website and software on the market. If installed on your laptop, it has the added advantage of giving you information on the precise location of your laptop, if its connected to the internet. Which means if the thief so much as connects to the internet, their location would be revealed.

    Alternatively, Gmail also offers IP location tracking. If you saved your password for Gmail, the thief may inadvertently (or intentionally) access your e-mail account, which would identity their location. Look at the bottom of your gmail page for "last accessed". It will show the IP addresses used to read your e-mail.
    There was a front-page story on which dealt with this exact subject. In short, a thief stole a laptop, the police registered the IP address, but did not follow up with the victim as to whether or not a warrant was processed. Which leads to the procedures of the legal system. In short, if you're going to get your laptop back, you need the police to get a warrant. As explained to me by an attorney,  the police don't care about petty theft, so unless your laptop's theft was part of a breaking and entering (with a value of stolen goods in the thousands of dollars) or part of a local crime wave, they may not be willing to help much.

    Still, if you file a report (and provide them with an IP address), you may get your laptop back. Good luck!

    • Smayonak
      February 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      I should clarify:

      If you have not installed special software (and you wouldn't be asking this question if you had) your best bet is with preinstalled software or websites that can remotely reveal your laptop's location. The two most likely options are Dropbox and Gmail.

      If you don't use Gmail or Dropbox, though, I am unaware of any other method that might recover your laptop.

      Both Dropbox and Gmail can show where your computer last accessed the internet through a unique identifying number known as an IP address. There are two caveats, unfortunately: (1) the police may be unwilling to help and (2) if they thieves are using dial up (IP addresses aren't attached to unique location with dial up internet users) it's impossible to locate them.

  14. Anonymous
    February 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

    if you dont have any tracking soft on your laptop then will be very difficult to locate or impossible. complications if the laptop was formatted.

  15. Karkala Nayak
    February 28, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Hello Timothy,
    If someone broke into your home and stole the laptop. Then there are chances of it being sold in the black market. Have you registered your laptop with tracking software like Prey?
    If not then maybe its quite difficult to find the Thief and your laptop.
    Try taking the help of the Local police.
    If you are not able to find the laptop, Then Get a new one and install anti theft software Like Prey.Here is the link

    Sorry about the laptop 
    Good day

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