How To Track a Stolen Laptop With a Serial Number

Stolen Laptop

Are you faced with an unfortunate scenario of laptop theft? Depending on the brand and the amount of data stored on it, this might be a massive blow for you. This guide will walk you through tracking a stolen laptop using its serial number.

Tracking a Stolen Laptop With Serial Number

Before you ask, “How to track a stolen laptop with serial number?” it makes more sense to ask, “Can I track a stolen laptop with serial number?”

Yes, your laptop’s serial number (also known as the MAC address) can help you find your stolen laptop. It’s six sets of two figures held together by hyphens, and you should certainly remember it.

Generally speaking, the serial number of a laptop is the primary way to identify the device. While they’re only figures, they might help with insurance claims, pawnshop complaints in the event of physical contact, or police reports.

Navigate to Utilities and launch the Terminal app or select “Cmd + Shift + U” to track its location. It should provide all the network interfaces, including their MAC address.

If you registered your device on a central network administrator, there’s a higher chance of recovery. The network administrator will mark your laptop for monitoring or be traced.

Letting your network administrator know that your laptop with a specified serial number has been stolen ensures that they know that it’s someone else using your device. Next, when there’s a change in the device’s IP address, they’ll trace the source of the connection. 

Tracing a Windows Laptop

If it was a Windows laptop, finding it could be more accessible. Microsoft has embedded a tool known as “Find My Device” in the latest Windows. Using your laptop’s operating system, this feature begins tracking the location of your computer from the day it was known to get stolen.

You need to sign in to the device from the Microsoft account you use to activate the Find My Device feature. Follow these steps to complete the process.

  1. Go to the Start menu and click “Accounts“.
  2. Click on your account and choose “Update and Security” from the Settings tab.
  3. Sign in to see your information.
  4. In the Update and Security options, locate the “Find My Device” option in the menu on the side.
  5. Sign in to your existing Microsoft account, and go to the “Devices” tab, where you should be able to select the missing or stolen device option.
  6. Click “Find My Device“. 

Your laptop will be hard to find if it isn’t powered on. This step requires an active internet connection to get an accurate location from the GPS. You can now start tracking your laptop as long as it’s powered on.


You should have obtained a fair idea about tracking a stolen laptop with a serial number. We’ve broken down the process into simple steps to make it simple. We genuinely hope that the guidelines help you get your laptop back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I track my laptop after a factory reset?

If you conducted a factory reset on your laptop right before it was stolen, you must have active tracking software installed. Also, the tracing system should be able to identify your trace code number and other information. The exact tracing steps depend on your preferred software.

For example, when the person who stole your laptop connects to the internet on your system, your software may remotely bypass multiple firewalls to pin a location to ongoing activities, immediately capture their images, and send them a warning message. Even if you did a factory reset on your laptop, you could do all this.

Can I trace my missing laptop with the IMEI number?

Before asking this question, you should ask whether a laptop has its IMEI number. Only phones, cellular modems, and other cellular devices used with notepads and laptops have an IMEI number. Hence, if you had a functioning 3G/4G modem on your computer, and the thief doesn’t unsubscribe from the data plan or change the IMEI carrier, tracking the IP address might be possible.

But again, an IP address will only get you an area, not the device’s exact location.

How do I track my stolen laptop using Dropbox?

IP addresses are the most straightforward technique to track a stolen laptop, and you can use a different device to check the settings for sites you commonly use. If the perpetrator has an internet connection, your Dropbox should sync as soon as they turn on your laptop. When that happens, the platform will automatically send a Gmail notification

What makes things easy with Dropbox is that it automatically signs you in. After logging in, click the account symbol at the top-right corner, and navigate to Settings > Security. Navigate down to the web browser’s area, and look for the information symbol for your chosen device.

Can Microsoft Outlook help in finding my stolen laptop?

As Microsoft’s software, Outlook can be of great help when faced with this. All you need to do is sign in to your Outlook account and click your profile picture on the upper right corner of the interface. Then, navigate to View Account > Devices, where the program should provide you with a list of all connected devices.

Once you’ve filtered out the specific laptop that was stolen, click the “Find My Device” button below it. This will provide you with the precise location of your device on the map.

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