How to Track a Stolen Laptop without Tracking Software in 2021

Losing your laptop at the hands of a thief is one of the most miserable feelings in the world. Been there, experienced that, and I know how helpless you can feel at one point. Suppose you didn’t have tracking software in your stolen laptop, and you’re out here to find a clue. 

Fortunately, some ways can lead you to your stolen device, and none of these methods involve tracking software. Additionally, you can also lock your device because you obviously wouldn’t want your data to be accessed by the thief.

We’ve got both Windows and Mac users covered in this guide so let’s get into it!

Windows users luckily got more ways to retrieve their stolen laptops without tracking software. You can find your laptop with the help of the Find my Device feature, Facebook, or by tracking the most recent IP addresses via Gmail or Dropbox.

However, it is important to note that the ‘Find my Device’ feature will do you no good if it wasn’t activated on your laptop. For those who had this feature active on the laptop, finding your laptop will be easy breezy.

Find My Device

Here’s how you can activate Find my Device on your device:

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to log in to your Microsoft account.
  2. Go to Windows Settings > Updates and Security 
  3. You’ll see a Find my Device option. 
  4. Turn this feature ON

And if you’re someone who had this feature activated before their laptop was stolen,

  1. Log in to your Microsoft account from any device you have at hand.
  2. You’ll be able to access a list of all the login devices. 
  3. Click the Find my Device option for your stolen laptop.
  4. Microsoft will display the recent login location on the map, and so you’ll be able to locate your laptop quite easily. 

How to Locate your device via Facebook 

Facebook is another useful tool that can help you find your laptop. This method works by tracking the IP address. This method is pretty straightforward so let’s see how you can put your Facebook account to find your device. 

  • Sign in to your Facebook account.
  • Head to the Settings and Security Section of your account. 
  • Find Password and Security, open that.
  • Somewhere around here, you’ll see a list of all logged-in sessions or devices you’ve logged in to.
  • Locate your device here. Take note of the IP address and location of your laptop.

Don’t proceed further on your own and better engage the cops on it from this point onwards.

How to Locate your device via Gmail

Yet another simple method to help locate your device is by accessing the IP address, Gmail. Most of us are automatically logged into Gmail on our laptops which makes this method pretty useful. 

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account on a laptop/desktop computer.
  2. Gmail will display the last used IP address at the bottom right corner for your stolen laptop.

Once you get your hands on the IP of your stolen device, report it to the police and legally proceed to your case.

How to Locate your device via Dropbox

Well, your last resort could be your Dropbox account. You can easily make use of this method if you were logged into Dropbox on your laptop.

  1. First, log in to your Dropbox via another laptop/desktop. 
  2. Head to the Security section in the Account Settings.
  3. Find your stolen laptop from the recent activity section and note the IP address of the last session. 
  4. Get in touch with law enforcement and report the theft and the IP address to them. 
You’ll hopefully be able to track your device using at least one of these methods.

2 Ways to Track a Stolen Mac Laptop

A MacBook can also be located without a tracking software all hail to the features it comes with. You can retrieve your Mac device either by the ‘Find my Mac device’ feature or via iCloud. Find my Mac Device is almost the same as Find my Device on Windows.

Without further ado, let’s follow a few simple steps that can lead you to your stolen Mac device.

Find my Mac Device 

This feature is pretty similar to the previously mentioned Windows Find my Device. And this one, too, is useless if not activated before you lose your device. 

To activate Find my Mac Device:

  1. Click on System Preferences from the Apple menu on your laptop.
  2. Next, head to the Security and Privacy section.
  3. Here, Log in to your Apple account and turn on location services.
  4. Next, enable Find my Mac Device feature. 

To find your device using this feature:

  1. Sign in to your iCloud account from another system.
  2. Click on the stolen Mac device, find its location, and report to the police immediately. 

You can even choose to erase all your data or lock your device on the safe side.

Using iCloud

Finding your lost Mac device using iCloud is very much a fool-proof option. iCloud will allow you to track your missing Mac Laptop. You’ll need to follow a few basic steps.

  1. Log in to your account at iCloud.com.
  2. You’ll see a Find my Phone/Device option. 
  3. Over here, you’ll also find your lost device. Choose that one. 
  4. The location of your lost device will be displayed right there. However, this will happen only if the device is connected to the Internet.

Conclusion

As promised, we covered both Windows and Mac users in our guide. All of these methods can prove fruitful in one way or another. 

However, no matter what method you choose, we recommend you always stay in touch with the police or law enforcement. And do not attempt to reach out to the thief on your own. Once you get access to the location of your stolen laptop, immediately get help from the police.

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