Laptop Was Stolen? Here's How to Track it & Block Files

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Key notes

  • The most important thing to do is to act really quickly in order to avoid unpleasant situations.
  • First of all, you should install tracking software on your laptop. This software can then be used to find your device and secure or destroy your personal data, info, and accounts.
What to do if my laptop gets stolen

Was your Windows laptop stolen? Do you want to get it back, or do you want to secure your personal data?

Well, if you need to know how to find your stolen Windows laptop, you should look below. We’ve tried to explain to you what to do in this unfortunate situation, and also I’ve described the methods to apply to prevent such situations.

Your laptop might get stolen in various ways, especially when you are not paying attention to the people that are around you at some point.

Thieves are always watching, so you should do the same thing;

I know that this might sound a bit too dramatic, but let’s be honest: it’s better to be cautious than confront difficult situations afterward.

Of course, some situations can’t be prevented, so this guide will teach you how to find or track your stolen laptop and prepare yourself for this kind of action.

What can I do if my Windows 10 laptop is stolen?

A stolen laptop can be a big problem, and in this article, we’re going to cover the following issues:

  • How to track a stolen laptop with an IP address – If your laptop is stolen, you can track it with an IP address. Certain applications and services keep track of the IP address of your PC, and you can use that address to track your device. Even if you find the IP address, you’ll need to contact the authorities in order to get the exact location of your laptop.
  • The laptop was stolen how to find it – There are a few ways to find your laptop once it gets stolen. The best way is to install the tracking software on it, but you can also track your laptop using the IP address. However, the IP address won’t give you the exact location of your device.
  • Laptop was stolen what to do – If your laptop is stolen, you need to contact the authorities first. In addition, you can also try to locate your device using one of our solutions.
  • Protect your laptop from theft – Protecting your laptop from theft is important, and in this article, we’re going to share a few tips on how to protect your laptop and your files.

Usually, a common user is using his laptop for various reasons, which means that on the device, there are saved personal data, info, and even accounts.

That’s why it is essential to protect your data and to secure the same, even when your laptop is stolen – so you will have to do it from a distance.

The most important thing to do is to act quickly to avoid unpleasant situations.

So, as soon as you notice your laptop is gone, get to work, track it out, and secure your accounts.

Then, of course, call 112 to make a report about what happened and to communicate with trained persons who can help you track your device.

How to secure your data when your laptop was stolen?

The first thing to do is to ensure that the thieves can’t access your personal data. You don’t want to lose anything important to you, so you should act quickly.

First, it should be clear to you that you can only secure the info stored online through your personal accounts.

Therefore, don’t hesitate and set new passwords for your accounts, and download and erase the online data if possible.

This process should be similar to the one you apply when your Microsoft account has been hacked.

Only now, you have to do the same thing for all your valid accounts, including social media websites and cloud storage services.

Remember your web browser history, passwords, cache, and so on. You should be able to erase all this info only if, on your stolen laptop, you have previously installed a dedicated tool in that matter – we will talk about this during the next section of our guide.

So, use this program from another machine and delete your web browsing history and anything else.

You can even use these tools to erase your folders and apps or display messages on your stolen laptop with your phone number or a reward text in case you have lost your Windows laptop.

If it has been stolen, you send the reward in vain.

How to prepare for unfortunate situations and track a stolen Windows laptop with ease?

First of all, anyone should install tracking software on their Windows laptop. This software can then be used to find your device and secure or destroy your personal data, info, and accounts.

There are also free and paid tools, choose the apps you prefer the most.

For example, you can use LoJack, which will set you back less than £30 inc VAT for a year of coverage.

With this software you will be able to get geolocation data within the Absolute Monitoring Centre; finding your stolen laptop is quite easy in this matter.

You can also use LoJack for erasing all of your data from your computer and for protecting your BIOS – all the major manufacturers (Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba).

How to track a stolen laptop with an IP address

Another tracking tool to use can be Prey. Prey will call you on your phone number each time your thief goes online on your stolen Windows laptop.

Prey can be installed for free and offers a detailed report about the state and location of your laptop, which you can access over the web.

Now, on the other hand, you can use tools like LaptopSentry, Laptop Superhero, GadgetTrak, and Snuko, which can all capture images from an available webcam so you will be able to see the thief’s face and also where your laptop is.

Laptop was stolen how to find it

This info will be highly appreciated by Police, so don’t hesitate and install one of the mentioned apps on your device as soon as possible.

LaptopSentry and Laptop Superhero can be used for scare tactics, too; these tools can be set to initiate a loud alarm sound when a laptop is being – in a running matter – disconnected from its power cord.

All these apps, which I have mentioned above, come with various features that can be easily used for tracking down your stolen Windows laptop.

While most of the apps are paid, Pray is free, and it is also recommended for entry-level users.

How can I track my laptop without third-party tools?

If your laptop is stolen, you can track it using its IP address. Many services such as Dropbox, Gmail, Facebook, Hotmail, and others allow you to track your device.

If you’re automatically logged in to these services or if you have Facebook, Dropbox, or Gmail clients running in the background, you might be able to see the IP address of the person who is accessing your account.

To do that, log in to Facebook, Dropbox, or Gmail; in the security section, you should see recent logins.

This section should contain all the recent IP addresses used to access your account.

In addition, you might also get the city’s location, but that information isn’t always the most reliable.

Laptop was stolen what to do

If needed, you can also lock your PC remotely if you use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows.

If you see that a certain IP address is frequently accessing your accounts, you should take this information to the authorities.

They could then obtain all the necessary information about the IP address accessing your accounts.

Keep in mind that other services might also support this feature, so be sure to check the security section for all your online services and see if they’ve been accessed from any new and unknown locations.

This isn’t the most reliable method to track your laptop since you won’t get the exact location, so you’ll need help from authorities to locate it.

On the other hand, this method doesn’t require you to install any additional applications beforehand, so feel free to try it out.

How to prevent laptop theft and protect your files in the future?

Before we wrap this up, we also want to mention a few ways that you can protect your laptop from theft in the future.

In addition to tracking software, using a cable lock for your laptop is always a good idea.

These locks are relatively affordable, and they will securely lock your laptop and prevent any chance of theft.

We covered some of the best cable locks for your laptop in one of our previous articles, so be sure to check them out. You might also find interesting our article about how to retrieve a laptop with laptop-tracking software.

If you’re concerned about your personal files, you can protect them by encrypting your hard drive. There are many ways to do that, and you can use BitLocker or any other tool.

We covered 256-bit encryption software in one of our older articles, so if you don’t want to use BitLocker, feel free to try any of these tools.

Once you encrypt your hard drive, nobody can access your files or use your PC without a password.

In fact, the only way to remove the encryption and use the PC is to format the entire hard drive and install new Windows on it.

Enable Find My Device and track your laptop

Windows 10 has a helpful feature called Find My Device that allows you to track your device.

This feature isn’t enabled by default, but if you want to protect your laptop in the future, we recommend you enable it. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that by pressing Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Update & Security section.
    Laptop was stolen what to do
  3. In the left pane, select Find My Device.
    Protect your laptop from theft
  4. Now click on Change button.
    How to track a stolen laptop with an IP address
  5. Now enable Save my device’s location periodically option.
    Laptop was stolen how to find it

After doing that, you should be able to track your laptop remotely. To do that, go to Microsoft’s website, log in to your Microsoft account, and click Find my device.

Now, you should see the location of your laptop on the map. You can also enable Find My Device on Windows 11. Even though this feature is useful, you must remember that this location on the map isn’t always correct or sometimes, Find My Device is not working.

This is a useful feature, but if it’s not enabled, you won’t be able to use it to track your laptop.

If you manage to locate your laptop using this method, be sure to contact the authorities and forward them the IP address and the location of your laptop.

In the end, the most important thing to do is to secure your Windows laptop as soon as possible.

So, get tracking software and install the same on your device, and don’t wait until someone is stilling your laptop; take action now and prevent these unfortunate situations from happening.

Do use the comments field below if you know other methods by which you can find a stolen laptop, as we will update this guide accordingly.