How To Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number

How To Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number

Losing your laptop is a massive blow, especially if you spent a lot of money to get it, store massive data (whether personal or work-related) in it, or rely on it for work or school. Fortunately, it’s easier to locate stolen belongings thanks to technology, and this post discusses how to track a stolen laptop with serial number.

You will want to do everything possible to find your stolen laptop, and that starts with knowing the serial number. Keep reading to learn how to track a stolen laptop with serial number and other ways of tracking it.

How To Track a Stolen Laptop with Serial Number (Quick Answer!)

If your laptop is stolen, you should contact the central network administrator and provide them with the laptop serial number for monitoring and tracking. Informing your network administrator about the theft lets them know your laptop isn’t with you anymore and when the IP address changes, they can trace the connection source.

Your laptop’s serial number (also known as MAC address) is the primary way of identifying the device. Although they are just figures, you may use them in police reports, pawnshop complaints, or insurance claims.

Keep in mind that the location your network administrator will give won’t be precise. In addition, this method of tracking your stolen laptop won’t work if you haven’t registered your laptop on a central network. 

How To Find Your Laptop’s Serial Number

Knowing how important your laptop serial number is, it’s important to have it beforehand in case you need it at some point. You will likely need it if your device is stolen, or you misplace it.

Here’s how to find out your Windows or Mac laptop’s serial number.


  • Select the Apple Logo located on the top left corner.
  • Click About This Mac to see the serial number.


  • Press the Windows key to open the Command Prompt, then press X.
  • Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Type wmic bios get serialnumber, then press enter.
  • The screen will display the serial number.


If you don’t want to run any commands, flip your laptop over, then look for Serial number or S/N followed by numbers and letters. Alternatively, find the MAC address on the box your device arrived in.

Other Ways of Tracking a Stolen Laptop

Take the following measures to make it easy to find your laptop if it gets stolen.

1. Turn On “Find My Device”

You can use the “find my device” feature in Windows and Mac laptops to track and find your stolen device. However, you must turn it on for it to be effective.

You can enable “find my device” by following these steps:  

  • Select Update and Security in the settings.
  • On the left sidebar, press “Find My Device” and turn it on.
  • Choose Privacy in Settings.
  • Find Location, then select “Allow Devices to Access Your Location.”

For a Mac laptop, look for “Find My Mac” in Options or use the search bar to find it, then enable it. Ensure you turn on the location.

2. Install a Tracking Software

There are numerous tracking programs in the market to help you locate your laptop wherever it may be. While this is a highly effective method, it can be expensive, depending on the software you get.

Some of the tracking software you can get include Adiona, Prey, Absolute Home and Office, Front Door, HiddenApp, and EXO5. Once you buy the software, configure the settings and activate the tractor to start monitoring your laptop. 

How To Find Your Laptop Using DropBox and Gmail with IP Address

You can track your laptop’s IP address using various services and apps, including DropBox and Gmail.

1. Using DropBox

Turn on “Find My Device” with DropBox to track the location of your stolen laptop and determine if it has been used or accessed. Moreover, you can remotely delete your data or lock your laptop.

The person who stole your laptop will likely turn it on, your DropBox will sync automatically, and you will receive a notification in your Gmail account.

  • Choose Settings on your DropBox account, then Security.
  • Scroll down to find the necessary information, like log-in sessions.
  • Click on the device in the recent activity to access its IP address.

2. Using Gmail

You will get notifications for new logins from Gmail; the last known location can be your starting point when your laptop is stolen. You can track your laptop by enabling “My Device” by selecting Settings, then the Security tab.

Track your laptop by:

  • Using Gmail’s web version to access the inbox.
  • Under last account activity, click on Details.
  • A new window with account activity details and IP addresses of the devices that accessed your laptop will pop up.

Bottom Line

With the help of the serial number (MAC address), tracking your stolen laptop gets easier and makes an otherwise stressful time more manageable. However, preparedness is key, and that includes having the serial number way before anything happens.


Krystin is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has a decade plus experience working in Tech. She is a systems administrator for a Seattle IT firm, and she is a leading voice/advocate for Women in Tech. She has been an on-air guest for various radio stations discussing recent tech releases.

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