How To Track A Stolen Laptop Without Tracking Software? (Actually Working Methods For Windows & Mac Users)

Have you lost your laptop? The most straightforward way to find your laptop would be to use tracking software, but what happens when you cannot use tracking software for whatsoever reason? Do not fret because there are several ways in which you can track your laptop without tracking software.

Both Windows and Mac laptops have additional features designated to help you find your laptop if ever it is stolen. Aside from these established features, there are more ways in which you can locate your laptop by using Gmail, Dropbox, iCloud, and Facebook.

Your laptop contains a whole lot of personal and vital information. Having your laptop stolen is like having a large chunk of your life stolen from you. From precious memories to important work documents and details, your laptop contains all of that. You are probably understandably upset and stressed right now but rest assured because I will be discussing methods to track your laptop without tracking software in great detail.

How To Track A Stolen Laptop Without Tracking Software?

If you own a Windows laptop, you can track your device using the ‘Find my device’ feature, which has to be preactivated.  You also can track your laptop by using your Gmail, Dropbox, or Facebook. These options track your laptop’s IP address based on your device’s latest activity. However, if you own a Mac laptop, you can track your laptop using the ‘Find my Mac device’ feature or use iCloud to track your Mac laptop.

4 Methods For Windows Laptop Users To Track a Stolen Laptop Without Tracking Software

If you are a Windows user, you can use these four simple methods to retrieve the location of your laptop. Using find my device, Facebook, or your IP address with the assistance of Gmail and Dropbox is how Windows users can track the location of their laptops.

4 ways to track a windows stolen laptop without tracking software

Use Find My Device In Windows Laptop

The Windows 10 update introduced its new preinstalled feature called Find my device. This new feature allows Windows users to track down the location of their laptop and choose what to do with it; below is a guide on how to activate (if it wasn’t pre-activated before) and find your device. To activate your Find my device, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in to your Microsoft account.

Step 2: Go to your Windows Setting.

Step 3: Select “Update & Security”

Step 4: Go to “Find my device”

Step 5: Toggle the option ON, and if the option was ON, you could locate your laptop by clicking on the “Find” button.

In this way, you can use the “Find My Device” option on your windows laptop.

If you were fortunate enough to activate ‘Find my device’ before your laptop was stolen, tracking your laptop’s location can be done easily by just signing in your Microsoft account and going to the “Update & Security” section.

Your device’s last login/sign-in location will be displayed on a map. Once you have located your laptop, you should contact law enforcement, lock your device and remotely change your Windows password.

Track Your Stolen Windows Laptop IP Address With Gmail

If you are automatically logged into services such as Gmail or Dropbox, you can use them to track your device through its IP Address. An IP Address is your device’s unique internet address that can be traced when it is connected to a network. To find your device using Gmail, the following steps have to be followed:

Step 1: Log in to the Gmail web version.

Step 2: Select “Details” at the bottom right corner under the last account activity.

Step 3: Select the device that you suspect is stolen and take note of the IP Address.

Step 4: Report it to the authorities.

Track Your Stolen Windows Laptop IP Address With Dropbox

Step 1: Log in to Dropbox web account.

Step 2: Select “Account” on the top right corner next to the Search Icon.

Step 3: Go to “Settings” and choose “Security.”

Step 4: Find your device on most recent activities and hover over the information icon next to it.

Step 5: Take note of the IP Address and report it to law enforcement.

Use Facebook To Track Your Stolen Laptop

Facebook is also another method of tracking down your device if the methods mentioned above do not work. Again, we will be looking at your IP Address and its last connectivity/session; you can do this by:

Step 1: Log into Facebook and go to Settings and then Security.

Step 2: Select “Security & Login”.

Step 3: Under the “Where You’re Logged In” section, hover your mouse to the name of your city and take note of the location and IP Address.

Step 4: Contact law enforcement

This Facebook feature will display all the recent activities, times, location, and IP Addresses of your most recent login.

These were the four methods for stolen windows laptop.

Now, let’s get into the second section of this article and know about how to track a stolen laptop without tracking software for mac users.

2 Methods For Mac Users To Track a Stolen Laptop Without Tracking Software

If you are a Mac user who experienced the same pain of losing a laptop, there are 2 methods similar to that of Windows users that you can use to track your Apple device. Using your “Find my Mac device” feature or iCloud are ways you can trace and retrieve your stolen laptop without the use of tracking software.

2 ways to track a mac stolen laptop without tracking software

Use Find My Mac Device

Mac devices, like Windows, have an option that enables you to trace the location of your device. To use this feature, you must do the following:

Step 1: Select “System Preferences” on your dashboard.

Step 2: Log in to iCloud using your Apple account details.

Step 3: Select enable Find my Mac and then click on ‘Allow to Confirm’.

Step 4: Select the stolen device and find its location.

The location of the device will be shown on a map, and you will be able to choose to make the device emit a sound that will help you find it or ultimately lock the device and prevent access to your data.

Track Your Stolen Macbook With iCloud

Some devices require you to create an iCloud, which enables you to track the location of your device with precision. Some of the features of iCloud include anti-theft tools, tools that allow you to track any of your Apple devices. Once your device has been tracked, iCloud triggers an alarming sound, and you can choose whether to lock your device or erase its content. To track your phone, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Log in using your Apple ID on the iCloud website.

Step 2: Go to the icon “find my phone”

Step 3: Choose missing MacBook.

Step 4: The device location should be displayed.

If no device is displayed, it means that it is off or isn’t connected to an active network. In such a case, iCloud has a feature that will notify you of its location as soon it is connected to the internet.

What Should I Do if My Laptop Is Stolen?

Although there are several ways to locate your device on your own, you should not engage the thief on your own; you should work with the police to retrieve your stolen laptop. The location retrieved when tracking your device is approximate; the police will help you narrow down the possible locations. Remember to be careful when dealing with thieves.

What to do after you get the IP Address of your Stolen Laptop?

Once you have gotten the IP address of your stolen laptop, do not retrieve your laptop alone. You do not know the type of person who stole your laptop and what they are capable of doing to you. It would be best if you prioritize your safety by involving the police. They will get a warrant to retrieve the thief’s exact address from their ISP legally.


How To Track A Stolen Laptop With Serial Number?

You cannot track it with the serial number alone; instead, you will also need special software that will enable you to track its location. One of the safest software to use is Prey. To use Prey, you would have to:

1. Install the Prey on your laptop.
2. Register your laptop.

After registering your laptop, you will be able to track your laptop from anywhere in the world.

Can A Stolen Desktop Computer Be Tracked?

Yes, your desktop can be tracked utilizing its IP Address. When the PC gets activated and connected to the internet, its location will be tracked. Some programs are designed to locate your desktop’s IP address, such as Advatrack and Absolute Software

Can A Laptop Be Tracked If Its Off?

Unfortunately, you cannot track your laptop if it is switched off. Your laptop would have to either be on or be connected to a network; besides that, your laptop will remain untraceable until such a time. 


Losing a laptop can feel like losing your livelihood, especially if you have essential data stored there. It is recommended that once you purchase your laptop, you set up all the necessary tracking tools. With life keeping us busy, however, forgetting to do this is common, and you should not have to pay the price for it. 

Above, I’ve mentioned all the methods that can be used to track down your laptop, whether it is a Mac or Windows. Most of these methods have one thing in common; they require your IP Address which is used to trace your device’s location. 

However, the biggest downside to these methods is that none of them will work if your device is switched off or not connected to a secure internet. In such a case trying to trace your missing laptop will be futile, and getting a new laptop will be the next most suitable solution. 

I hope that I’ve solved your query “How To Track A Stolen Laptop Without Tracking Software.” I’ve mentioned four ways for the Windows users and two ways for the Mac Users; at least one of them might have helped you out! I tried my best and have helped you with this article; if you have any queries, comment them down, and I would love to help you out.

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