How to locate your laptop if it has been stolen

More and more people are using the laptop to work or study. Within this we will have valuable information, be it our work, notes or personal files such as photographs of our last vacations. If our laptop has been stolen it can be a real drama, but did you know that you can find it thanks to Windows?

It is usually quite well known that you can find and even block the mobile thanks to Android and iOS. What is not so well known is the option that Windows 10 and Windows 11 offer us to locate our stolen laptop. The problem with laptops is that they don’t have GPS location, but there are other methods of locating it.

locate your laptop if it has been stolen

First of all: report it

The first thing we should always do is go to the police , be it the National Police or the Civil Guard, before waging war on our own. In the end, you know nothing about who stole your laptop and it could be someone dangerous or an organized gang. You should also keep in mind that assaulting a person, no matter how much they have stolen from you, is a crime.

Having the location system will allow the police to recover the Windows laptop or device quickly. They are the only ones who have the authority to intervene and access, if necessary, private property. In addition, it is very possible that they have been following this person or those for some time and the theft of your laptop triggers a police intervention.

You must have a Microsoft account

As with Android and iOS, in order to access this service, you must have a Microsoft account. This account is the same one that is linked to other company services such as Outlook, One Drive and Xbox. In addition to the linked account, we must activate the Windows function that will allow us to track the laptop.

How to activate this function?

Actually, the process to activate this function is very simple and requires very few steps. The process is the following:

  1. We must left click on the Windows logo in the lower left corner
  2. Now we must click on the Configuration gear
  3. In the window that opens, we go to Update and security
  4. Inside, in the left bar we go to Find my device
  5. We will see that the service is deactivated by default, to activate it we only have to press the Change button

After this, we will be able to track the laptop in case we have lost it or it has been stolen.

How to find it

Once we have this option activated within Windows, we must go to our Microsoft account. Within it there is a section where it shows us all the devices associated with this account. Locating the laptop is very simple:

  1. We have to select the laptop or device that we want to find from the list
  2. Click on Find my device
  3. A map will open where the location of the device will appear

If we didn’t know where he was, we’ve already located him. If we have lost it, we can give this information to the police and take the appropriate action.

Additionally, we can exercise the option to block it. For it:

  1. In the previous map, we select the device we want
  2. Now, click on the Block option
  3. We give the following. This will prevent them from logging in and even allows the ability to Reset Password

It has several drawbacks

Android and iOS devices are very easy to locate since they have an internet data connection and integrated GPS. The problem with laptops is that in most cases they require a WiFi connection and do not have GPS. Something that makes the chances of locating it less.

For this to work, you must be logged in and connected to a WiFi network. Even with this, it might not be enough to locate the laptop at any given time. Therefore, the function is more limited to not finding the laptop at home or in the office, than if it has been stolen.

Still, it never hurts to try it out, as it’s a little-known feature and might not be known to thieves.