Have you ever had your laptop stolen? It’s a really frustrating experience, especially when you don’t know how the police are going to be able to track it down.

Here, we’ll explore how do police track stolen laptops and what you can do to help them find yours if it is ever stolen. We’re also going to take a look at how the police use tracking software to locate stolen laptops. Stay tuned!

Ways Do Police Track Stolen Laptops:

There are a few ways that police can track stolen laptops. Here are a few of the most common methods:

GPS Tracking:

This is probably the most common way to track a stolen laptop. A GPS chip can be embedded in the laptop, and then the police can track its location using special software.

IP Address Tracking:

The IP address of a computer is essentially its digital fingerprint. If someone tries to access the internet from a stolen laptop, the police can trace the IP address and find out where it is being used.

Computer Forensic Software:

If the laptop was not password protected, the police can use computer forensic software to extract all of its data. This information can help them track down the thief.

Cell Phone Tracking:

By accessing the internet on a stolen laptop, the thief unknowingly gives away their location due to their cell phone signal. It can be triangulated and the police can track them down.

Find My Device:

This is a feature on many laptops that allows the owner to remotely track the device if it is ever lost or stolen. The police can access this information and use it to locate the stolen laptop.

What you can do to help:

Social Media Tracking:

Police can locate thieves by monitoring their social media posts if the stolen laptop is used to access those accounts. The thief may not be aware that their posts can be used to track them down.

Location Services:

Most laptops have location services enabled by default. This means that the police can track the laptop’s location if it is ever stolen.

Remote Wipe:

This is a feature on many laptops that allows the owner to remotely delete all of the data on the device. This is useful because it means that the thief will not be able to access any sensitive information.

Password Protection:

If you password-protect your laptop, it will make it much more difficult for the thief to access its data. The police can also use this information to track down the thief.

What Programs or Tools Do They Use to Locate Stolen Laptops?

There are a few different ways that law enforcement and private companies attempt to locate stolen laptops.

  • One common method is to use a device called a geo-fence. This is a virtual perimeter that can be set up around a specific area, like a house or office building. If the laptop is detected leaving or entering the designated area, an alarm will sound.
  • Another method uses the laptop’s IP address to track its location. The IP address is unique to each computer and can be used to pinpoint its location on a map. Law enforcement can also use tracking software to follow the IP address of a stolen laptop as it moves around the internet.
  • Finally, some laptops come equipped with GPS tracking software that can report their location in real-time. This is often used by businesses to keep track of their employees' laptops, but it can also be used to recover a stolen laptop.

How Long Does It Typically Take for Police to Find a Stolen Laptop?

It depends on the location of the laptop and how easily it can be tracked. If the laptop is stolen in a public place, it’s likely that the police will find it within a few hours. If the laptop is stolen from someone’s home, it may take longer for the police to track it down.

The best way to protect your laptop from being stolen is to password protect your computer and use encryption software. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your data if they do steal your laptop.

What Are the Consequences of Stealing a Laptop?

The consequences of stealing a laptop can vary depending on the circumstances.

  • If the laptop is stolen from a business, the thief may be charged with theft of company property.
  • If the laptop contains personal information, the thief may be charged with identity theft.
  • If the thief sells or uses the laptop for illegal activities, he or she may be charged with various crimes related to computer fraud or hacking.


Police are able to track down stolen laptops by using a variety of methods. One common way is to use the computer’s IP address to track its location. If the laptop has been registered with the manufacturer, they may be able to assist police in tracking it down. 

Another method that is often used is installing tracking software on the device before it is stolen. This software can help law enforcement officials locate the device and return it to its rightful owner. By understanding how police track was stolen laptops, you can take steps to protect your device from being stolen in the first place or increase your chances of getting it back if it does happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Best Way to Protect Your Laptop from Theft?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your laptop from being stolen in the first place:

Keep it with you:

The best way to prevent your laptop from being stolen is to keep it with you at all times. This way, you will always know where it is and who has access to it.

Don’t leave it unattended:

If you do have to leave your laptop behind, be sure to keep it in a safe, secure place where it cannot be easily stolen.

Consider using a security cable:

Adding an extra layer of security by attaching a security cable to your laptop can help deter thieves.

Make sure it’s insured:

If your laptop is stolen, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly insured so you can replace it or get compensated for its loss.

How Do Police Determine Where a Laptop Was Last Used?

Police can determine where a laptop was last used by using forensic software to examine the computer’s hard drive for clues.

Elizbeth Tenday
When it comes to technology, Elizabeth Tenday is your go-to girl. As the owner of GuidedReview, she loves helping people make informed decisions about the best products for their needs. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the tech industry, and is always up-to-date on the latest news and trends. Elizabeth is a self-proclaimed tech geek, and she loves testing out new gadgets and writing about her findings.