Can a Laptop Be Traced by Its Serial Number?

Written by russell huebsch
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Can a Laptop Be Traced by Its Serial Number?
You can trace a laptop with its serial number. (laptop image by Jorge Figueiredo from

Keeping record of your laptop's serial number can play a huge role in getting it back if it is stolen or lost. It is best, however, to hunt down a stolen laptop in combination with other tracking methods, according to PC Stats.

The Facts

If you lose your laptop or someone turns it in to a lost and found, you will probably need your serial number to prove ownership, according to PC World. PC-tracking services report recovering as many as 75 per cent of laptops when people place a tag with their contact information on their laptops and have a matching serial number -- mostly due to kind citizens returning a lost unit.


Tracing a laptop by its serial number requires someone to turn it in or the police to identify it as stolen. Unless a thief is caught or the person who finds your laptop a good Samaritan, you are likely out of luck.


The best way to protect against laptop theft is to never leave your laptop unattended in a public place. Also,consider purchasing a subscription-tracking service, according to ABC News. For about £32 a year as of 2010, third-party tracking software can tell where your computer is anywhere in the world.

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