Chromebook Tracking is a very helpful tool. To track your Chromebook in the event of theft or loss, follow these instructions.
Your worst nightmare may come true if you have any sensitive personal information stored on the disk.
This manual covers all the information you require, including EVERY conceivable method of retrieval or locking.
Time is of the essence in these kinds of circumstances, and I believe you are aware of this, so let’s move quickly.
How to Locate a Lost Chromebook
Launch the browser on a computer, a Mac, a Windows or a Linux device.
Use a private (incognito) window if you’re using another person’s device. Once you’re done, sign out of your account.
Otherwise, they’ll be able to remotely control your connected devices, which would be a waste of our efforts!
Remember that since Chromebooks lack GPS, finding a lost one won’t provide you with its precise location.
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Sign Out Remotely
You can log yourself out if you’re still logged into your Google Account. Sadly, for the majority of recovery protocols, this is the ONLY choice.
This guards against unauthorized access in the event that it is stolen or lost, especially if you’re logging in differently than usual, like without a password.
By doing this, your Chromebook will remotely log you out and require a password to sign you back in. This should be done as soon as you realize sensitive data is missing if you have any.
From any device with access to your Google Account, you can log out remotely. You can log in using your phone, computer, other laptop, etc.
Log in with the Google Account you used to administer the Chromebook.
Find the “Security” section, then “Your devices.”
Click on “Manage Devices.”
Note that there’s a “Find a lost device” button. Due to the lack of GPS in Chromebooks, this is useless. Only phones or tablets can use it.
Find the lost Chromebook. Your devices that are logged into that account should be listed there.
On the misplaced device, click.
Other important information may also be visible, such as when and where (city) your Chromebook was last used. If it has been used by someone else or stolen, this can prove it.
Access to your Google Account, connected apps, and other remote actions can all be disabled from here. Find the “Account Access” section and follow the prompts.
You only have ONE choice to remotely lock down your device from this section. The next step is to log out of your Google Account. They cannot access it after you have signed out unless they have your password.
To select an option, select the device block’s top-right option. You can find more options here, including:
To immediately sign out of your Google Account on the Chromebook, click this.
You’re Now Logged Out Remotely
They will have to log in again if they are currently using it after being logged out. But first, it needs to be WiFi connected.
When offline, everything is fine. Once it establishes a WiFi connection, it will immediately disconnect.
And if your account is offline, they can’t access it. They will, however, be locked out of it once they log on. Unless they have your password, that is.
So that’s why it’s time to…
Modify your Google password. Once you’ve signed out, immediately change the password for your admin account. Once you have signed out of all currently logged-in devices, you will need to use the new password for all future logins.
Find “Security” on the left menu> Signing in to Google > Password.
You know the drill.
Make sure your new password is secure and unconnected to the one you previously used. Use a random password generator or refer to these suggestions for creating secure passwords.
Confirm the changes.
No one should be able to access your account once it has been changed and you have remotely logged out from the missing Chromebook.
Additionally, you should change any saved passwords you may have in your Google Account.
Don’t See Your Chromebook in the List of Devices?
A Google account must be signed into SOMETHING on the Chromebook, such as Gmail, YouTube, or Google Drive.
Nothing will appear on the list of devices if no user is currently logged in to the device.
- Another possibility is that the owner of your Chromebook signed you out.
- Your device may have been removed from the account if the “Not familiar with this apparatus?” function was used.
- You must be using YOUR OWN Chromebook, NOT one that you have borrowed. It should go without saying that if something is borrowed, you are not the owner.
- The device won’t appear on the list if it is a Chromebook used for school or work. Technically speaking, you are merely a user with limited access rather than the system administrator. So if you sign in to the “Find my Chromebook/Phone” app, it won’t show up there.
Guest Mode Will Still Let People Use Your Chromebook If Lost Or Stolen
Please take note that they can STILL use your Chromebook if they use Guest mode.
However, it’s essentially just a covert account that is unrelated to your account.
Everything they do is deleted from the device after they sign out.
How to Remotely Connect to Your Lost Or Stolen Chromebook
You can create a remote connection between your PC and Chromebook using Google’s Remote Desktop service. You can connect to it from your Windows PC so long as this connection is active (even when you’re using your Chromebook away from home).
As long as you continue to confirm the session on your Chromebook, this remote access session is active. It’s not a perfect solution because each time you take your Chromebook on the go, you’ll need to start the session. Before taking your Chromebook somewhere where there is a high risk of losing it, it allows you to establish a remote connection.
- Launch Chrome on the computer you want to use to connect to the Chromebook, then go to the Google Chrome Remote Desktop page.
- Select the Remote Access tab.
- The blue down-facing triangle should be chosen in the Set up Remote Access box.
- Google Remote Access page with down arrow highlighted
The Chrome Web Store will open in a new tab. For the Chrome Remote Desktop extension to be added, select Add to Chrome. To confirm, select Add Extension.
- Chrome web store with add to Chrome highlighted
Select Accept and Install, then confirm by choosing Yes.
- Remote access setup with Accept & Install highlighted
It starts downloading the installer package. Double-click it to launch it, then adhere to the installation instructions.
- Chrome remote desktop installer package highlighted
Select Next after choosing a name for the host computer.
- Remote Desktop with name field and Next highlighted
Click Start after entering a PIN.
- Chrome Remote Desktop with PIN entry and Start highlighted
Choose the Chrome Remote Desktop extension from the Chrome toolbar to share your screen with a Chromebook or other computer.
- Go to the Google Chrome Remote Desktop website on your Chromebook and click Remote Access.
- Double-click the device where you’ve already configured remote access, then enter the PIN you previously made.
- Choosing the arrow will connect.
How to Find a Lost School Chromebook
Your school laptop has been stolen, and now you’re panicking.
They might be perusing your social media accounts, spying on your Gmail, or looking at your personal information.
You should report the loss of your school Chromebook as soon as possible.
Inform someone who can send the information to your school’s IT department, which can then lock or disable the device. The S/N is used by some schools to keep an eye on their enterprise devices. From the serial number, they can lock it.
If you have sensitive data on it, it will be safeguarded from brute force login attempts in this way.
For lost or missing Chromebooks, each school district will have its own set of standard operating procedures. Your school will handle it in its own manner.
You can manage it online if you have access to the Google Account you used to sign in to your Chromebook.
Can You Track Chromebooks by Serial Number?
You can view your Chromebook’s serial number any time by pressing “ALT + V” on the login screen.
An onscreen prompt displaying the particular computer’s unique identifier will appear as a result.
This special string—which is why it’s called a serial number—is unique to each Chromebook.
If you’re requesting an RMA, an exchange, or if you threw the original box away and no longer have access to it, the manufacturer may ask for it. It may also be necessary for warranty purposes.
If you use a Chromebook at work or school, you can report it missing by calling this number.
If you need to report it, it may be helpful for some IT teams to log the serial numbers of their devices.
They can monitor which device is being used, but it only gives you as the end user a limited amount of information.
If your Chromebook is lost or stolen, the serial number won’t help you find it or get it back. Sorry.
Are There Tracking Apps for Chromebooks?
The precise tracking that Windows or Mac laptops provide is not available on Chromebooks because they lack built-in GPS chips.
Although ChromeOS uses WiFi signals to provide a tracking location, it is not nearly as precise as devices with built-in GPS chips.
As a result, the only information you can obtain about your missing device is the nation, state, and occasionally the city that it is located in. Although there will probably be some granularity problems, Google can track the Chromebook if it is connected to WiFi.
All you’ll probably get out of it is the country/city. As the registered owner, they may have more options for devices used for school or work.
However, if someone performs a Powerwash on your device (without a password), it can completely wipe their ability to find it.
For Chromebooks, there are no authorized tracking programs.
If you’re looking for a “Find my” type of app, sadly it doesn’t exist. Your Google Account’s Security section is the only thing that comes close to it.
Because Chromebooks lack GPS chips, there is a way to track them precisely. WiFi towers can only provide the city and other simple information.
The lack of Chromebook tracking apps is due to this.
These might be available in the Google Play Store, but since they were made by outside parties, they are hit or miss (likely a miss).
Can You Make Your Chromebook Ring Or Erase It Remotely?
These capabilities are sadly absent from ChromeOS recovery. Share your thoughts about this feature since there has been a lot of demand for it.
If you have sensitive data on your device, remotely wiping it from the internet would be useful. Or making your Chromebook make a sound so you can find it if you lose it somewhere in your home.
These ought to come standard, you would think.
You can send feedback to the ChromeOS team by pressing “ALT + SHIFT + I” when logged in to any account. Maybe later they’ll add it in.
Locate the Chromebook’s Google Admin
By looking at the account list, you can easily determine which Google Account owns the Chromebook. The arrival of it is the first. That person is the system’s original owner.
If the owner needs to be changed, you can do so by transferring the privileges from the primary (main) account to the new account.
Remember that if your device is lost and someone tries to reassign it, they cannot do so without first logging into your account.
However, if they Powerwash it, it will be reset to default settings and have no owner. The new owner with elevated admin privileges is whoever signs in first.
How to Tell If a Chromebook is Stolen
If it has a Google Account belonging to someone else signed in, or even just a few of them, on the list of users, the obvious answer is yes. Check the login page to find out.
Reputable sellers will Powerwash refurbished Chromebooks so they look brand new when they sell them.
When you first start it up, there shouldn’t be any Google Accounts.
However, it’s possible that the person you bought it from didn’t know how to reset it and instead just sold it to you with the accounts still active.
In order to be sure they are the original owners, you might want to first check with the seller.
Otherwise, stolen or lost Chromebooks may show the following signs of theft:
- Locked login screen that the seller can’t unlock
- List of random Google Accounts loaded onto the system
- Big warning on the login page that says “SIGN IN REQURIED”
- Name/contact written on the laptop
- Name or email of Google Account not matching that of the seller
- Damaged or broken parts
- Information about the device’s school or place of business (stickers, engravings, writing, etc.))
- There’s no way to know for sure, so there’s no quick way to see if it’s been stolen. But exercise good judgment!
- Enrolled Chromebooks into school or work environments that haven’t been unmanaged
The Only Way to Discourage Theft
You probably don’t want to do what some people have done, who have gotten creative by chaining their laptop to themselves.
Here are some ways to secure your Chromebook from theft:
Make use of a Kensington lock! All Chromebooks have this, which is often overlooked. When you need to leave your computer, you can attach it to a permanent piece of furniture. Locks are inexpensive and make theft extremely difficult.
When you must leave your Chromebook, lock it. Or shut the lid.
In public areas, don’t leave it unattended.
Never lend it to a stranger or share it with them.
Put a mark on it indicating that it is YOURS. It may be simple to mix them up in settings like schools or workplaces where everyone is using the same device. Use a fun sticker or something.
Using common sense will help you avoid being taken advantage of.
On the Chromebook’s lid, write your name, phone number, and email in permanent marker.
Then put “NOT FOR RESALE” on it. This makes it almost impossible to sell it again if it disappears.
Although you can write it on the bottom, doing so will be much more obvious.
Consider how the reseller might feel when taking pictures of the item but purposefully omitting those of the bottom. then giving it to the buyer, who might not check the bottom panel.
not if you write it on the lid, though.
Yes, it’s ugly, but if you’re worried about it being stolen and then sold, it’s more likely to be thrown away than to be given to someone looking to save money on used Chromebooks.
There Are Limited Things You Can Do for a Lost Chromebook
It’s (probably) gone once it’s gone. You’ve already read every option available if you’re still unsure of what to do in the event that it disappears.
You can only do so much with the limited options you have for recovering a lost or stolen device. Be quick.
When attempting to recover it, every second counts. Whenever you go outside, lock your device. Immediately remote sign out of your Google Account.
Then take action to discover how it was lost by tracing your steps. Ask the local front desk staff at libraries. Find out if it has been seen by your peers or colleagues. Consult the lost and found or security staff.
If you’re unable to recover it, use the remote functions to at least make sure that nobody else can access your information. Checking the last known location may give you hints as to whether or not someone else is using it.
Last but not least, let the authorities know if the Chromebook is not yours because it is a work or school device. The serial number (S/N) can occasionally be used by the administrator to lock it.
How Do I Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook?
Go to Quick Settings and open the Screen Capture tool to capture screenshots on a Chromebook. Select Screenshot and select the area you want to capture. Or, to capture your Chromebook’s entire screen, press Ctrl + Window Switch.
How Do I Right-click on a Chromebook?
To right-click on a Chromebook, using the Chromebook keyboard, hover the cursor over the item you want to right-click, press and hold the Alt key, and tap the touchpad with one finger. On the Chromebook touchpad, hover the cursor over the item you want to select and use two fingers to tap the touchpad.
How Do I Restart a Chromebook?
To restart a Chromebook, press and hold the Power button until the device turns off, and then turn it on again. To perform a hard restart, shut down the Chromebook, and then press and hold the Refresh and Power buttons simultaneously. Release after the Chromebook has restarted.