How To: Remotely Track and Lock Windows, Linux and Chrome devices

In case your device was stolen or you lost it, there are a few ways to remotely track, lock or even wipe it. We should inform you though that if you want to achieve one of those actions, you will have to act very fast. Furthermore, these kinds of actions require from your device to be powered on or connected to the Internet. Now let’s see how you can lock, wipe and track various types of devices remotely.

Track, Lock and Wipe Windows PC, Phones and Tablets

Fortunately, Microsoft provides the Windows Phones owners with a great solution for tracking down your device. All you have to do is the configuration of the Find My Phone option on your device.

  • Firstly, go to Settings and find the Find My Phone option.
  • Configure the option on your Windows Phone.
  • Once you do it, go to the Windows Phone website and click on Find My Phone, shown in the menu at the upper right corner of the screen.

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You will then be able to track, lock and erase your Windows Phone remotely. However, if a thief stole your device and then managed to reset it, those operation will not succeed.

As for Windows PCs and tablets, unfortunately Microsoft does not offer an intergrated tracking solution, so you will have to use a third-party service, such as Prey.  Prey is a free tracking solution for such Windows devices. Do not expect though anything more than basic tracking. If you want more tracking options you will have to pay.  You will have to install Prey, before your device is lost. Then you can sign in to Prey’s website and remotely track and lock your device.

The downside of Prey is that it is not as powerful as other tracking services. For example, Apple’s service allows you to remotely lock a device with a BIOS or UEFI firmware password. As a result, the device will not turn on again. This kind of feature is not available with Windows devices. Furthermore, if a thief stole your Windows computer, you will not be able to remotely track it, in case he has reinstalled Windows.

Another disappointing feature about Windows devices is that you can’t install third-party desktop application in Windows tablets. You could still be able to install an application like the Windows Location Tracker from the Windows Store, but this kind of program will not help you to remotely track and lock your Windows RT device, due to the limitations of the Windows Store apps.

Track, Lock and Wipe Linux PCs

The same tracking soution applies to Linux computers too. You will have to install a third-party application to track down your device. Therefore, you could use Prey again, but you should know that once a different operating system is installed on your Linux device, you will not be able to track it.

Track, Lock and Wipe Chromebooks

The Chrome operating system does not offer a preinstalled tracking solution for your lost or stolen device. You could install a third-party software, but tracking software like GoGuardian do not tend to offer help individually. For instance, GoGuardian can offer help to a school, in order to keep track to their Chromebooks.

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As you noticed, Microsoft’s and Google’s solutions are pretty disappointing, in comparison with Apple’s racking service. For this reason the both companies promised to include such a helpful service in their future operating systems.