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How to find a lost Chromebook
Have you misplaced a Chrome OS computer? It can happen. These are mostly considered mobile devices and are meant to be portable, after all. If you’ve lost yours, today we will show you how to find lost Chromebook laptops.
If you're trying to figure out how to find a lost Chromebook, we regret to inform you it's not as simple as tracking other devices, such as Android or iPhone handsets. You can see some limited information by going into your Google account, signing in, and going to Security > Your devices > Manage all devices. Look for the section labeled sessions on Chrome device(s). You will see the Chromebook's recent activity, which includes an estimated location.
Sadly, that is the only official way to try and locate a lost Chromebook. There are some more unconventional methods you can try, though. We'll talk about them in this guide.
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How to find your lost Chromebook
As mentioned in the quick answer, finding a Chromebook isn’t as easy as locating a lost mobile phone using Google’s Find My Device tool or Apple’s Find My page. However, there are some tips we can share with you. One of them is official; others are more unconventional workarounds. Let’s go through them together and see if we have any luck helping you find a lost Chromebook.
Use your Google account page to see your last Chromebook location
Your Google account can shed some light on your Chromebook’s approximate location. Sadly, this information isn’t exact, but it may provide info about the neighborhood or city where the Chromebook last started a session.
- Go to myaccount.google.com and sign into your Google account.
- Click on the Security tab.
- Scroll down to the Your devices section.
- Click on Manage all devices.
- Find the X sessions on Chrome device(s). X being the number of sessions registered.
- Select the last session from the Chromebook you lost.
- This page will show you where the device was last seen connected, as well as a few other bits of information.
- If you feel you may not be able to find a lost Chromebook, you can click on Sign out to ensure no one goes digging into your apps and data.
Again, this information may not help much, but at least you can sign out of your account. And if your Chromebook is still where you left it, you may be able to recall a place you may have forgotten it.
Can you log into your Chromebook remotely?
We usually recommend using Chrome Remote Desktop, but this product doesn’t support remote access to Chrome OS. You can, however, try a third-party alternative. We have a list of the best remote desktop apps for Android. Because Chromebooks have access to Android apps, chances are you can use most of these. The only caveat is that this needs to be set up proactively. This method won’t help you if you have already lost your Chromebook.
Once you have picked a remote desktop app, you can log into your Chromebook whenever it is connected to the internet. If you manage to access it, you can easily locate it using any website that uses your location, such as Google Maps.
How to see your location on Google Maps:
- Connect to your Chromebook remotely. This will only work if the Chromebook is online.
- Launch the Chrome browser.
- Go to www.google.com/maps.
- Click on the Your Location button.
- Chrome may ask you for location access. Grant it.
- Give it a few seconds, and Google Maps should show you the Chromebook’s location.
Consider getting a tracker
Since there aren’t many good options to find a lost Chromebook, you may have to resort to other technology to try to keep your electronics safe. Consider getting a Bluetooth tracker, such as an Apple AirTag.
Of course, Apple AirTags aren’t for everyone, so we’ve also compiled a list of the best Apple AirTag alternatives. There’s something in there for everyone. Some of these even work with Google’s Find My Device network.
We think a Tile for Electronics is the best option for something like a Chromebook. It is shaped like a credit card, and has a adhesive side so you can stick it to a flat surface. If you usually carry a Chromebook on a bag or case, you can try to hide one of these trackers somewhere in there, too.
Can a lost school Chromebook be tracked?
So far, we’ve only covered consumer Chromebooks. If you happen to lose a school Chromebook, you’ll be glad to know there is a higher chance of finding it. This is because school Chromebook administrators have more control and deeper access to these school-owned Chromebooks.
The school’s IT department still won’t be able to use something like Google’s Find My Device tool, but it can use other tools to find Chrome OS school property. For example, they can easily find out who the last user was, when it was last used, and the IP address. It’s also possible for technicians to access things like browsing history, app activity, and more.
If you lose a school Chromebook, your best bet is to contact the administrators and have them help you. We know it can be embarrassing to admit you lost school property, but doing so quickly can mean the difference between finding the device or not.
Sadly, Find My Device doesn’t support Chrome OS devices. You can only use it for tracking Android and other supported accessories.
Chrome Remote Desktop doesn’t natively support accessing Chromebooks from other devices. There is a way to create a one-time connection, though.
On your Chromebook, go to remotedesktop.google.com/support/ and click on Generate Code under the Share this screen section. The code will expire after five minutes. Go to the same website using another device and enter the access code in the Connect to another computer section. Then hit Connect.
Because Chromebooks have access to Android apps, you can use remote desktop apps for Android to access them remotely. Here’s a list of the best remote desktop apps for Android, if you need some help picking.