If your Windows 10 laptop is missing or stolen, use “Find my device” to locate and lock it remotely. “Find my device” uses the location data of your device to help you find your device if you lose it. “Find My Device” allows the Windows Portable Device Administrator, such as a laptop or tablet, to locate the device’s location from account.microsoft.com/devices.
The administrator needs to switch on the device’s location settings and sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account to use this feature. This feature will work for the administrator even though other users have denied access to their apps’ location. When the administrator attempts to locate the device, users can see a message in the notification area on the taskbar.
If you find your device and want to prevent anyone from accessing it or viewing your files, you can lock it remotely. When you remotely lock your Windows 10 system, all active users will be logged in, and local users will be disabled. Permission managers will still have access to sign in and unlock the device, but unauthorized access will be blocked. Your device will be locked, and the location tracking service will be activated. The lock screen will display the message you’ve created. Emails will be sent to your Microsoft account email address to update your device.
Requirements to use the “Find my Device” Feature
The device must comply with a number of requirements for the use of the feature;
1. It must be connected to the Internet.
2. You must have already activated Find My Device on your PC.
3. It is necessary to have a device account that has administrator privileges and is a Microsoft account. You can’t do that with a local user account.
Enable the “Find my Device” Feature on Windows 10
Before you can locate your Windows 10 device, you need to sign in to your Microsoft account system and then allow you to “locate my device”. This is a feature that will enable you to lock your computer.
If you are using your device as a local user, open the Settings app, go to “Accounts” > “Your Info,” and click “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead.” Now, follow the wizard to complete the account linking process. After linking your system to a Microsoft account, your device will be listed on the Microsoft Devices page.
Once you’ve done this, you are now ready to use the “find my device” functionality. Generally, finding my device feature is automatically activated if you have selected the default privacy settings when installing or updating Windows 10. Otherwise, you need to activate the function manually.
1. To do this, open the Settings app again and go to “Update and Security” > “Find My Device.” On the left sidebar, you can see that “Find My Device” is set to “Off.” To change this, click the “Change” option.
2. Toggle the switch to ON under “Save the location of my device periodically.” This is how the Settings app looks after you toggle on location tracking.
From now on, Windows 10 will send your location data to Microsoft regularly so that you can locate your device as and when appropriate. As Windows 10 updates the position info, you can see the location tracking icon in the taskbar.
Locate and Lock your Windows 10 Device remotely
Once you have properly set up “Find my Device”, you can track and lock your Windows 10 device directly from the Microsoft Devices page. The method is very close to that of tracking your Android device via your Google account.
1. First of all, open your Microsoft account.
2. Click the Devices option.
3. In the “Overview” tab, click the “Show Details” (or Manage) button on the device you want to lock.
4. Click the Find My Device tab.
5. On the top right, click the Lock button.
6. Click the Next button.
7. Write a short message with the return instructions that will appear on the Lock screen. For example, “Please do the right thing, If found, call 555-123-4567”.
8. Click the Lock button.
9. Click the Reset Password button to change your password if you think the account has been compromised, or click the OK button.
After the steps have been completed, if the attempt to access your computer remotely is successful, Windows 10 will log out all active users, disable local users, and show your message on the Lock screen. However, administrator accounts will remain active, but unauthorized access will be blocked.
Once you get your device back, nothing’s going to be different. You will sign in to your account with your original or new password created during the locking process.