If you invested in a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Surface Book or one of the older Surface devices, then you should turn on Find My Surface in Windows 10. It can help you find the computer if you lose it or if someone steals it.
The setting will take your location and send it through the Internet to Microsoft. You can then log into their account and find your device’s location. This only works if the computer has the setting turned on and if they’re connected to the Internet.
A thief or dishonest person who found the computer can stop this from working by disconnecting from the Internet and then turning off the feature. To do this, they will need to get into the user account of the computer and know to turn it off. However, the feature will show you where it last logged into the user’s account while on the Internet.
How to Turn on Find My Surface
Go into the Windows 10 Settings. Do this by clicking on the notification icon in the lower right corner, which opens the ACTION CENTER of Windows 10. Click or tap on All Settings. Tap or click on Update & security. You can also get to Settings from the Start Button in the lower left corner. Click it and choose the Settings icon two icons above the Start button.
Along the left hand side, there’s a list of settings. Click or tap on Find My Device. If your screen reads “Find My Device is off” then click or tap on the Change button. The pop up box has an on/off slider switch. Tap it to turn on Find My Device.
This turns on the feature and contacts Microsoft with your current location-based on the Internet network you’re connected to at the time.
How to Find My Surface if Lost or Stolen
If you lose your Surface device or it gets stolen, then go to http://account.microsoft.com/devices and sign in using your Microsoft account. The page lists all of your devices. Find the one that corresponds to your Surface.
Click the Find my device link next to your Surface. It opens a page that shows a map with the device’s location device.If you merely lost the Surface, then you can go to the spot and find the device. If you suspect that someone stole it, please do not try to retrieve it yourself. Call the police and let them confront the thief on your behalf.
Once you look for your Surface using the site above, Microsoft will send a notification to the Surface. It will show up in the lower right corner for a few seconds and then go away. To see it again, you must tap or click on the notification icon to open the ACTION CENTER. Unfortunately, this may notify a thief that you’re looking for the Surface. The only way to fix this is to turn off security notifications.
Go into Settings and choose System. Select Notifications & actions from the left column. Scroll down to Security and Maintenance and turn off the notifications for that item. Sadly, this will also turn off other security notifications, which users will probably want to keep on most of the time.
Microsoft should turn off the notification unless the user specifically asks for it to show up. For example, I might know it’s not stolen and want the finder to contact me. So Microsoft should make it possible to send a notice with my name and phone number or other instructions, like “Please leave my tablet at the front desk”. Microsoft should also send a loud sound notification that stays on until the user or a person who finds the Surface turns it off. That’s the way it works for iPhones or iPads.
Prey: An Alternative to Find My Surface
Some people might want to consider Prey, an alternative to Find My Surface with more features but also an added cost for the premium version. It costs $5/month for up to 3 devices and $15/month for up to 10 devices. A free version works with up to 3 devices and will let you search for the computer up to 20 times before paying for the service. The paid versions let users search up to 100 times per year. The paid accounts will let the user remotely wipe the computer if it get’s totally lost or stolen.