How to Track Someone on Google Maps WITHOUT Them Knowing

If you need to track someone’s location Google Maps can be an easy (and FREE) way to do so.

In this article I’ll show you EXACTLY how you can use Google Maps to track someone’s phone location without them knowing.

Read on to find out how you can start tracking someone.

How to Easily Track the Location of Your Loved Ones

If you need to track a loved one, the Google Maps app could be the solution to your problem.

This, along with a number of messaging application options will allow you to find the location of someone, even without their knowledge.

Note that the following two methods (Maps and WhatsApp) are best used for tracking a person once in a while. If you need something to regularly trace a person ‘s location, skip ahead to the next section.

Location Tracking Using Google Maps

The Google Maps app usually comes installed on every smartphone on the market. And it’s free.

Everyone knows that Google Maps can be used to navigate to a particular place or through unfamiliar routes, or to avoid traffic.

But did you know you can use Google Maps to track someone ‘s location as well?

Here’s how to do location tracking like a pro.

  1. Ensure location services are enabled on the device you plan to track.
  2. Open the Google Maps icon on the device you wish to track (also called the target device).
  3. Tap on the hamburger icon that can be found at the top left of the screen.
  4. Look at the options available, then tap on the location sharing icon.
  5. Click on GET STARTED on the target device to prepare it for phone tracking.
  6. Choose the time for which you want to track the target device ‘s location. To adjust it, you can tap on the plus or minus icon to increase or depress the time you want to keep location sharing on.
  7. And if you do not want to have any time barriers to tracking the target device, you can tap until you turn this off option. However, note that once you select this, other apps, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, email, etc. will disappear. When this happens, you can only trace the location of the target device through a link that will be sent via message.

Option 1: Sharing Location by Sending A Link

  1. Once you select your contact from the target device, a pop-up might appear, stating that the contact is not connected to the google account. Just tap on OK and you will be able to proceed.
  2. Just tap on Send to forward the prepared link from the messaging app to yourself.
  3. Use this link sent from the target device and tracking the target device using google maps becomes straightforward from there on out.

Option 2: Sharing the Location from Inside the Maps Application

  1. You can also send the location from right inside Google Map, which will forward a notification to your phone from the target device.
  2. After tapping this notification, the Maps app will automatically open and show you the location of the cell phones you set it up on.
  3. By tapping the Directions option, you can easily get directions to head to their location as well.

Location Tracking Through WhatsApp

Besides just the Maps app, you can also use other apps, such as WhatsApp to track someone ‘s location.

  1. Open the WhatsApp account on the device you want to track the location of, then open your chat with that person.
  2. Tap on the attach icon at the bottom, then choose the Location option.
  3. Next, tap on the Share Live Location option. Ensure you do not tap on “send current location” instead, otherwise you will only see the location of that phone at that specific time.
  4. Select the time for which you want to track someone and tap on the send icon.
  5. Got to your own cell phone and open your chat with the device on which you set up location sharing.
  6. Tap on view live location in the location message that you sent to your own phone.
  7. Tap on their profile icon on the map.
  8. Then select GET DIRECTIONS.
  9. Choose the Maps app to open the location sharing on the said app. And if you want to open it through another app option, you can choose that instead.
  10. Finally, you can now see the current location and track someone with ease!

Why Would I Need to Track Someone ‘s location?

using an app to secretly track husband's phone

Perhaps you have kids or teenagers that you need to keep an eye on.

Or perhaps you need the location of an employee or driver to make sure they are doing their job and not spending their paid time hanging around.

Maybe you need to meet up with a friend and you both need a way to conveniently know each other’s location. This can also be handy when you and your loved ones are traveling abroad, just to make sure they don’t get lost.

And in case you misplace your phone or want a back-up plan if it gets lost, you can also set up a way to trace your device’s location.

In that case, location tracking using Google Maps or any other application is an essential skill you need to know how to use.

Tracking Someone Without Them Knowing

As a parent, you know that your kids may not want to share their location with you. Tracking someone’s phone is still a possibility, even if they don’t want you to!

To do that, you only have to delete the link message that you sent to your devicefrom Google Maps on your child ‘s phone.

Rest assured, deleting this link will not disrupt the one that you sent to your phone.

For WhatsApp, your option is the same. Long-press the message you sent to yourself, tap on the delete icon, then select delete for me.

Ensure you do not click on delete for everyone by mistake, otherwise, it will also erase the location sharing message you sent to yourself!

How to Stop Tracking Someone

Now that you no longer have to track someone, how do you stop what you started?

On Google Maps

Go to Google Maps on the intended device.

Tap on the Hamburger icon and select Location Sharing.

When you see your name of the receiving device, tap on the cross icon at the bottom right side. Now location sharing has been disabled and the link will stop working.

On WhatsApp

If you chose to track someone using WhatsApp, you can easily disable it by tapping on Stop Sharing.

How to Regularly Track A Person

As we have mentioned, Google Maps and WhatsApp allow you to track a person once in a while. But if you need to keep a regular eye on your loved ones, there is only one way for you.

Spying on someone’s phone usually requires you to install and authorize the applications on both the target device and receiving device.

Note that these apps require payment, including a regular subscription fee to access the data that is stored on their cloud. However, for what you get, this is a small investment.

Not only will these apps let you keep track of a person ‘s device 24/7, but it will also allow you to check their location history.

A lot also have services that will let you access their photos or files. The specifics and features will depend on the particular app and subscription you have chosen.

Many also offer a feature called Geofencing, which allows you to set an artificial fence around a particular area, such as your house.

If the location of the person you are tracking goes beyond that area, you will immediately get a notification.

These advanced features are not available on Google Maps.

We must remind you that you need the consent of adults when using spy apps on them. For children, parents can monitor their cellphones without restrictions.

An example of this is the Find My Kids app, which purely uses GPS tracking to record and automatically locate your child and their cellphone or smartwatch.

Find My Kids will then send you notifications whenever your child leaves a certain place, like your house or their school, or if their battery is running low.

It also has an SOS feature they can press, among others.

Just A Warning

Before you go ahead and start doing all of these, there is something you need to know.

There are many laws in place prohibiting location tracing, even when it is just through Google Maps. As a parent, you are able to track your child’s location as long as they are not of legal age.

Required Permission

Location

While we have shown you how easy it can be to track the location of a person through their cellphone, it is not always legal to dose.

Generally, unless you are part of some kind of law enforcement agency and have a valid warrant to do so, you cannot engage in this kind of activity.

For adults, you will need to get their consent to keep track of their location, whether through Google Maps, WhatsApp, or any other service.

This requirement applies to employers looking to track their employees’ devices, as well as family members and friends.

Doing this without or against their consent can result in legal consequences, including criminal penalties.

Others

If you plan to use a spy app that offers other features, such as call logs and access to the files in a given device, you should remember that it is illegal to record a conversation without the consent of all persons involved in that particular call.

This is why, whenever you call a customer service line, they inform you that your call may be recorded for quality assurance or any other purpose.

By staying on the call, you agree to let yourself and your conversation be legally recorded.

Just like we mentioned earlier, only a law enforcement agency with a valid warrant can do this.

Final Words

We know that in most cases, it is not wise to spy on the live location of someone. However, something may require you to do this. The extent to which you need to do this can vary.

We have given you three different methods that will let you trace someone’s location. Above all, exercise caution before proceeding with an operation like this.

About the Author Jason Thompson

Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.  You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.