How to Track a Cell Phone Location Without Them Knowing

man using cell phone to read text messages from another phone

No one likes to be a snoop, but sometimes you just need to know what's going on when you're not around.  There are any number of reasons for doing so. 

Perhaps your spouse is acting strange and you suspect them of cheating? 

Maybe your child is getting to the age where you need to monitor their communications with the opposite sex?

Or perhaps you're worried about what an employee is looking at on their phone during work hours?

Whatever your reasons, there are dozens of apps out there that allow you to discretely monitor someone's phone without them being aware. 

But many of these apps require that you have their phone in hand to install the software. 

We're going to take a look at how to track a cell phone location without them knowing & without having to install software on the target device.

Anything more than just basic location tracking requires a spy app.  Read our in-depth mSpy buyer's guide.  Here you'll find everything you need to know about it's capabilities and pricing, including how to track a phones location, intercept text messages, snapchat videos, and more.

click this button to read our mspy review

Here's what we'll be covering:

How To Track an iPhone Without Them Knowing

The easiest way to begin tracking someone's iphone without their knowledge is to purchase a spy app that gives you this capability. 

There are plenty of software packages out there for both iPhones and Androids that offer this capability, but most of them require installing software on the target phone. 

There are a few, however, that don't require any sort of access to the person's phone and you won't have to secretly install any software either.  This is the ideal way of secretly tracking an iPhone without the user knowing.  

Our app of choice is mSpy.  And one of the primary reasons we recommend it is because is DOES NOT require you to have access to the target phone.  On top of that it's extremely easy to use and comes with a whole list of powerful features.  Lets take a look at a few.

Track Someone by Cell Phone Number Without Them Knowing

While it is possible to track an iPhone's location, it requires more than just a phone number to do so.  There are a couple different options.  One requires installing software directly on the phone.  Generally referred to as spy software, it allows you monitor the location and much more.

The second option for use ONLY with iPhones is to find a software package that simply collects the phones location data and other information from their iCloud account

How to Track a Phone Without Them Knowing Using Spy Software

Tracking a cell phone is relatively easy with the right tools.  This is one of the more powerful features of spyware.

Once you've got the app installed and setup you'll be using an online dashboard to view all of the information.  mSpy's dashboard is highly intuitive and easy to use.  You can even monitor multiple devices should the need arise.  Here is snapshot of the dashboard you'll be using.

mspy control panel

Simply select the information you wish to view from the choices on the left-hand side of the screen.  All relevant data will be displayed instantly. 

The only time there will be a delay in getting information is if the target phone is outside of cell coverage.  Once the phone comes back into a coverage area, the information is immediately updated.

As we mentioned before, this software is designed for tracking iPhone and Android devices.

Can I Track My Child's Phone Without Their Knowledge?

As a parent there are few things more terrifying than not knowing how your child is using their phone.  We get lot's of questions like "How can I track my daughters phone without her knowledge?" or "How can I track my sons iPhone without his permission?"  With a spy app you can easily keep tabs on everyone they talk to, who they chat with, what sort of pictures they're taking, and more.

While there are potential legal issues with spying on a phone you don't own, you can most certainly install a monitoring app on your kid's phone with no issues.  This will allow you to keep close tabs on what they read, see, talk about, and who they talk to.

There are even apps that specifically target parents looking to keep tabs on their kids.  One of the most popular is TeenSafe.  While it doesn't offer some of the features offered by the more powerful apps it's still a good solution.  You can read our Teensafe reviews here.

Tracking Your Wife, Husband, Boyfriend or Girlfriend's iPhone or Android

No one wants to be suspicious of their significant other, but sometimes people cheat.  In order to protect yourself and your family sometimes you have to make sure there's no funny business going on behind your back.  A tracking app does exactly that and more. 

They allow you to monitor the movement of the phone using it's built-in GPS.  Every few minutes you'll be able to see an updated location of their phone.  You can even setup geo-fencing zones so that you get notified when he or she goes to a specific location.  Within minutes of their arrival you'll receive a notification on your phone.

What Are the Capabilities of Android Tracker Apps?

There are plenty of Android spying apps out there.  If you're looking for more capabilities such as monitoring ALL chat applications (such as Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, Viber, Line etc), geo location, and emails you'll want to take a look at mSpy's advanced surveillance package.  Just be aware that this advanced functionality DOES require physical access to the target phone.

Below is a detailed list of everything you'll have access to using the mSpy app:

  • monitor incoming and outgoing phone calls
  • see the full contact list of the target phone
  • view sent and received SMS text messages, learn more here.
  • view chats from Whatsapp
  • view their browsing history
  • calendar events and notes
  • location tracking of the device
  • even hack their passwords, read more
  • read text messages from another phone without installing software

If you're looking for more capabilities than those listed above, check out our list of the best cell phone tracking apps that don't require permission.

But if you're looking for one that allows you track the location and spy on a cell phone's text messages without installing software on the target phone mSpy is by far your best option.  

Looking for Even More Advanced Tracking Functionality?

If you're looking for the app with the most capabilities we recommend FlexiSPY.  It offers powerful options that no other software does such as call intercept, call recording, and more. 

This is in addition the ability to track the location of a phone, intercept text messages, and more.  You can read our full review to find answers to common questions like how does FlexiSPY really work?  We also cover installation questions, and more.

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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.