There are many reasons for wanting, or needing, to know how to track a cell phone location without installing software on the target phone. Maybe you want to keep track of your kids activities, think an employee is stealing, or suspect that your spouse may be cheating on you.
If you're not careful, the need to find a way to track a phone without installing an app may get in the way of being able to effectively do it, as you may have too much emotional involvement. Read this article to learn how to track a cell phone without installing software.
How To Use A Spy App To Track A Cell Phone Location Without Installing Software
A spy app, also known as "spyware," is a program that can track someone's cell phone and spy on their activities. Employers use these apps for employees for workplace surveillance and parents use them to keep track of their children's activities. With the help of spy apps, you can access and control a smartphone from anywhere in the world and still see what you're doing even if they aren't physically present.
It's easy to assume that you would need physical access to the target device to be able to effectively set up tracking, but this is not true. Although what you will be able to monitor about your child's activities will not be as complete, you do not need to physically touch a mobile phone to spy with an app.
uMobix is what I use to track the location of my son's iPhone, and it's been great. In my case, I didn't have to install anything on the target phone because I had his iCloud information. But, if you don't have their iCloud credentials or are tracking an Android device, installation takes about 10 minutes.
Once the uMobix app is set up, you can log into your account and view the location of the target phone in real time. You can also see a history of where they have been and set up geofencing alerts to notify you if they go outside of a certain area.
Many more advanced features are available if you are able to install the app, which I eventually did secretly once I saw how much more information could be accessed. It's definitely worth the effort to get the phone for the few minutes it takes to install. After that, it enters stealth mode and you will never have to touch it again.
The uMobix app provides better monitoring for social media apps than any other spy app on the market, including Tinder, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype, TikTok, Telegram, Snapchat, and Zoom, just to name a few.
The app goes far beyond simply tracking the location of the cell phone and gives you full control over it, including the ability to remotely activate the microphone and camera.
It even has a spy app detection feature to alert you to other stealth tracking apps that are already installed on the cell phone. At first glance, this seems like a hilarious feature for a location monitoring app to have. But, if you are spying on your child for their safety, it would be a huge concern if you found that someone else was already tracking them.
Live tech support by phone is available, which can be a lifesaver if you need to install the app in a limited amount of time.
I have had no complaints aside from intercepted data only staying available for 30 days. But, this limit is higher on multi-month plans so I'm only taking away a half star for it.
- Tracks a cell phone without installing software
- Remote camera activation
- Can stream live video
- Remote microphone activation
- GPS location tracking
- All social media apps
- Data retention limited to 30 days on basic plan
mSpy is what I previously used to track the location of my son's iPhone without installing software on the target phone.
It has most of the features of uMobix and is easier to use to track a cell phone location without installing software on the target phone. The reason I switched, and the reason this method would be my second recommendation, is that it lacks the camera and microphone activation abilities that uMobix has when it's installed.
While mSpy would be my top choice if I knew I was only going to track the target without installing software, I would choose uMobix if there was the possibility that I could install an app some day.
Aside from that, mSpy is easier to use and offers more detailed help and tutorials for how to use it to track a mobile device without installation.
You should choose what is best for you based on the likelihood that you will always need to use it without installing software on the target phone.
- Records text messages
- Screen recorder
- Real-time GPS location tracking
- Access to all social media apps
EyeZy is the newest and most powerful mobile phone tracking software that doesn't require installation on the target device. Exploiting iCloud syncing gives access to the person's current GPS location, contacts, e-mail, photos, and videos. Even more information is available for Android smartphones using Wi-Fi sync.
If you can get physical access to the device, eyeZy offers a wide range of advanced capabilities including:
- Keystroke Capture
- Website Browsing History
- Alerts for specific conversations
- Call logs
- Great tech support
Perhaps the best feature is that you can spy on Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, Skype, WhatsApp, KiK, and Instagram messages to see what the person does online.
- Easiest to use
- Totally hidden
- Fast installation
- GPS location tracking
- All social media apps
- Not quite as powerful as mSpy
FlexiSpy (read our full FlexiSpy review) is not as user-friendly as other spying software, but it uses the most comprehensive security technology currently available. It too remains totally hidden and has a long list of mobile phone monitoring capabilities, and these are some of the highlights:
- Call Logs
- All Text Messages
- Monitor Social Media Content, including Facebook
- Search History
- Compatible with all versions of Android and iOS
To me, the most alluring abilities of FlexiSpy are related to taking control over the hardware on your cell phone. Once this tool is in stealth mode, it gives you full root control and allows you to silently activate the front and rear cameras or turn on the microphone and spy without the target's knowledge.
Read that last sentence again. It's worth having a slightly less modern interface to have safe and reliable ways of looking at more information.
- Extremely powerful
- Live camera streaming
- Pre-loaded smartphones available
- GPS tracking
- Microphone access
- Call recording
- Older interface
Minspy is one of the older names in the cell phone tracking, parental control, and monitoring market. It comes with tons of useful features for both parents and employers. Minspy does like to claim to be the most robust monitoring solution ever created. While that may have been true at one time, I found this cell phone app to be lacking.
It works well when trying to discover information about someone, with features such as the ability to read email and message contents with timestamps, web browser search logs, text messages, and more. But, it lacks the ability to intercept security passcodes and misses some Facebook activity.
How To Locate A Android Phone Without Installing Software
Use Android Device Manager
Few Android users have explored their settings deeply enough to find that Android Device Manager is pre-installed, but this service is always active by default. The great thing is that you can map where Android devices have been, and with accuracy to within 60 feet. Best of all, you can do everything and you don't need to have any software running on the target Android.
This dashboard can be used to track the GPS locaion from any other phone, or a computer, by following these steps:
- Visit Find My Device
- Enter the number and Google Account information
- See where their location or ring, lock, or remotely erase the device
One important step is getting the password for the person you want to spy on, which is an obvious problem. Figuring out how you will know the password may be harder then just borrowing someone's phone and loading a location tracking application.
Use Google Maps Timeline To Track A Cell Phone Location
Although it still requires that you know their password, Google Maps timeline is one interesting option.
The step-by-step instructions are:
- Step 1: Open Google Maps
- Step 2: Log in with the phone's Account
- Step 3: Click on “Menu”
- Step 4: Select “Your Timeline”
Your screen should now show a timeline where you can access information on the physical movements of the user. Alternatively, you can click on Menu -> Your Places -> Visited to view location history.
You can find out the current location by following the instructions above. Interestingly, you can view the data remotely at any time and the user of the target Android phone will not be aware of being tracked.
How To Track A iPhone Location Without Installing Software
Apple has never really hidden that it listens to its customers, or that iOS records all online activities. In fact, they seem to think it's a feature to upload all of your data to their servers. In this case, they are right.
Each of these three methods provide a lot of information about the person being monitored and do not require putting software on the cell phone.
Use A Spy App Without Installing It On The iPhone
It may sound counterintuitive, but using these is the best way to spy on an iPhone without installing software because they can help you monitor someone's real-time location, Internet activities, email, private SMS text messages, and other personal things secretly. This does offer several advantages:
- Easy of Use
- Large Amount of Data Available
- Nothing is installed on the target device
These spy apps now make it easier to breach the security of iOS devices and get access to essential functions and collect as much information as you need without being detected.
You can easily see details like what apps are installed, contact lists, and emails with these applications and it is simple to remotely track where they go with this method. But, if it's possible to take the phone for a few minutes and download the needed spyware, you can get much more powerful spy tools.
How To Use iCloud To Track A Phone
Most people don't know you can connect to iCloud accounts directly to monitor mobile devices. This method is not as easy to perform and data is more difficult to locate than simply using software to spy on your children. But, with no free monitoring options out there now for iOS, this is a method of last resort for tracking a device.
This method can get the following:
- Current Location
- iCloud Drive
- Erase Target Device
Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone is a built-in app that allows owners to monitor their cell phone activities and track down their phones if it is misplaced or stolen. While it doesn't have advanced abilities like seeing files, it is still a good solution if you can work with just having basic information about the person.
Tracking a cell phone location without installing software on the target phone will usually only be legal when you are tracking your child or someone that has given you permission to access their account. However, even in these situations, you must consult with a lawyer before attempting to track someone's cell location without installing software because laws can vary dramatically by location and do not necessarily follow logic.
Do I need to jailbreak iPhone?
iPhones can only install Apple-approved apps from their store. This is why you have to jailbreak the target device to get un-approved apps. Many people have this done, but you should not have to jailbreak the device to spy on it remotely. Each application we recommended in this article can provide robust tracking capabilities while not requiring jailbreaking or installation.
Can I track a cell phone location for free without installing software on the target phone?
No, there are no free apps made for this and it is unlikely anyone will create one. The reason for this is that the software you need to accomplish this is quite complex and no one is giving that away for free.
Beware of scammers claiming to know how you can track someones location and spy on them for free or for too little money to be beleivable.
As we have explained, spying on a mobile device without touching it is possible. However, these methods are somewhat limited because you are required to have the Google Account or Apple ID credentials of the device. Fortunately, much better options exist.
If you can't install an app, purchasing a new cell phone and downloading monitoring software before presenting it as a gift works well. If you need to watch what your kids are doing on their smartphones, giving them a brand new iPhone or Android will just seem like a really nice gesture. Your gift also allows you to have an unlimited amount of time to get the needed software set up and thoroughly check to be sure it is undetectable.
While you can track a phone without installing an app, it can actually be more difficult to accomplish than devising a way you can borrow a cell phone for long enough to install software.
If it's absolutely not possible for you to access the device, consider purchasing a new smartphone as a gift for the individual. Before presenting it, you can install an app without worrying about having time to ensure it works correctly.