How To Track A Cell Phone Location Without Installing Software On Target Phone

How To Track A Cell Phone Location Without Installing Software On Target Phone

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 without them knowing. 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 a cell phone 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.

1. mSpy

mSpy logo

mSpy is what I use to track the location of my son's iPhone. 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 mSpy app is installed, 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.

The mSpy 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. You can monitor all of their social media activity, including messages, images, and videos.

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 take to install. After that, it enters stealth mode and you will never have to touch it again.

Live tech support is available, which can be a lifesaver if you need to get it going in a limited amount of time.

Ease of Use:
  • Records text messages
  • Keylogger
  • Screen recorder
  • Real-time GPS location tracking
  • Geofencing
  • Access to all social media apps
  • Cost

2. EyeZy


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 phone, 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.

Ease of Use:
  • Easiest to use
  • Totally hidden
  • Fast installation
  • GPS location tracking
  • All social media apps
  • Not quite as powerful as mSpy

3. FlexiSpy

FlexiSpy logo

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
  • Keylogger
  • 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.

Ease of Use:
  • Extremely powerful
  • Live camera streaming
  • Pre-loaded smartphones available
  • GPS tracking
  • Microphone access
  • Call recording
  • Older interface
  • Expensive

4. Minspy

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 tracker 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

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

Google Timeline

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.

If you're wondering how to use a cell phone tracker without having the target device, three methods exist. Each of these ways 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 without them knowing. 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

iCloud control panel

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 spying on a cell phone.

This method can get the following:

  • Current Location
  • Contacts
  • iCloud Drive
  • E-Mail
  • Erase Target Phone
  • Photos

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.


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 a cell phone to spy on it remotely. Each application we recommended in this article can provide some robust spy capabilities while not requiring jailbreaking.

Can I use a free phone tracker without installing on the target phone?

No, there is no free phone spy application option made 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 phone 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.

Author Katya Seryabkina
About The Author
Katya Seryabkina
Ukrainian born, and a self-taught geek. I started hacking when I was 14 and can write code in 5 languages, but have no formal technical education. The edge of technology is what keeps me interested. I cover cell phone tracking, spy apps, cybersecurity, the dark web, and certain gadgets for The High Tech Society.