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How to Track Someone’s iPhone or iPad Without Them Knowing

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To track someone’s iPhone or iPad without them knowing requires the use of a cell phone tracker app. Cell phone tracking apps are a type of software the remotely monitors the location of any device using Apple’s iOS operating system. These apps help parents track the location of their child. Tracking apps also help a spouse or partner track the location of their loved ones.

There are free tracking apps such as Find My and Family Sharing. These apps offer limited features and require access to the target phone.

The iPhone tracking apps below offer more features and discrete tracking capabilities. They are ranked based on price, tracking features, user reviews, refund policy, and overall popularity.

The 3 best tracking apps for iOS devices are uMobix, mSpy, and SpyBubble.

  1. uMobix
  2. mSpy
  3. SpyBubble

Our top 3 tracking apps do not require the installation of software on the target phone.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • how to track an iPhone without them knowing
  • how you can do this without installing software
  • built-in software that shows an iPhone’s location data
  • a free app that will show you some location information

Let’s take a look at the top rated apps for tracking an iPhone or iOS device.

Tracking an iPhone Without the Person Knowing

logo for iPhones

Cell phone surveillance apps are the best way to track an iPhone without the owner knowing. Phone spy apps allow you to monitor a wide range of activities on another iPhone.

Want to learn more about spy apps? Check out my guide to choosing the best iPhone surveillance apps.

An iPhone monitoring app like uMobix allows you to:

  • Check someone’s iPhone location without them knowing
  • setup geofencing.
  • View their incoming and outgoing calls, text messages, and social media chats, and even spy on FaceTime
  • do all of this without physical access to the device.

There are many third-party spy apps on the market that can help you discreetly track someone by cell phone number without them knowing.

So how do I know to choose the right one?

You want to make sure that what you download on your device is secure so it doesn’t compromise your phone, or theirs without them knowing. You don’t want it to be your fault if private information gets leaked.

Below is a list of some safe apps that I have found that can help you track an iPhone. In order to do this, they employ the use of iCloud. You will just need to find a way to get their credentials.

And WHAT’S GREAT is you can leave the target iPhone without new software, so they wouldn’t see any app to track their location and usage.

Every app mentioned here works on iOS devices, such as an iPhone or iPad. They are relatively simple to use, and you can find instructions on their respective websites.

While it can be tempting to use a  free solution that claims to give you a lot of features, most of these don’t work (I know from personal experience).

Either way, do not download any software on your iPhone without checking reviews.

iPhone Tracking Apps

1. uMobix

umobix iphone tracking app
uMobix iPhone Tracker

uMobix is a tracker app that monitors iOS-based mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The main benefits of the uMobix phone tracking app are the real-time location tracking, Facebook and Instagram monitoring, and WhatsApp chat message monitoring. uMobix is compatible with all versions of the iOS operating system.

Tracking an iPhone using uMobix does not require installing software on the target iOS device. uMobix tracks all smartphone data through the iCloud account of the target user. The setup process for uMobix takes 5 minutes.

Pros of uMobix

The pros of uMobix include discrete tracking, Facebook and Instagram monitoring, and text message and WhatsApp chat monitoring.

Cons of uMobix

The cons of uMobix include a 7% higher price than mSpy, not being based in the U.S., and a slightly longer setup process than mSpy.

Click for Best Price

2. mSpy

mSpy iPhone web page

mSpy is my favorite app for tracking iPhones.

It’s fast, secure, and does not require installing any software on the target iPhone.

If you want to track someone’s iPhone without them knowing this is what I would recommend. Regardless of whether you need to track your wife’s phone, husband’s phone or your kids, uMobix is the most reliable solution.

mSpy works with every version of the iOS operating system

In addition to location tracking, mSpy also offers:

  • SMS & iMessage monitoring
  • WhatsApp monitoring
  • Phone call logs and contact lists
Click for Best Price

3. SpyBubble

spybubble iOS device tracker

SpyBubble is a phone tracking app that helps monitor all of the data of the target device. SpyBubble includes real-time location tracking, social media monitoring, and text message monitoring on all iOS devices.

The SpyBubble tracking app includes parental control features, such as geofencing, access to location, and web browser history. It helps monitor social media accounts, phone contacts, and application usage.

Using this software, you can track a phone with a simple push of a button, and the person who owns the target device won’t suspect that their iPhone is being tracked.

This also works on Android, as well as iOS. This is a great way to track all usage of the user’s phone without them knowing.

Click for Best Price

4 .Cocospy

Cocospy can be used for parental control or to monitor any loved one. This has access to the iPhone location, and user data like their text messages, call logs, and social media activity.

But it doesn’t just work on iOS, it is compatible with Android as well.

This software is safe for all devices involved. It can help to keep your kids safe on their devices, as well as in real life.

Click for Best Price

5. Kidsguard Pro from ClevGuard

Kidsguard pro logo

Kidsguard Pro is a tracker app that is proven to be legit and secure, and the iPhone location is tracked in real-time.

This is good if you want to track someone’s iPhone without them knowing for the long haul. This person could be your child, relative, or even spouse.

This software doesn’t just work on iOS, it also works on Android.

So if you want something to help you track someone’s cell phone for years to come, KidsGuard Pro is the way to go.

Is Jailbreaking Required on iOS Devices?

If you don’t know what jailbreaking means it’s essentially unlocking all of the security built into an iPhone (iOS) device.  You can learn more about jailbreaking an iOS device here.

For most spying software that allows you to track a target phone you will not be required to jailbreak the target device.  Simply enter their Apple ID and password into your control panel.

If you can avoid it, you should for a few important reasons:

  • It voids the warranty of the device (sort of, factory resetting fixes this)
  • Apple removed the ability to jailbreak in a recent software update
  • It requires physical access to the device.

How to Use Third-Party Apps

If you’re a Baby Boomer or come from an ancient time of payphones and long-antenna-like devices, using third-party apps won’t ask you to break a sweat.

These all have specific instructions on their websites, but they are more or less used the same way.

Step 1: Sign Up and Pay for Premium Access

No matter which app you use, you need to register and pay for their services. This is ultimately worth it since you need to ensure that you are getting something safe and reliable.

Step 2: Enter iCloud Credentials

Since all of them use iCloud to gain access to the target iPhone, you will need the iCloud details of the person you are tracking. This means the username and the password. How you get this is completely up to you.

Step 3: Start Tracking

After you manage to finish setting up, you will be able to see the features the app has to offer. This includes location tracking and other parental control functions.

There are different ways you can use the apps. You can use them to track the user’s location and even view their text messages, call logs, and social media activity.

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Who Would This Be Suited For?

Since third-party tracking apps are a discreet and versatile way of tracking an iPhone, this could be for parents monitoring their children.

Tracking software can also be used by someone keeping watch on an elderly parent.

Some people could use phone tracking in a relationship to make sure their partner isn’t cheating on them as well. While I do not recommend this, it is something you can do, especially in a desperate situation.

But real-talk guys and gals, if you have plans of using it to spy on a potentially cheating partner, talk to him/her first.

Whatever reason people have for wanting to track an iPhone, they can do this discreetly without notifying the target user, whether it be KidsGuard Pro, Spyic, Cocospy, or some other safe app that you’ve found.

Use Find My Phone to Track an iPhone

find my iphone app logo

In case you don’t need all those extra features in apps such as KidsGuard Pro, and just want a free location tracker to find your iPhone, you can use Find My iPhone on any Apple device.

It makes it easy to track the iPhone. Here’s how you can do it.

Using Find My iPhone

Step 1: Make Sure it is Enabled in the Target iPhone

In order for this to work, the feature has to be enabled in the settings of the target iPhone.

You just need to go to the ‘Settings’, then look for ‘iCloud’ and then ‘Find My Phone’, or ‘Find My’ in the newer iOS versions. Once you get there, just enable the feature.

Step 2: Get to Your Own iPhone or iOS Device

Feature] icloud.com on iOS 13 now shows Find My iPhone : iOSBeta

Just enter the Find My iPhone app on your phone, or you can go to the iCloud website on your web browser, and sign in with their Apple ID.

Being able to use your computer is a great alternative for those of you who don’t own an iPhone but want to track someone who does.

Step 3: Select Device

Once you’ve signed in, click on ‘Devices’, and look for the device you want to track.

Step 4: Start Tracking

You will be able to see the location of the target device.

The only downside to this method is that if the person stops sharing their location, you’ll no longer be able to track their phone.

Who Would This Be Suited For?

This is mainly for someone who would need their cell phone location in order to find it. This would work great for that, assuming it is already enabled.

There are really no extra features for this in terms of tracking, and you could really do a lot more with a third-party app.

But here’s the benefit of using a built-in function.

Nothing new has to be downloaded on any phone. So for something in a pinch, this would do just fine.

Since you’re unable to see the phone usage or set geofences, it has a simpler user interface. If you can afford to do so, try to get a third-party spy app, even to look for your own lost phone.

If you do use this to track someone else’s phone, I would suggest you hide the Find My iPhone app icon from the home screen of the target iPhone, so that they do not realize that they are being tracked.

Since Google and Apple both have location services, you can do this with Android phones as well, by accessing ‘Find My Device’. The process is almost the same.

#3. Use Family Sharing to See an iPhone’s Location

This method is not a stealthy one at all.

In fact, they would be able to see you tracking them on their phone, and you would need their consent.

Now here comes the good part

It’s relatively safe, and if you manage to get permission to do so, then this is pretty hassle-free.

Using Family Sharing

Step 1: Make Sure Family Sharing is Activated

To activate this feature, you need to send the target user an invitation via iMessage. After that, they will have to enter their Apple ID credentials directly in your iPhone.

Step 2: Enable Location Sharing

When you get there, tap on your name. Tap ‘Family Sharing’ and then enable ‘Share My Location’.

Step 3: Select the Family Member You Want to Track

If you select them from the list, then you will start seeing their phone location.

Why Should I Use Family Sharing?

Although this is not discreet at all, it is safe, free, and does not require any third-party apps.

This method could be used if you just wanna share your iPhone location between family members, and you have mutual trust and communication – the solution to most problems.

When everyone is open with each other and understands the benefits of location tracking with someone they trust, it makes things a lot easier.

And I mean… A. LOT. EASIER.

No more sneaking around your loved ones and hacking their phone. And if you use this, you will be able to find your iPhone easier if it is lost, since the location is already synced to someone you trust.

iPhone Tracking FAQ

Will This Compromise the Security of my iPhone?

None of these methods require jailbreaking, so your iPhone should be as safe as it was before. Although I will say that you have to be careful which app you use in order to stay secure and safe.

Is It Legal to Track Someone’s Phone Without Their Permission?

It is legal to track someone’s phone so long as you follow the laws of your country. But doing so without the person’s permission is almost always illegal.

Check out this article to find out whether spy apps are legal in your country.

In other cases (such as tracking your husband’s phone without his knowledge) tracking devices can be seen as stalking by the user and they could end up filing a restraining order at the very least if you’re caught.

What Can I Do If My iPhone Is Being Tracked?

Depending on the situation, you may want to get legal help if you fear you’re being tracked through your cell phone.

Something you can do immediately is to turn off your location settings, as well as change your iCloud password. This will stop anyone from using your iCloud account to track your phone’s data.

Can You Track a Phone Using Facebook Messenger?

One of the more frequent questions I get involves using Facebook messenger to track a phone.

Unfortunately there’s no easy way to use Facebook messenger for location tracking.

Some Last Pieces of Advice

So now you know how to track an iPhone without them knowing.

Of course, there is no magical solution to tracking an iPhone, you still need to get the iCloud details of the target iPhone at the very least to be able to do this.

I highly recommend going for a third-party app like KidsGuard Pro, Spyic,or Cocospy.

Whatever your reason may be for wanting to track a phone without permission is completely your business. Just try to stay safe and out of trouble while doing so.

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson