How to locate/track a mobile phone without anyone knowing?

Published on Nov 16, 2023 by


Our mobile phones have now become tools that we can no longer do without. They often contain most of our lives, if not a platform to easily exchange with the whole world: thus, we want to make sure to find them if we lose them, or if we want to know more about the people around us, methods are at our disposal to locate a cell phone quickly.

You have indeed once said to yourself:

“My son spends his time hanging out with his friends after school… I would like to know where he is so that I don’t have to worry about it, push him to concentrate on his studies!”

Or have you thought about it:

“My partner is more and more distant and comes home late after work. I have the feeling that he is hiding something from me and that he does not go straight home once his day is over”.

And you have already been in this situation:

“I lost my phone…. If only I knew where I left it, I wouldn’t waste my day looking for it everywhere”.

There are many situations in which you may want to know the exact location of a smartphone, whether it is your own or that of a loved one. Whether you are worried about your child or have a suspicion about your spouse’s loyalty, knowing where they are via their phone can give you peace of mind and entirely focus on what you are doing.

The good news is that locating a phone is very easy. In this article, we offer a selection of applications that will allow you to track a laptop, whatever your needs.

mSpy to track the mobile phone of your child or spouse

A perfect example of an application to geolocate and spy on a loved one’s smartphone is mSpy. This software, very discreet, is therefore installed on the target mobile and will know at any time where its owner is. They also have unlimited access to its activity by saving and sending directly to an email address the call logs, SMS, messages, and photos taken with this phone.

mSpy, therefore, allows worried parents to have peace of mind, knowing perfectly where their children are all day long. It is also a convenient tool for men and women who suspect their spouse of cheating on them and who can, thanks to this simple application, find out about it.

Launched in 2010, mSpy benefits from a long experience in this field and a community of satisfied users. Compatible on Android and iOS devices, rooted or not, it works in the background without having to do anything. It is also discreet and 100% invisible, so your target will never know that you follow him.

As for geolocation, mSpy will allow you to know the target phone’s exact location through its GPS service. You can even configure specific areas for which you will receive an alert every time they enter or leave them. mSpy also allows you to record your target’s movements and download its itinerary to consult it later (and cross-check it with your child or partner).

You will also have access to many other features to intercept their messages, access their call history, record their keystrokes, or even view photos and videos stored on their device.

How do these geolocation software work?

An application to locate a person without knowing it comes in the form of an undetectable program to install on the phone you want to track. The latter will send a set of instructions to the device that will allow you to control it remotely and access its activity in real-time.

In addition to helping you geolocate its owner’s smartphone at any time, spyware can also:

  • monitor applications (especially messaging such as WhatsApp) installed on the mobile;
  • collect digital files from its memory;
  • access photos and videos saved on the phone;

Send all of its results (call logs, browsing history, messages, etc.) to the email address of your choice or via the application’s website.

As these tracking applications are completely hidden, they will remain invisible to the user. The owner of the phone will never realize that it is being tracked. Their other particularity is that they are very easy to use and do not require any particular technical skill.

You will understand the functionality to locate the phone’s location at any time (via an online mapping tool) is only one of the options offered.

How to locate a lost smartphone without installing spyware?

Did you know that the major operating systems have also provided the possibility that you get stolen or have lost your mobile? Android, iOS, and Windows Phone thus have tracking modules that will allow you to find your smartphone very easily.

1. Find an Android device

All Android smartphones have a device management module that will allow you to find a lost or stolen phone. All you need to do is sign in to your Google account from another device using your credentials and access the manager in question.

This application will then allow you to locate your device by showing its last location on a map. You can also make it ring remotely, lock it, or erase all your data so that its thief cannot access it.

2. Track a stolen iPhone

The procedure is relatively similar to the iPhone. To block or locate your cell phone, simply log into your account on the iCloud portal. This service will allow you to find all your devices on which the geolocation function is activated by default.

You can also ring your smartphone, lock it remotely, or delete all the data on your iPhone.

How to locate a friend’s iPhone without them knowing?

Ever wanted to know the location of a friend of yours at some point in the day? If your friend uses an iPhone, good news! These smartphones have a location tracking option that you will find very convenient:

  1. Install the “Find My iPhone” app on your own iPad or iPhone.
  2. Sign in with your friend’s Apple ID.
  3. When all of the fields are complete, Apple displays a map that contains the exact location of your friend’s phone.
  4. To go further, the “Find my iPhone” application also allows you to lock the phone remotely and even to permanently delete the data it contains.

If this first method seems risky to you, you can also use the already existing function of locating your friend’s iPhone, but on condition that you go through the iCloud service. To activate this feature:

  • Start by accessing the iPhone settings.
  • Then choose the iCloud section, then: “Find my iPhone”.
  • Check the “Find my iPhone” functions and activate the sending of the phone’s last positions.

Once configured, you can locate your friend’s iPhone without their knowing it by logging into and entering the iPhone’s iCloud credentials. The “Locate” button will then give you the latest data collected via your victim’s iCloud account, without them realizing it.

Easily locate your Windows Phone

For a Windows Phone, you have to log in again from another device with your credentials. If geolocation is activated on your device, you will see it displayed on a map, which will indicate its location very precisely.

As with Android or iOS smartphones, you can also ring it remotely, lock it, or erase your data in the event of theft.

Locate any Samsung device

Formerly known as Samsung Dive, the Find My Mobile service allows you to locate any Samsung device (tablet or smartphone). Free and easy to use, this service also allows you to erase both personal information and data contained on the phone.

Which app to use to locate a laptop?

Finding a lost cell phone or following a loved one’s actions using their smartphone is a child’s play today. Here is our ranking of the most effective mobile geolocation applications, according to your needs.

Google Maps

You are undoubtedly already familiar with this online mapping service, which allows you to find your way on a map, to find the fastest route between point A and point B… but also to geolocate a loved one’s cell phone. Indeed, it is very easy with Google Maps to access a mobile location using the location sharing function. You can even use it to locate multiple smartphones simultaneously.

The advantage of Google Maps is that this application is available for free. It also offers exact geolocation since it works with the GPRS system. It is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Where’s My Droid

Where’s My Droid is a smartphone tracking app primarily designed for Android devices. Available free of charge, it will allow you to track a smartphone thanks to its very easy-to-use geolocation service.

For the more demanding among you, Where’s My Droid also has a pro version that will allow you to take photos remotely via the target device’s camera. This will enable you to know its exact location and follow the actions of its owner.

The other advantage of Where’s My Droid is that the app is super light. It will therefore require very few system resources, making it even more undetectable.


Again, reserved for Android devices, Geo-Tracker allows you to track a phone for free. It is, therefore, a good option to know at any time where your spouse or child is. But this application also allows you to share a travel itinerary with loved ones or monitor your speed in the car.

Find My Device

Developed by Google, this application is mainly designed to find a lost or stolen smartphone. But you can also use it to monitor your loved ones.


Compatible on Android and iOS, this application allows you to geolocate a device instantly. But also, to access the history of their positions using a very easy to use online dashboard. For example, you can use it to track your children’s smartphones.

Phone Tracker for iPhones

With over 3 million happy users across the world, this app comes in handy to track a target device’s location.

Again, it is very light and therefore requires minimal system resources. Available for free, it does not require any technical skills and is easy to use!

Find My Friends

Offered by Apple, this geolocation service allows you to track the real-time location of all members of your family or friends. Completely secure, this application can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Kaspersky Mobile Security and Lookout

In addition, beyond its primary function (protecting the phone), an antivirus application also allows you to locate a device in real-time. Choose your antivirus from the two main flagship products on the market: Kaspersky Mobile Security and Lookout.

Locate phone by its number

You may have just received a call from an unknown number whose sender you want to know. Or you wish to know the whereabouts of a loved one using only their phone number. Again, there are solutions to help you.

Not only will you not need to install any geolocation software on the target device, but it also is not even necessary that the device is connected to the Internet.

Many online services allow you to geolocate a smartphone using its number. Be careful, however, to check that these are reliable tools, in particular by consulting the opinions of previous users to avoid scams.

You can also:

  • contact your mobile telephone operator directly (like Orange, or SFR for example);
  • turn to customer service for the laptop in question;
  • geolocate your smartphone using the phone’s IMEI code.

Track a GSM cell phone through an IMEI number

IMEI is an English abbreviation that stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a 15-digit number used for cell phones. You should know that all mobile devices have an IMEI number. Allocated by the GSM association, it is specific and unique to each device.

However, there is no link between this number and your various service providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, or AT&T. Discover some notes on French mobile operators here.

How to check your IMEI number?

It is effortless to check your cell phone IMEI number. To do this, you just need to dial *#06# on your screen for it to appear. Once you have it, be sure to write it down on a piece of paper or notepad and keep it in a safe place. Indeed, as was specified above, your IMEI number is unique, and in case of loss, you can use it to block or locate your mobile phone.

To track your mobile phone remotely, have your IMEI number ready and contact your mobile operator reporting the theft. As soon as the thief turns on the laptop, connecting it to Wi-Fi will triangulate its position.

The other solution would be to block your phone remotely, and again you will need your IMEI number to blacklist your phone. The thief of your phone will not be able to call or send text messages with your phone…

However, the chances of finding your phone will remain very slim, not to mention your personal information contained therein…

Thus, to make sure you have a copy of all this data and the possibility of erasing it remotely if your cell phone is stolen, using spyware on your own phone is still the most discreet and secure solution.

About the Author: Nika Simovich Fisher

Nika Simovich Fisher is a distinguished writer and AI specialist whose work sits at the intriguing crossroads of technology, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction. With a background that combines technical expertise and a flair for compelling storytelling, Nika brings complex AI concepts to life for a wide audience. Her writing is characterized by its clarity, depth, and an ability to make the rapidly evolving field of AI accessible and engaging.

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