The 9 Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone Compared for 2024

With the best parental control app for iPhone, you can ensure your children are safe, both online and offline, with features like location tracking, social media monitoring, and app and website blocking, for example.

mSpy is easily the best iPhone parental control app, but every parent’s needs and preferences vary. To help you find the ideal one for your specific needs (and budget), we’ve compiled this guide on the 9 best parental apps for iPhone. Read on as we rank, compare, and review them.

The Best iPhone Parental Control Apps Ranked

Whether you’re looking for the best parental control app for iPhone texting, keylogging, location tracking, or social media monitoring, you’ll find a perfect fit on our list. Here’s how we ranked the top parental apps for iPhone this year:

  1. mSpy — Overall, the best parental control app for iPhone
  2. uMobix — Ideal for GPS tracking and seeing incognito searches
  3. Spynger — Top option for monitoring 16+ social apps
  4. SpyBubble Pro — Best for seeing deleted content and for remote access
  5. Phonsee — The best iPhone parental control app for those on a budget
  6. EyeZy — Powerful screen recording + it supports older iOS models
  7. ClevGuard — Excellent for screen and call recording
  8. GeoFinder — The best to track an iPhone with just a number
  9. xMobi — Top no-jailbreak iPhone parental control app

    Comparison of the Best iPhone Apps for Parental Control

    Here, we’ll provide a master table to help you compare the best parental control apps.

    iPhone Parental Control App Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    mSpy $11.67/m (annual) 1 iPhone 11+, iPads, Android Demo Keylogger, geo-fencing, keyword alerts
    uMobix $12.49/m (annual) 1 All iPhones and iPads, Android Demo Keyword alerts, GPS tracking, incognito searches
    Spynger $10.83/m (annual) 1 All iOS devices and Android N/A Keylogger, see deleted texts, monitor 16+ social messaging apps
    SpyBubble Pro $12.49/m (annual) 1 All iPhones and iPads, Android OS 4+ Demo Remote mic and camera access, block apps and websites, see deleted content
    Phonsee $8.85/m (annual) 1 All Android and iPhone models Demo GPS geo-fencing, keylogger, screenshots
    EyeZy $7.99/m (annual) 1 iPhone 7+, iPads, Android Demo Keylogger, see deleted texts, screen recorder
    ClevGuard $9.16/m (annual) 1-20 iPhone 10+, iPads, Android Demo Live surrounds recording, record calls, screen recording
    GeoFinder $29.99 (one-time fee) Unlimited All iPhones and Androids on any network N/A Track an iPhone by number, anonymous, worldwide coverage
    xMobi.co $11.66/m (annual) 1 All iPhones and Android 4+ Demo Screen recording, iPhone keylogger, no jailbreak

    Top iOS Parental Control Solutions Reviewed

    Here, we’ll break down each parental control app on our list. After testing dozens of iPhone monitoring apps, we’ve only included the ones we found easy to use and with plenty of features to help narrow the choices down for you.

    1. mSpy — Overall, the Best Parental Control App for iPhone

    best parental control app for iphone

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked / Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $11.67/m (annual) 1 iPhone 11+, iPad, Android N/A Keylogger, geo-fencing, keyword alerts

    mSpy is the best parental control app for iPhone devices, with a broad range of capabilities and an easy-to-use platform. It offers several installation methods besides jailbreaking, too.

    It’s also one of the best choices if you’re looking to read your child’s messages, including those on iMessage, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other popular social media platforms.

    Thanks to its excellent keylogging software, you’ll see every keystroke your child makes while browsing or messaging others, meaning you won’t miss anything, even if they delete a message.

    In addition, you can set up custom keywords and get notified if your child uses those words on their iPhone, making inappropriate online activities near-impossible to miss.

    Similarly, you can use mSpy to set up safe and unsafe zones on the GPS tracking map, where mSpy will notify you if your child crosses into a zone you marked as unsafe.

    Given the price, placing mSpy first on our list of the best iPhone parental control apps was a no-brainer.

    Prospros

    • Saves disappearing messages like Snaps
    • Stealth mode
    • User-friendly interface
    • App blocking
    • Supports viewing browsing history

    Conscons

    • Can be expensive for some

    2. uMobix — Ideal for Seeing Incognito Searches

    apps to monitor kids phones

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked / Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $12.49/m (annual) 1 All iPhone models, iPad, Android N/A Keyword alerts, GPS tracking, incognito searches

    uMobix is a versatile mobile monitoring tool that offers a user-friendly UI and excellent GPS tracking capabilities. Out of all the iOS parental control apps, we had the best experience with uMobix.

    It’s also perfect for seeing incognito searches, passwords, and loads more. In fact, you’ll see all media files on the target phone, plus your child’s browser history and saved bookmarks.

    In addition, it impressed us with its full access to Facebook and Instagram accounts on the target phone. uMobix lets you navigate these accounts as your own, giving you complete freedom.

    uMobix is easily one of the best spy apps for Android, and unfortunately, some of this functionality is missing from the iPhone parental control app.

    Overall, though, you get excellent value for money and all the insight you’d need for complete peace of mind. Unsure? Read our full uMobix review.

    Prospros

    • Excellent GPS tracking
    • User-friendly interface
    • Reliable customer support
    • Tracks various social media apps
    • 14-day money-back guarantee

    Conscons

    • Expensive

    3. Spynger — Best for Monitoring 16+ Social Apps

    A screenshot of Spynger's dashboard

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $10.83/m (annual) 1 All iOS devices and Android N/A Keylogger, see deleted texts, monitor 16+ social messaging apps

    Although Spynger is popular for spouse tracking, you can certainly use it for monitoring your child’s iPhone. It’s powerful and completely undetectable on the target device.

    For starters, parents will love that Spynger lets you monitor 16+ social messaging apps, including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, and even Discord and dating apps.

    You can read all the messages exchanged on these sites, see the media files sent and received, plus details of who they’re chatting and engaging with online.

    Beyond this, you can also track your child’s texts and calls (including deleted ones), thanks to Spyngers keylogger and a hidden screen recorder.

    These two features combined mean that parents can literally monitor everything their child is up to on their iPhone, whether it’s web searches, passwords, hidden apps, or otherwise.

    It’s also worth noting that despite the advanced functionality, Spynger is renowned for its ease of use and installation.

    Prospros

    • No jailbreaking required
    • Accurate iOS keylogger
    • Offers screen recording
    • Monitors over 16 social media apps
    • One of the best Instagram spy apps

    Conscons

    • No free version or guarantee
    • Lacks call recording and keyword alerts

    4. SpyBubble Pro — Top iOS Parental App for Seeing Deleted Content

    SpyBubble Pro Spy App

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $12.49/m (annual) 1 All iPhones and iPads, Android OS 4+ Demo Remote mic and camera access, block apps and websites, see deleted content

    SpyBubble Pro was designed for spouse monitoring (it’s easily the best boyfriend spy app/girlfriend spy). That said, its functionality makes it among the top choices for parents, too.

    For starters, the main USP of this phone monitoring app for iPhone is that it lets you see deleted, hidden, or altered content, including deleted calls, SMSes, and contacts, for example.

    It’s also a popular iPhone spy app for parents as it lets you monitor all the leading social media sites, along with Reddit, YouTube, Discord, and even dating apps like Tinder.

    You can also see if any apps have been hidden, but where SpyBubble Pro shines is in its remote controls. You can restrict or block calls and messages, for example.

    You can also block websites and apps you deem inappropriate for your child and even restrict access to Wi-Fi networks or lock the device — all remotely from your own device.

    It’s also good if you’re worried about who your child is hanging out with or if they’re being bullied, as you can remotely activate their microphone and camera to see and hear their environment.

    Overall, despite being a popular girlfriend spy app, it’s a solid entry among the best parental phone monitoring apps for iPhone devices.

    Prospros

    • Shows hidden/deleted content
    • Offers powerful remote controls
    • Block apps, websites, and Wi-Fi
    • Completely hidden on the target device

    Conscons

    • There’s no call recording
    • It lacks geo-fencing alerts

    5. Phonsee — Best Budget iPhone Parental Control Solution

    A screenshot of Phonsee's screenrecording feature

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $8.85/m (annual) 1 All Android and iPhone models Demo GPS geo-fencing, keylogger, screenshots

    Wondering how to monitor a kid’s iPhone on a budget? Phonsee is the answer — and its cheap price point doesn’t, by any means, mean that it lacks on the functionality front.

    Amongst other online threats to youngsters, the dangers of children sexting are on a serious rise. This makes the ability to block apps and websites pivotal in your parental control strategy.

    You can do this with ease with Phonsee, and you’ll have complete insight into your child’s social media activity — who they’re chatting to, connecting with, and the content they’re engaging in.

    With an iPhone keylogger and screen recording, you can see everything beyond the above, too. This includes emails, saved photos and videos, their web history, and even calendar entries.

    Of course, you can also monitor phone calls and texts, and you get location-tracking capabilities, too. In fact, despite the price point, you even get geo-fencing alerts.

    This lets you set up “safe” and “unsafe” locations on a map, and if your child crosses them, you’ll get an alert, meaning you won’t need to monitor them 24/7 for peace of mind.

    Overall, we’re confident that Phonsee is the best iPhone app for parental control if you’re on a budget but still want full insight into your child’s activity — discreetly, remotely, and safely.

    Prospros

    • Offers great value for money
    • Includes a screen recorder
    • You can block apps and websites
    • There’s a keylogger to log everything typed

    Conscons

    • It lacks call recording
    • There are no custom keyword alerts

    6. EyeZy — Powerful Screen Recording iPhone App

    best parental control app for iphone with text monitoring

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked / Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $7.99/m (annual) 1 iPhone 7+, iPad, Android N/A Keylogger, see deleted texts, screen recorder

    EyeZy is the best parental control app for iPhone texting, as it takes frequent snapshots of your child’s screen, making it impossible for them to hide their messages.

    This is invaluable if your child uses apps with disappearing messages, such as Snapchat, for example. Besides this, EyeZy will keep logs of incoming and outgoing calls.

    What we liked the most about EyeZy is that it supports even older iOS versions, starting with iOS 7. It also supports most social media apps, including Telegram, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

    In addition, you’ll have access to their browsing history for better insight into their online habits and activities, allowing you to react if you notice anything unusual.

    EyeZy lets you remotely block malicious and inappropriate websites, too, and thanks to its invisible mode, you’ll remain undetected.

    All things considered, EyeZy is easily one of the cheapest iPhone parental control apps, and yet it even offers incredibly powerful screen recording and keyword alerts.

    Prospros

    • Feature-rich
    • Affordable
    • Frequent updates
    • Hard to detect
    • Supports geofencing

    Conscons

    • Lacks call recording

    7. ClevGuard — Excellent for Monitoring 3+ Devices

    best parental monitoring app for iPhone

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked / Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $9.16/m (annual) 1-20 iPhone 10+, iPad, Android N/A Live surrounds recording, record calls, screen recording

    ClevGuard offers numerous unique features and is our top choice for busy parents. It has a great data export feature to download up to 1,000 calls, messages, website visits, and more for you to review.

    In addition, if you’re at work or away from home and want to do a quick checkup on your kids’ activities (in real-time), you can take a target phone screenshot remotely.

    Beyond this, ClevGuard even shows you what WiFi network your child is connected to, which can act as a GPS tracker, too (although this is on offer separately as well).

    It’s also easily one of the most advanced parental control apps, as unlike most, it offers call recording, and you can remotely activate your kid’s iPhone camera and mic for insight into their surroundings.

    ClevGuard also offers a family plan, which is incredibly rare. It lets you monitor 20+ devices, making it an unmatched pick for large families. It’s no wonder ClevGuard has 400k+ users.

    Prospros

    • Discounts if you monitor more than one device
    • Excellent data export feature
    • Precise location tracking
    • Lets you view photos and videos on the target device

    Conscons

    • Fewer social media tracking features

    8. GeoFinder — Best iPhone Parental App for Location Tracking

    A screenshot of Geofinder mobis's phone number tracking tool.

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $29.99 (one-time fee) Unlimited All iPhones and Androids on any network N/A Track an iPhone by number, anonymous, worldwide coverage

    GeoFinder is unique when compared to all the other iPhone parental control apps. If you’re concerned about jailbreaking your iPad or iPhone or installing an app, then this is for you.

    That said, unlike all the other best monitoring apps for iPhone, GeoFinder is only viable if all you need is location tracking. This is what it’s been designed to do, and it does it incredibly well.

    It’s worth noting as well that GeoFinder works anywhere in the world and on any iPhone or Android device, regardless of the network it uses.

    We found the location tracking incredibly accurate and detailed, and the UI is intuitive, making it ideal for parents whether you’re tech-savvy or not.

    Beyond this, the biggest USP of GeoFinder is that you only need to spend $29.99 once, and this will grant you access to the service for 10 years, which is excellent value for money.

    One thing worth noting is that the tracking URL can only be sent via SMS, and GeoFinder cannot locate your child if their iPhone is off or isn’t connected to the internet.

    Prospros

    • Track a phone with just a number
    • Very accurate and user-friendly
    • Works on any device and network
    • No installation required
    • Best no-jailbreak iPhone spy app for location tracking

    Conscons

    • The device needs to be online and on to track it
    • Tracking URL can only be sent via SMS

    9. xMobi — The Best No-Jailbreak iPhone Parental App

    Xmobi.co Spy App

    Cheapest Plan Devices Tracked/Subscription Compatibility Free Version Top Features
    $11.66/m (annual) 1 All iPhones and Android 4+ Demo Screen recording, iPhone keylogger, no jailbreak

    xMobi is the best parental monitoring app for iPhone if you prefer to not jailbreak the iPhone for full functionality. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, but it depends on your specific needs.

    As a no-jailbreak iPhone parental control app, it lacks advanced features like remote access to the mic and camera and call recording, for example.

    That said, xMobi isn’t lacking. Despite not needing to jailbreak the iPhone, you still get a keylogger and screen recording, which is really all you need for peace of mind.

    This combination will let you see everything from your child’s social media activity and chats to their browser activity, calls, SMSes, and everything in between.

    It’s incredibly easy to set up, too, and iPhone installation can be done without physical access to the device. GPS location tracking (without geo-fencing) is also available.

    That said, xMobi’s Android parental control solution is somewhat better than the iPhone spy, as Android updates happen every 15 minutes on average, whereas it’s up to 24 hours for iOS.

    Prospros

    • No jailbreak required
    • Can be installed without physical access
    • Keylogger and screen recording
    • Pricing equates to less than $1/day

    Conscons

    • iOS data updates every 24 hours
    • Lacks advanced features like geo-fencing

    Why You Need to Use iPhone Parental Controls

    In today’s digitally connected world, it’s crucial to keep an eye on what content your children can access. The digital landscape is rife with inappropriate content, but parental apps for iPhone devices can help you detect and block this.

    With recent advancements, parental control apps today offer more comprehensive solutions than ever. They’re invaluable for parents looking to monitor their child’s well-being and online behavior.

    Parental controls can be pivotal in blocking access to harmful content. Besides preventing minors from accessing adult content, parental apps can help you control your child’s screen time.

    Since screen time can have a significant impact on development, these apps allow you to limit how much time your children can spend watching videos or using their phones overall.

    While Apple’s Screen Time feature is a step in the right direction, we found third-party parental apps a much better bet during our hands-on time with them.

    They offer more comprehensive options for managing app downloads, allow you to schedule device usage, and provide features that go beyond screen time and app monitoring.

    What Do iPhone Monitoring Apps Let Parents See?

    The best parental control app for iPhone offers insight into your child’s physical and online activities. Plus, most will send you alerts if they detect suspicious behavior.

    Subscribing to a parental control app for iPhone will give you access to dozens of features. Here’s what you’ll be able to see:

    Call and Text ActivityApp UsageWeb ActivityGPS TrackingSocial Media Activity

    With an iPhone parental control app, you can stay informed about who your child contacts and how frequently and monitor their text messages for inappropriate behavior. These apps even show you deleted (or unsent) messages.

    With an iOS parental app, you can review which apps your children use and get a notification if they download a potentially harmful app, such as a dating app, for example. The best solutions also allow you to block or restrict access to certain apps.

    With iPhone parental control software, you can go through their browser history at any time to ensure they aren’t visiting malicious or harmful websites. You can also block certain websites you deem inappropriate and see the sites they’re frequenting.

    Parental control apps for iPhone devices let you see where your children are going when they aren’t home. The best apps also let you set safe zones and get a notification every time your child enters or leaves these areas, giving you peace of mind. This also means you won’t have to constantly monitor them.

    Children spend a lot of time scrolling, and for the most part, the apps to blame are social media apps. With an iPhone parental app, you can see what they’re doing on these apps, limit their screen time, read their exchanges with others online, and even block or restrict access to them.

    What’s the Best Free Parental Control App for iPhone?

    Besides the limited, built-in iPhone Screen Time capabilities, no free spy app is worth your time. They’re dangerous and often don’t work.

    Opting for a premium plan ensures you get a product that works and one that doesn’t share your data for money. Plus, you’ll get advanced features that no free parental control app can offer.

    Most (if not all) completely free parental control apps for iPhone devices are known to collect your information and sell it to third parties – which is how these providers make their money.

    While we’ve never come across a product we’d deem the best free parental control app for iPhone devices, we’re confident that this isn’t something you should consider.

    Factors to Consider When Choosing an iPhone Monitoring App

    Choosing the right iPhone parental control app is crucial to ensuring your child is safe online. Here are some factors we consider crucial to deciding on the best one for your needs.

    iOS Version Compatibility

    Apple periodically releases updates for its operating system, meaning you should ensure your future parental control app receives frequent updates.

    In addition, while some parental control apps effortlessly work on older iPhone models and operating system versions, we’ve found that newer solutions will only work on new models.

    During our testing of these products, we used older and newer models and included the minimum operating system version they require to function.

    If you’re concerned about compatibility in your region, you can also check out our other guides, such as our piece on the best parental control apps in Australia.

    Features

    There are several features crucial for concerned parents. For starters, location tracking is the most valuable feature if you’re worried about your child’s whereabouts.

    If your concerns lie with screen time and potentially dangerous contacts or apps, monitoring web and app activity is crucial. Remote controls to limit screen time are a must here.

    Our list contains picks that suit each of these categories, including advanced solutions like mSpy, which can do it all. Consider apps that suit your needs to avoid overpaying for features you won’t use.

    Interface Quality

    An overly complicated parental control app for iPhone is counter-productive. Look for an app that’s intuitive and easy to use, even if you have no prior experience with parental controls.

    Most of the apps from our list have a centralized, at-a-glance interface style that lets you see important information on the home page.

    However, these apps should also have separate menus for each feature, allowing you to delve into each component in detail. For example, mSpy has dedicated menus for photos, videos, and calls.

    Devices/Subscription

    If you’re looking to monitor the activities of a single child, you’ll find most solutions enough. However, we’ve also listed the best parental control apps for iPhone that allow multiple devices.

    You should carefully consider what suits your needs the best. For example, mSpy can get very expensive if you buy multiple subscriptions to monitor more than one iPhone.

    Reputation

    Although we have a lot of experience in testing all things tech, we still draw on third-party user reviews from websites like Trustpilot and G2, as they offer unique insights into other experiences.

    After testing dozens of parental control apps to write these reviews, we noticed that our testing results largely match what regular users of these apps think of them.

    That’s why you’ll find reputable and reliable products on our list, as we’ve already combed through user reviews to see if our testing results and verdicts apply to them long-term.

    In addition, our expertise with these and similar products allows us to make valuable comparisons between the apps to help you make an informed decision.

    Other Parental Control Resources

    Here’s a list of our other parental control software guides if you’re looking for a solution that excels at monitoring a specific app or need a best-in-class tool for a specific feature:

    How to Monitor Your Kid’s iPhone

    Setting up a parental control app usually takes just a few minutes, which is the case with mSpy, our top pick this year. Here, we’ll provide a quick step-by-step guide to how to monitor a kid’s iPhone, setting up mSpy using iCloud Sync to monitor an iPhone device.

    Step 1 — Create Your mSpy Account

    Visit the mSpy website and click “Try Now” in the upper right corner of the homepage. Once you create an account, pick the iPhone as the target device and choose a subscription that suits your budget.

    How to install mSpy

    Step 2 — Connect the Target iPhone to Your mSpy Account

    Log into your mSpy account and choose the iCloud Sync connecting method in the “Wizard” section of the menu. There, you’ll need to provide the iCloud account name and password to proceed.

    mSpy installation tutorial

    Step 3 — Verify the Connection

    Once you provide the iCloud account credentials, mSpy will send two notifications to help you verify the connection.

    One notification will reach the target iCloud’s email address, and the other will appear on the target phone, containing a six-digit code you need to use for confirmation. Enter the code from the target device to your mSpy account to complete the process.

    best parental control app for iphone

    Step 4 — Start Monitoring the Target iPhone

    It can take up to 15 minutes to synchronize the data from the target device to your mSpy account. After that, you’ll have full access to the contacts, calendar, photos, files, and more. With the installation process complete, you can log into your mSpy account and check for new activity on the target phone.

    mSpy location tracking

    Conclusion

    After thorough research and in-depth testing of the features of a wide range of parental control apps for iPhone, we’re confident mSpy is the best tool to use this year. It’s easy to install and use, offers robust features, and is near-impossible to detect.

    mSpy lets you track the target phone’s location, accurately logs keystrokes, and has one of the most user-friendly interfaces we’ve seen while testing these apps. In addition, you can test its features and interface with a free demo.

    Although mSpy isn’t the cheapest option, it offers unmatched monitoring capabilities and a 14-day money-back guarantee if you face any issues customer support can’t resolve.

    iOS Monitoring FAQs

    What is the best way to monitor a child’s iPhone?

    Can I monitor my child’s iPhone from Android?

    How can I monitor my child’s iPhone for free?

    Are Apple parental controls good?

    Can I control my child’s iPhone remotely?

    Is it legal to use a hidden monitoring app?

    Are parental control apps safe?

    Ilijia Miljkovac
    Technology Writer

    Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilija spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.