How to Track a Phone Without Them Knowing | Top Free & Paid Tools Reviewed

Wondering how to track a phone discreetly and remotely? Finding a reputable service for this is hard. Whether you need to monitor social media, dating apps, calls, or their location, these are your 9 best options — ranked, compared, and reviewed.

This guide is the go-to if you’re wondering how to track a phone without them knowing (whether “them” is your spouse or child). If infidelity statistics are anything to go by (or child online safety statistics), you’re not mad, you need peace of mind.

Top 9 Apps to Track a Cell Phone

With modern technology, tracking a cell phone via a parental control app to ensure your child is safe or that your partner isn’t cheating on you is easy. Here are the best phone tracker apps this year:

  1. mSpy — Overall, the best cell phone tracking app, with a 14-day money-back guarantee and great device monitoring tools.
  2. Scannero — The best option if you want a free app to track a phone without them knowing, as it costs just $0.89.
  3. uMobix — Reliable service with a superb GPS location tracking tool and a deep feature set for device access and monitoring.
  4. GeoFinder — The best budget option to track a phone with just a number (it costs a one-time fee of $29.99 for 10-year access).
  5. Spynger – A popular spouse tracker app that offers undetectable monitoring, including a hidden screen recorder and keylogger.
  6. Phonsee — One of the best budget spy tracker apps that includes powerful features like a screen recorder and custom alerts.
  7. SpyBubble Pro — A popular spouse phone tracker app for seeing hidden/deleted/altered content like calls and messages.
  8. EyeZy — One of the best budget options for social media monitoring and custom keyword alerts.
  9. ClevGuard — An immensely popular parental control solution for Android, iOS, and even desktop devices.

The Top Phone Tracker Apps Compared

Here’s a quick overview of the key details discussed in our reviews section to help you compare the leading phone tracker apps head-to-head:

Tracker App Best for Cheapest Price Compatibility Free Version Devices/Subscription Money-Back Guarantee
mSpy Remote controls $11.66/m (annual) Android, iOS, tablets Demo 1 14 days
Scannero Location tracking $0.89 Android, iOS Demo 1 14 days
uMobix Incognito searches $12.49/m (annual) Android, iOS, tablets Demo 1 14 days
GeoFinder.mobi Tracking a phone by number $29.99 (one-time fee) Android, iOS 2-day trial for $1 Unlimited 14 days
Spynger Spouse monitoring $10.83/m (annual) Android, iOS 1
Phonsee Advanced features on a budget $8.85/m (annual) Android, iOS Demo 1 14 days
SpyBubblePro Hidden/deleted content $12.49/m (annual) Android, iOS Demo 1 30 days
EyeZy Custom alerts $9.99/m (annual) Android, iOS, tablets 3-day trial + demo 1 14 days
ClevGuard Call listening/recording $9.99/m (annual) Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Demo 1 30 days

Best Phone Tracker Apps Reviewed In Depth

Finding a reliable and functional phone tracking app is challenging because most have hidden fees or don’t work. Now that you’ve seen our list of the market’s leading phone tracker apps that work, we can analyze them individually.

1. mSpy — Overall, the Best Cell Phone Tracking App

mSpy | Best Phone Tracker App

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$11.67/month (annual) Android, iOS, tablets    Demo     1 14 days

mSpy offers superb phone tracking features complemented by various advanced spying tools. It’s the best parental control app as it provides precise location tracking and is near-impossible to detect.

mSpy has an intuitive dashboard that’s easy to use and provides ample helpful information. You can track the target phone’s location, look at messages and calls, the browser history, and much more.

Besides looking at the current location in real-time, you can set up geo-fences, marking areas as “safe” or “dangerous,” and get notifications if the target device crosses its boundaries.

You can also remotely activate the target phone’s microphone and camera to listen and see its surroundings. Beyond this, you can spy on messages (SMS, social media, etc.) and even get app alerts.

For example, you’ll be notified if your partner or child downloads a dating app. Overall, nothing goes unnoticed with mSpy, offering countless parents and spouses complete peace of mind.

Prospros

  • Phone call monitoring
  • Precise GPS location tracking
  • Advanced keystroke monitoring
  • Stealth mode
  • User-friendly interface

Conscons

  • Monitoring more than one device can be pricey

2. Scannero — The Best if You Want to Track a Phone Without Them Knowing for Free

Scannero spy app

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$0.89 Android, iOS Demo 1 14 days

We’d never recommend a service that doesn’t offer paid subscriptions alongside any free offerings, as these are, in our experience, almost always untrustworthy.

That said, if you want to track someone by cell phone number without them knowing for free, this is easily your best option. At $0.89, it’s as close as you’ll get for a service like this.

Although it’s very similar to GeoFinder in its functionality, there are some differences between these phone trackers. For starters, it has other services beyond location tracking capabilities.

For example, there’s even a reverse phone lookup tool that’ll let you get answers to who’s been calling or texting you with an unknown number.

You can also send anonymous voice messages with Scannero, and there’s a reverse username lookup solution, which is great for running background checks on anyone you meet online.

This includes dating apps and online gamer tags, for instance. However, as with GeoFinder, common features found in others are missing. This includes screen recording, for example.

That said, unlike most of the best spy apps, no physical access to the target device or installation is needed.

Prospros

  • Dirt cheap (less than a dollar)
  • Track a phone by number without installing an app
  • Incredibly easy to use
  • The tracker link can be sent by SMS, email, or messenger
  • Offers reverse lookup services

Conscons

  • Lacks common phone tracker features

3. uMobix — Best for Seeing Hidden Content like Incognito Searches

uMobix cell phone tracker app

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$12.49/month (annual) Android, iOS, tablets    Demo     1 14 days

uMobix lets you discreetly track the target phone and access its call history, messages, and gallery. In fact, the reports are so granular that it’s easily one of the best call logger apps this year.

uMobix’s intuitive interface shows the most recent developments on the target phone, making it a superb choice for passive monitoring for busy parents or partners with a tight schedule.

Besides location tracking, this cell phone tracking app lets you discreetly spy on your partner’s online activities, including instant messages, social media, and SMSes (even deleted messages).

Beyond this, uMobix grants access to the target device’s browser history, which means you can see the user’s interests and search habits, including bookmarks and the most frequented websites.

You can, of course, also detect and see incognito searches, which is rare, and if some listed websites seem inappropriate or dangerous, you can remotely block them, preventing access for the user.

It’s also one of the best options for remote, live insight into the target user’s activity, as you can activate the device’s microphone and camera to get insight into their surroundings.

Prospros

  • Detects incognito browser searches
  • Lets you flag apps and receive alerts about them
  • In-depth daily usage reports
  • Remotely stream videos or take screenshots
  • Real-time precise location tracking and geo-fencing
  • One of the best iPhone spy apps

Conscons

  • Expensive to track multiple devices

4. GeoFinder.Mobi — The Best Budget Phone Tracker App

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

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$29.99 (one-time fee) Android, iOS 2-day trial for $1 Unlimited 14 days

Wondering how to track someone’s location without them knowing? GeoFinder is the answer. All you’ll need is their phone number.

To track a phone by number with GeoFinder costs a one-time fee of just $29.99. This is quite unique when compared to other phone tracker apps, like Scannero, for example.

For $29.99, you get access to this service for 10 years. It offers worldwide coverage and works on any Android or iOS device, too, and we found the UI quite intuitive and easy to navigate.

Beyond this, the process itself is quick and easy. That said, it doesn’t work if the target device is off or not connected to the internet, and overall, it lacks functionality beyond location tracking.

Whether this is a problem really depends on your specific needs (and budget). It’s easily one of the best budget options for tracking a phone with just a phone number, though.

100% hassle-free and anonymous. Wondering how to track someone by cell phone number without them knowing for free? Our next provider may be for you.

Prospros

  • Track a phone by number
  • Precise and easy to use
  • No need to pay a subscription
  • Get 10 years of access for just $29.99

Conscons

  • Lacks functionality beyond location tracking
  • Tracking links are only sent via SMS

5. Spynger — Popular Spouse Phone Tracker App

Spynger phone tracker app

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$10.83/month (annual) Android, iOS 1

Spynger is popular for anyone looking to discreetly track a phone without them knowing — it was designed specifically for this, particularly for hidden spouse tracking.

As such, it runs completely undetected on the target device, showing zero evidence of its existence to avoid suspicion. Plus, as you’d expect, it boasts every feature you’d need for peace of mind.

For starters, the screen recorder is something that not all phone tracker apps have, and it’s a noteworthy mention for anyone looking for live insight into the target user’s activity across apps.

It also has a keylogger that lets you track everything typed, even passwords. Unlike the majority of phone trackers, Spynger also monitors dating app activity on popular apps like Tinder.

Beyond this, you’ll even be able to see deleted content like text messages. You can also expect standard mobile tracker features, like location tracking, with the ability to set up custom geofencing alerts.

That said, it unfortunately lacks capabilities like website and app blocking and custom keyword alerts. These are usually features that come with some of the top parental mobile locator apps.

Prospros

  • Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • Runs undetected on the tracked phone
  • Lets you record the screen for live monitoring
  • Data is protected with end-to-end encryption

Conscons

  • It doesn’t offer a free trial or plan, and no guarantee
  • Features like web and app blocking aren’t available

6. Phonsee — One of the Best Budget Spy Tracker Apps

Phonsee Spy App

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$8.85/month (annual) Android, iOS Demo 1 14 days

Phonsee is a popular option for those on a budget wondering how to track someone’s phone. Beyond the price point, Phonsee offers ample to provide its users with peace of mind.

For starters, it runs completely undetectable on the target device, a core USP of all the top spy phone trackers, and it’s easy and quick to set up and use.

Besides the usual features you’d expect, like call, SMS, and contact list monitoring, Phonsee also offers location tracking with geofencing capabilities.

This means that you can set up virtual boundaries and get alerts if your loved one crosses them, meaning you won’t need to monitor their movements 24/7 for peace of mind.

There’s also WiFi monitoring, which will also give you information on where your loved one is. That said, despite the low price, Phonsee also offers a powerful keylogger.

This, paired with the automatic screenshots and the screen recorder, means that absolutely nothing will be missed — whether it’s social media activity, SMS conversations, or searches.

This also means that you’ll be able to see their email activity, their calendar, any bookmarks, and absolutely everything in between, including their saved photos and videos — all remotely.

Prospros

  • One of the best budget phone trackers
  • Works on all Android and iOS devices
  • Takes minutes to set it up
  • Comes loaded with functionality

Conscons

  • Lacks call recording and keyword alerts
  • The monthly plan is expensive ($42.51/m)

7. SpyBubble Pro — Popular Spouse Tracker for Hidden/Deleted Content

SpyBubble Pro Spy App

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$12.49/month (annual) Android, iOS Demo 1 30 days

SpyBubble Pro is a popular (and powerful) solution to track a phone remotely and discreetly. Despite this, it’s incredibly easy to use and, with one-click installation, even easier to set up.

Many opt for this phone tracker app as it boasts incredible technology that allows spouses to get the evidence they need to dispel or confirm any suspicions they have.

For example, beyond keylogging, location tracking, and monitoring social media activity, you can see deleted or hidden apps, messages, contacts, and calls — and even renamed contacts.

This is why most choose SpyBubble Pro for peace of mind. Beyond all this, it even lets you tap into the target device’s camera and microphone to see what’s happening live — all discreetly.

It also monitors some apps that not all spy services let you track. This includes Reddit, YouTube, and dating apps, for example.

Although it lacks call recording and geofencing capabilities, its remote controls are superb, especially given the price. You can even block websites, Wi-Fi connection and even the device.

All of this, remotely and discreetly from your own device. The best part? There’s a free demo you can try, and there’s a whopping 30-day guarantee, which is rare.

Prospros

  • Powerful for the price
  • Lengthy money-back guarantee
  • Shows you deleted, hidden, and altered content
  • One-click installation

Conscons

  • Lacks geofencing capabilities
  • There’s no call recording

8. EyeZy — Leading Provider for Custom Alerts

EyeZy Mobile Phone Tracker

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$9.99/month (annual) Android, iOS, tablets 3-day trial + demo 1 14 days

EyeZy helps you track your partner’s precise location, messaging history, and more via its intuitive dashboard. It’s also easily one of the best spy apps for Android due to its ease of installation.

With EyeZy, you can flag specific words or phrases and get a notification every time the target phone user texts them to someone or uses them in searches online.

In addition, it allows you to block harmful websites and dangerous apps, giving you total control over the target device. Beyond this, EyeZy provides accurate location tracking reports.

It also analyzes the contact list to show you who the user messages the most. Its interface is well-designed and doesn’t overwhelm you with irrelevant information, allowing you to navigate it quickly, too.

Besides all this, EyeZy provides an accurate keylogger that monitors keystrokes on the target phone, including passwords and even disappearing or deleted messages.

As this study of infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites shows, you’re more likely to be cheated on if your partner frequently meets new people on social media apps.

With EyeZy’s location tracking, social media monitoring, keyword alerts, and prompt reports, you’ll have everything you need for peace of mind.

Prospros

  • Frequent updates
  • Geo-fencing and precise location tracking
  • Outstanding keylogger accuracy
  • Advanced statistics overview
  • User-friendly interface

Conscons

  • Limited features for iOS devices

9. ClevGuard — Popular Phone Tracker for Parental Control

best parental monitoring app for iPhone

Cheapest Plan Compatibility Free Version Devices Tracked Money-Back Guarantee
$9.99/month (annual) Android, iOS, Mac, Windows Demo 1 30 days

With over 400k users, ClevGuard is a name many know, particularly for its parental control solutions, KidsGuard and KidsGuard Pro.

These are the most popular, but there’s also phone tracker software specific to Android, iOS, Line, or WhatsApp, and even a desktop monitoring option, which is rare.

To add to this, KidsGuard doesn’t require rooting the device, and it comes jam-packed with advanced functionality that makes it a popular option beyond parental control needs.

For example, you’ll be able to monitor all the popular social media channels, including TikTok, and even dating app sites like Tinder. But there’s more…

With ClevGuard’s KidsGuard, you can even remotely activate the target device’s camera and microphone for real-time insight into their surroundings.

In fact, you can even record calls with ClevGuard — listen in on them live or download them to listen to them later. This is incredibly rare and a real steal, given the price point.

It’s, of course, undetectable too, and with screen recording and screenshots, it records absolutely everything happening across apps.

If you don’t want to spend hours monitoring your loved one, there are also geofencing alerts, and you can set custom keyword alerts to get notified if these words or phrases are used.

Prospros

  • Great feature-to-price value
  • Highly reputable with 400k users
  • Has a desktop monitoring solution
  • Offers call recording and live listening

Conscons

  • Fairly high battery consumption

Why Use An App to Track a Phone?

A reliable phone tracker app allows you to remotely monitor your child’s, partner’s, or employee’s mobile phones or computers.

They’re invaluable tools that help you prevent exposure to harmful or inappropriate websites and apps, reduce screen time, track a cell phone, and more. Here are the key standout benefits and uses for these apps:

Parental Control

Parental Control

With increasing malicious content on the internet, concerned parents turn to phone monitoring apps to ensure their children avoid sexual predators, scammers, pornography, drugs, the dark web, and other dangerous content.

There are ample statistics to show how pressing an issue it is for children to be online. For one, over 500,000 sexual predators spend time online every day looking for their next victim.

With an app like those we’ve reviewed above, you’ll have control over the apps your child accesses and insight into what they’re doing, who they’re talking to, and more.

These apps also allow you to track your child’s precise location and have peace of mind, knowing they’re safe — both online and offline.

Monitoring Your Partner

Monitoring Your Partner

Affairs starting online are becoming more prevalent. In fact, a staggering 30% of Tinder users are married. That said, having suspicions or uncertainty is common in our digital world.

A phone tracker can help you confirm your suspicions or have peace of mind by monitoring your partner’s online activities.

If you have a reason to believe your partner is doing something behind your back, tracking their mobile phones and reviewing their browsing and messaging history can help you confront them.

Employee Monitoring

Employee Monitoring

With modern messaging solutions that include disappearing media and encrypted channels, it’s challenging to safeguard company secrets. Installing a phone tracker on each company device allows you to supervise employees and prevents data leaks.

In one survey alone, 55% of respondents admitted that their biggest security concern regarding organization vulnerability was smartphones.

Beyond the security threat, the location tracking capabilities make these tools invaluable for businesses that have remote or field workers on site.

Best Free Tracker App | How to Track a Phone for Free

While we included some solutions for tracking a cell phone for free with tools like Hoverwatch and iKeyMonitor, free phone trackers are often limited compared to their premium counterparts.

In addition, these free forever accounts will also bombard you with ads to upgrade to a premium plan.

You should avoid free phone trackers that compare themselves to the best spy apps like mSpy and EyeZy because those are often scams with hidden fees and security issues.

That said, a free phone tracker will track a phone somewhat accurately. However, if you want a comprehensive service with top-notch security and precise location tracking, we suggest investing in mSpy, EyeZy, uMobix, or any other premium service from our list.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best App to Track a Phone

While creating our best phone trackers list for this year, we considered several crucial factors before finalizing their placement. Finding a reliable, easy-to-use, invisible phone tracker is challenging, considering how many spy apps use fake advertisements.

Here’s what you must look for when choosing a parental control app that’ll reliably work:

InstallationFeaturesPricing

You should avoid phone tracker apps that require more than five minutes of physical access to install. Beyond this, look for apps that offer a stealth mode at the end of their installation and preferably deliver your account’s credentials to an email address, like mSpy.

Features

The best phone tracker apps have complementary features like message monitoring, call recording, and more. Here’s a list of features to look for, in addition to precise location tracking, when choosing a phone tracker:

  • Keylogger
  • Website history viewer
  • Reading deleted messages
  • Remote screenshotting and recording
  • Blocking dangerous websites and apps remotely
  • SMS, social media, and instant messaging apps chat history

We’ve included various tools with different price points for their precise location and online activity tracking services. You should look for the one that suits your needs and budget, whether you’re a concerned parent, spouse, or business owner.

Most spy apps offer a significant discount for their annual plans, and they only get expensive when you need to track more than one device.

How to Track a Phone Remotely

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to track a phone using mSpy, the best phone tracker this year. Note: for iOS devices, you’ll need the Cydia app.

Step 1: Create Your mSpy Account

mSpy account creation | The best mobile phone tracker app

  1. Enter your email address.
  2. Pick an operating system (Android for this guide).
  3. Subscribe to mSpy.

After you subscribe, mSpy will send you an email that contains your login information, Control Panel link, and Installation URL. Save the email or note the information down.

Step 2: Disable Play Protect on the Target Device

Disable PlayProtect for phone tracking capabilities

  1. Open the Play Store on the target phone.
  2. Tap the account icon on the top right, choose Play Protect, and enter its settings.
  3. Move the slider on “Improved Harmful App Detection” so it turns grey.
  4. Confirm your decision.

Step 3: Install mSpy on the Target Device and Start Tracking its Location

  1. Gain physical access to the target device, open the browser, and enter the Installation URL from the email mSpy sent.
  2. Follow the installation steps until it’s complete.
  3. Use your device to open the Control Panel URL from the email mSpy sent and log into your mSpy account.

You’ll now have access to mSpy’s dashboard, which you can use to monitor the target device.

Conclusion

After thoroughly researching the best phone tracker apps available, we’re confident that mSpy is the best. Besides its outstandingly precise location tracking, it offers various other advanced features.

Using mSpy’s intuitive and beginner-friendly dashboard, you can monitor all incoming and outgoing communications on the target device, including messages, calls, browser history, and more.

mSpy offers cost-effective subscription-based plans, and it takes only 2-5 minutes to install it on the target phone. Try mSpy risk-free now, thanks to its 14-day money-back guarantee.

Mobile Tracker FAQs

How do phone tracker apps work?

Can you track an Android phone?

Can I track the location of a cell phone?

How to track a phone without them knowing?

Can I track a mobile phone with just the number?

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.