There are several ways and reasons to locate a cell phone. In this article we will deal with how to in a completely legal way can locate a lost or even stolen smartphone. Although there are various apps for this step, modern cell phones also come with integrated functions for location tracking. Locating an Android phone works via the in-house Google account, locating an iPhone via the iCloud. Even the less frequently used Windows Phones can be tracked with on-board tools. If that’s not enough, there are some spy apps for cell phone tracking.
There are some inexpensive and even free services that make cell phone location easier for families in particular. Locating your own cell phone is legally no problem, but if you want to locate the smartphone of another person, you should be aware of the legal basis: A cell phone location may only take place with the consent of the owner.
However, many offer Spy Apps The possibility to locate foreign mobile devices without the owner necessarily having to know about it. At this point, we are not so much concerned with the ethical and legal backgrounds, but rather focus entirely on the know-how!
Find cell phone: Here’s how
Assuming that their own smartphone has been lost, many owners resort to the most logical and obvious option: Calling your own cell phone. This still doesn’t really have much to do with cell phone tracking and most of the time this step is not enough to find the phone either. Because usually no one picks up, depending on where the device is now waiting for its owner. If the cell phone has been stolen, it is clear that the new owners have no interest in giving the actual owners information about its whereabouts. Very rarely it happens that an honest finder calls the owner to tell him where the smartphone is now waiting.
To clarify the whereabouts of a missing cell phone can be a reason to deal with cell phone tracking. Alternatively, parents are increasingly considering how they can ensure the safety of their children and, for example, monitor the kids’ cell phones. One way to find out if the child is safe is to use cell phone tracking. The aim is not so much to find a cell phone, but to determine the location of the owner. Important for the location – for whatever reason – is that the Location function already activated on the cell phone before the location attempt is. Otherwise, you have a bad chance of finding the phone.
What you need then, is another end device. If the cell phone tracking is activated on the target device, a second cell phone or a computer is sufficient, through which the tracking is possible. It does not only depend on the GPS data, but sometimes the location also works via mobile stations or WLAN data. With a little skill, cell phone tracking is possible even without a spy app for cell phone tracking or GPS turned on.
Locate iPhone: What is there to consider?
Let’s first take a look at how to locate iPhones. Also to locate an iPhone you need a second device like a PC, a notebook or a smartphone. If the location of the device should be activated, the location via the iCloud works out. For this one needs Apple ID, via which the locations are recorded in the Apple user account.
The Apple ID belongs to the basic equipment of all Apple fans, because without the Apple ID nothing works on the smartphone. If you want to download apps or use similar services, you need the Apple ID.
- To do this you have to log in via an external device with the Apple ID of the lost device.
- Now you have access to the last known locations of the iPhone.
Of course, the location of the phone via the Apple ID only works if the Apple ID of the target phone is known. If the Apple ID is not known, the location works via various location services, which we will look at in more detail later.
Locate Android phone: How to?
Locating Android cell phones should also be possible with the right background knowledge. Prerequisite to locate an Android phone without extra software is the activated locating function. The information about the location of the device is registered in the Google account. In order to use this service, Android smartphone owners must be logged in to their Google account and have location tracking enabled.
Depending on the Android version, the internal way to determine the location looks a little different. In any case, the access and setting via "Google Settings", "Location" and "Security&" works Location". If one would like to have it completely exactly, it applies "Locating with high accuracy" to activate. Furthermore there is the option "Find my device. This function should also be enabled if you are interested in tracking your phone at a later time.
- To do this, log in to an external device via the Google service "Find my device", but with the Google account of the smartphone you are looking for.
- The last registered locations of the Android phone can then be displayed on a map.
Here, too, you can get by without any extra software if you have the necessary information.
Locate cell phone: Find my Phone or Spy App for cell phone location
So finding a cell phone, if you have the necessary data, is not difficult. But what if one lacks the data on the accounts or IDs? Then the only way left is to use external softwares and services, which fortunately are now available in abundance. It is not necessary to write off the phone because the ID or account data is missing.
- Locating a cell phone with software is usually only possible under certain conditions:
- In most cases, the device must be switched on and have a reasonably stable connection to the Internet.
- Furthermore, the smartphone should have the GPS service enabled so that the software can access the locations.
- If the tracking is done via the mobile phone data, the data connection should be switched on.
- Furthermore, it must be ensured that the tracking via IMEI number is possible. This can be easily found out via the mobile phone provider.
One app that has its sights set on cell phone tracking is "Find my Phone". Here it is a question of locating the cell phone with software that is specialized in exactly this area. With "Find my Phone", the location of the smartphone runs via the Cell phone number. For this, however, both the country of residence and the mobile phone provider must be known.
What is the IMEI number all about??
When it comes to cell phone tracking for the family, many parents rely on the IMEI number. But only a few smartphone owners are even aware of what the IMEI number is all about. Accordingly, here’s a quick look at what’s behind the IMEI number and how it helps for smartphone tracking.
The IMEI number can usually be found both on the original packaging and in the phone under the battery. If you want to find out the IMEI number in the system, you can do that by using the Command #06#. This IMEI number is not only necessary for cell phone tracking, but also for SIM lock and device locking.
The cell phone location based on the IMEI number is possible via the mobile phone provider. However, this is only possible if the owner is able to report the loss of the smartphone reported to the police has. And even then, tracking can prove difficult. For example, the location via the IMEI number only works if the cell phone is switched on and the owner of the smartphone has not changed the IMEI number.
Locate cell phone with software: cell phone tracking for families
Increasingly popular for parents to track their children’s smartphones. In most cases, this is even possible without the children noticing anything about the location. Tracking without the consent of underage smartphone owners is legal, because the parent or guardian is allowed to decide if the child’s phone can be tracked. Particularly popular for this is the app mSpy, which we will take a closer look at below.
The mSpy software is one of the most popular apps when it comes to spying. The portfolio of the app is quite broad, so that it is not only possible to carry out secret surveillance but also a lot of detailed work is possible. When it comes to the safety of children, parents here are equipped with a wide range of different options.
Once you have decided on an mSpy package, it is a matter of installing the app – noticed or unnoticed – on the target device. This is usually only possible if you have direct access to the cell phone and also has the code to unlock the phone.
Then download the mSpy app and go through the installation process. This is quite user-friendly, so that the Installation quite intuitive and you don’t have to overcome any big hurdles. In order to actually use the mSpy service, it is also necessary to create a user account. After registration, the customer has the possibility to activate and configure various services.
- In order to be able to use the service of mSpy itself, mSpy has three different packages on offer. The basic package is already available for 26.99 euros per month.
Prevent cell phone tracking
We now know that it is not that difficult to locate a smartphone. But what if you want to prevent the tracking on your own device?? Of course, this is also possible and we show how it works. Because you don’t always want your location data to be visible via Apple, Google or Microsoft at all times. After all, the companies behind them can also access this data.
Anyone who has their own data protection in mind should accordingly Do not activate location services on your own mobile device.
- Furthermore, it is important to check the iCloud or the Android device manager Disable storage of locations. To do this, you have to dig a little deeper into your Google account, because just turning off the GPS is not enough to do this. Under the heading "Data and personalization" and "Activity settings" it is necessary to disable the use of the location.
- Furthermore, you should take a closer look at "web and app activities". Because there, too, the Prevent access to personal data, so that the storage of data is no longer possible.
For iPhone users, the path to data protection is less complex. Simply click on "Privacy" and "Location Services" deactivate what you do not want to use.
The bottom line: Locating and finding cell phones
We have now looked at a few ways to determine the location of a smartphone:
- On the one hand internally from the operators and providers some services available, which make a location of the mobile end device practically possible.
- If one does not have the necessary data for this, one has sufficient alternatives in the form of Apps to the site. The best known is probably mSpy, which makes the location of a smartphone possible, but also brings many other functions for monitoring with it.
The disadvantage of the Handyortung is always that one thereby also a part of its Privacy by sharing the data. So you should think carefully about whether you set your own cell phone so that smartphone location is possible. After all, the relevant services have to run day and night in the background to have the right data at hand in case of emergency. It is usually unclear where this data goes and who has access to it.
About Kevin Seeberger
Kevin Seeberger has a degree in economics with a focus on e-commerce& Marketing. He takes care of various topics around computer security, cryptocurrencies and reviews.