How to track the location of a smartphone

Tracking smartphones can be very useful in specific situations, such as in the case of smartphone theft, when a person disappeared for some reason, or even to find a car that was stolen.

tracking smartphones

Functionality is also important, to find children or other relatives who went somewhere unknown. Thus, it is possible to monitor the movements of the person where they are, thus verifying their precise location on the map.

All this thanks to the GPS technology (Global Positioning System) present in most of the latest generation smartphones, being able to do the mobile tracking in a very simple and practical way. But tracking another person’s cell phone, that is, when the device is not in their hands, it can be something a little more complicated to achieve, but not impossible.

The main operating systems in the smartphone market, Google Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows, have native systems and applications that allow mobile tracking only with login credentials of the owner device.

Thus, when you have these login credentials from the device store, it can locate this person’s device, regardless of where they are, provided that the GPS settings on the phone are activated.

Here I show you how to find another person’s mobile using the official smartphone applications.

It is worth noting that these are legal methods of tracking, which do not include procedures that may violate the law or the privacy of third parties.

How to track an Android mobile phone that is not yours

Google has a free service with the ability to locate your Android devices online. To access the “Find my device” application, click on the following link:

On that page, if you are not the owner of the device, you will need the user data and password of the smartphone account. This data is a Google email and a password registered by the user, when he first used his mobile phone.

Once you have identified with the Google tracker, you will automatically be shown a screen with the name of the device you wish to track and some functions such as the following:

  • Play Sound: The phone rings for 5 minutes, even if it is in silent mode.
  • Secure Device: Lock the phone and present a text message or phone number chosen by the one who is tracking.
  • Erase Device: This function must be used carefully, since it deletes all the contents of the device, leaving it as it comes from the factory, without any data, such as photos or videos.

The world map on the right of the screen will show you the exact location where the device is located.

How to track an iPhone that is not yours

The iPhone users can also track phones over the Internet, with the data of the device owner; you can find the Apple smartphone using the “Find My iPhone” service, which is integrated with the iCloud application.

track iPhone

To access the service, direct your web browser to the following address: The application also allows you to locate iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch or AirPods.

After accessing the site, enter the email and password of the person. Only in possession of this information is that it will be possible to find the iPhone on the map. After logging into the application, click on the green “Search iPhone” icon.

After clicking, you must re-enter the access password. Next, the GPS location service will show you the location of the iPhone on the map.

Warning: Each time this service is accessed, an email is automatically sent to the account of the application owner, that is, you will know that someone has tried to locate the device.

Other apps for tracking smartphone


The Cerberus application allows you to control your phone remotely through web page or through text messages. In case of theft, the page sends automatic alerts if someone uses the smartphone with an unauthorized SIM card. It also allows you to lock the phone with a code, record audio from the microphone, get a list of the latest calls, or even take pictures remotely. This service is only available on Android.


Applications that can help you find your Android phone, even if you ran out of battery. This Lookout service uses a function called a flare signal that records the last location of the device. In this way an approximate location of the cell can be obtained. Another service offered is to take a photo remotely; this image will be sent to the email next to the location where it was taken.

Prey Anti Theft

Prey Anti Theft allows you to track and locate phones, tablets or laptops. It is completely free and can protect up to three devices in a single account. This searches for the device by means of GPS triangulation and Wi-Fi; it can also emit alarms, lock the screen, activate the cell phone volume and collect the information from the internet. It is available for iOS and android.


To track someone else’s phone, such as your children and employees, you can simply use a mobile phone tracking application like mSpy. This is a very small but powerful application that can be installed in just a few steps. The entire installation process takes only 2-3 minutes to complete. Once installed, the application remains hidden in the phone, but keeps track of your GPS location. In addition, it also records calls, text messages, social media activities and much more.

Ways to track a cell phone that doesn’t work

1. Track Cell by Number

It is true that the company that operates your mobile has all the information needed to find a phone through the signal it emits, or through the GPS it contains. It is not very complicated, but it is also true that this cannot be done without police authorization. Therefore, if you ask a mobile company to give you the location of a certain device, they may refuse to do so.

The authorities may request this information from those mobiles that are suspected of having committed a crime. For example, if someone commits a robbery and runs away, it would be easy for the police to find them using the mobile’s GPS location.

If that is your case and your device was stolen, contact the authorities to track it using the number. In these cases, acting quickly helps locate the mobile before the thugs discard it. Although there are many free services that today promise that they can carry out this action, it is not true: the only one authorized to track a phone using their number is the police.

As you can see, this system is much more sophisticated than many others. The only requirement is that the device is turned on and that the SIM card has not been removed. If you had the GPS on, the search will be even more effective.

2. Track Cell by iMEI

If you want to track your cell phone using the IMEI number, we are sorry to inform you that it is not possible. You may have seen some websites that offer this IMEI tracking service, but it is important that you know that the vast majority are false and can even be dangerous. However, the IMEI number is very important, especially if your device has been stolen. With those digits, you can report it to the authorities so that nobody else can use the phone.

If you don’t know your IMEI number, in the next section you can find some tips that will help you know what it is.

  • You can ask your operator. They will surely try to help you as much as possible so that you can disable the device and nobody else uses it.
  • Use the Google application “Find my device”. On that site, you can see a logo that has an i. If you press that button, it will provide you with the IMEI number you were looking for. Then, you can try to see if the device’s GPS is still on to track it.
  • The cell phone case and the bill have crucial information that is surely helpful. The invoice, for example, has all the details along with the price and the date of purchase. If you threw it away, do not worry: there is a great chance that you have kept the box. It usually have the IMEI number you were looking for recorded. If this does not work, you can still try to contact the store that sold the device to see if they have any backup of the invoice they issued.


Today, the tracking of other people’s cell phones is simply one of the most searched topics on the internet. More and more are the reasons and interests of being able to access this type of information and the appropriate and correct technology can give millions of people a true answer, but unfortunately there are many sites or people wanting to promise the magic, easy solution and many people end up being victims of scams or online traps.