Top Free GPS Phone Tracker for Android & iPhone

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Emilie Burke

Table of content

 

People may want to track a phone location for many reasons, such as: lost or stolen phone, parents monitoring children for safety reasons, employers monitoring employees, social location sharing, conducting rescue operations, and more. 

 

In this technological age, we have more options to achieve this goal. In this article, we will show you various free and useful cell phone location tracking methods and help you choose the best GPS tracker for Android and for iPhone.

 

If you are an Android user and you have more needs about Android, you can read this article: Best GPS tracker for Android

iPhone users can read this article: Best GPS tracker for iPhone

 

Part 1. How does GPS tracker works

 

GPS trackers communicate with the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite system and use satellite signals to determine the exact location of your device. Most current mobile phones have built-in GPS receivers. 

Phone GPS tracker

When the user enables location services in the mobile phone settings or enables location permissions through related applications, the mobile phone begins to communicate with satellite systems (such as GPS). Users usually do not need to enter any information manually, and the GPS tracker can display real-time location.

 

Part 2. Characteristics of GPS tracker

 

GPS tracker has several advantages that make it widely used in various situations. It is precisely because of these advantages that mobile phone positioning technology has become an indispensable part of navigation, security monitoring, social interaction and business applications.

 

  • Real-time: The mobile phone positioning system can adapt to changing environments, including dynamic conditions such as device movement and signal changes. In social media or messaging applications, users can instantly share their real-time location and dynamically track their movements.
  • Accuracy: GPS trackers provide high-precision location information, allowing users to know the exact location of their device rather than just its general direction.
  • Reliability: A reliable cell phone location system can help recover the device if it is lost or stolen. GPS provides consistent location information even under different environmental conditions. In emergency situations, such as car accidents, reliable mobile phone positioning can also help emergency rescue personnel accurately locate the accident scene and improve rescue efficiency.

 

Part 3. How to track a phone location for free

 

In this part, we will introduce it in four situations: methods common to iOS, common methods to Android, methods provided by the three most popular Android phone brands on the market, and methods applicable to both Android and iOS.

 

Common methods for iOS:

Apple Find My

 

Find My is a built-in feature of the iOS system, which integrates two services into iOS devices: Find My iPhone and Find My Friends. 

 

It is designed to help users locate their iPhone if the device is lost or stolen, remotely lock the device, play sounds, display lost mode information, and remotely wipe data on the device. And it allows users to share their real-time location information so that their friends or family can see each other's locations.

Real screenshot of Apple Find My user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Completely free.

    pros

    The user interface is designed to be friendly and easy to understand and use.

    Cons

    pros

    Find My iPhone 4.0 requires iOS 8 or later and iCloud.

    cons

    Find My Friends feature only works on iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro.

    pros

    Users must enable this feature on their device and associate it with an iCloud account to use it.

    pros

    The device must be connected to the network. When the signal is weak, the positioning may be inaccurate.

 

Steps

  • Open "Settings" on your device.
  • Click on your Apple ID.
  • Enter "iCloud".
  • Make sure "Find My iPhone" is turned on.
  • Open another iOS device or sign in on the iCloud website.
  • In the "Find My" app, select "Devices" and then select the device you want to find.
  • View a map of your device's real-time location.
  • If you need to play a sound, you can select "Play Sound".
  • To enable "Lost Mode" or perform "Remote Wipe", you can select the corresponding options.

 

Common methods to Android:

Google Find My Device

 

Find My Device is a service from Google that comes pre-installed on most Android devices and allows users to remotely locate, lock, or wipe their Android devices. This is a free tool that can be useful if your device is lost or stolen.

Real screenshot of Google Find My Device user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Free service.

    Cons

    pros

    User must enable location services on the device.

    cons

    Only available on devices running the Android operating system.

    pros

    The device requires an Internet connection and may not provide accurate location information in some cases.

    pros

    Users need to log in using a Google account.

    pros

    Playing sounds or locking remotely requires the device to be online.

 

Steps

  • Open a web browser on any device. Visit the Find My Device website: https://www.google.com/android/find. Or on another Android device, open the Google Play Store. Search for and install the "Find My Device" app.
  • Log in to the same Google account associated with the target Android device.
  • On the page/app you will see a map showing the location of your device.
  • To play a sound, click on the device's name on the map and select the "Play Sound" option.
  • To securely lock your device, click the device's name on the map, then select the "Security" option and follow the prompts.
  • To wipe device data, click on the device's name on the map, then select the "Wipe device" option and follow the prompts.

 

Android phone brands built-in methods:

Samsung - Find My Mobile

 

Find My Mobile is a unique software of Samsung brand mobile phones. It is similar to Apple’s “Find My iPhone”. It can help you find, protect and manage your Samsung devices (such as mobile phones, tablets, smart watches and other Samsung products).

Real screenshot of Galaxy S9 Find My Mobile user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Comes with your phone, free to use.

    Cons

    pros

    An internet connection is required.

    cons

    Location services must be enabled on the device.

    pros

    Users must log into the Find My Mobile service using the Samsung account associated with the device.

    pros

    If the device is lost and quickly discovered by others and the Find My Mobile service is disabled, the location function may fail.

 

Steps

  • The device is connected to the network.
  • Log in to your Samsung account.
  • Enable location services in your device settings.
  • In the device settings, find and turn on the "Biometrics and Security" or "Lock Screen and Security" option, then find and turn on the Find My Mobile service.
  • In the Find My Mobile interface, select the device to view the current location of the device.
  • If needed, you can choose to remotely lock your device or wipe the data on it. There is also the option to trigger an alarm sound.

 

Huawei - Find My Phone

 

Huawei's "Find My Phone" is basically similar to Samsung and Apple's "Find My" in that they both provide functions such as remote location, locking and erasing by connecting to cloud services. 

 

For Huawei mobile phones, its "Find My Phone" service is based on Huawei cloud services, providing Huawei mobile phone users with lost mobile phone tracking and security control features.

Real screenshot of Huawei Find My Phone user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Free use.

    pros

    User-friendly experience.

    Cons

    pros

    Need to know Huawei account and password.

    cons

    An internet connection is required.

    pros

    Location services must be enabled on your phone.

    pros

    The corresponding permissions need to be granted on the phone.

    pros

    Maybe disabled.

 

Steps

  • Turn on location services.
  • Enable Find My Phone service.
  • Log in to your Huawei account.
  • Select your device.
  • Locate the device to see its current location.
  • If desired, you can choose to remotely lock your device or clear the data on it.
  • In some cases, you can choose to trigger an alarm sound on your device to help locate the device.

 

Xiaomi - Mi Cloud

 

Xiaomi's "Mi Cloud" service can help users locate their phones to protect their devices, manage data, and back up their phones.

Real screenshot of Xiaomi Mi Cloud user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Free.

    pros

    Ability to perform mobile phone backup.

    Cons

    pros

    The device has no network connection and cannot be used normally.

    cons

    Location services must be enabled on the device.

    pros

    Need to log in to Mi account.

    pros

    Users need to grant corresponding permissions to Mi Cloud on their mobile phones.

    pros

    Maybe disabled.

 

Steps

  • Turn on location services.
  • Enable Mi Cloud.
  • Log in to your Mi account.
  • Choose the services you want to use, such as device tracking, device locking, remote wipe, and more.

 

Methods available for iOS and Android:

Google Maps Location Sharing (iOS & Android)

 

Google Maps location sharing allows users to share their real-time location information with others for free. Whether you're using Android or iPhone, the person receiving location sharing will be able to see your live location in their own Google Maps app. 

 

Users can choose to share their location with specific groups of people, such as friends or family, through the Google Maps app or by visiting the web version, and set a time limit for sharing.

Real screenshot of Google Maps Location Sharing user interface

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Free.

    pros

    Available for both Android and iPhone phones.

    pros

    Real-time coordination.

    Cons

    pros

    Location sharing requires the device to be connected to the Internet.

    cons

    Permission to open the share is required.

    pros

    You need to log in to a Google account.

    pros

    Compatibility across different devices and operating systems may be limited, and some features may not be available on some devices.

    pros

    Real-time location sharing may cause your device's battery to drain faster.

 

Steps

  • Open the Google Maps app.
  • Make sure you are logged in to your Google account.
  • Tap the "Location Sharing" icon in the bottom screen.
  • Select the contacts you want to share your location with.
  • Set a time period for sharing.
  • Click "Share".

 

Social Apps Location Sharing (iOS & Android)

 

Social apps such as Fecebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, Telegram, WeChat all have location sharing functions, allowing users to share their geographical location information within the app. 

 

This feature is often used to enhance the social experience, making it easier for users to find friends, family, or people with common interests. Through location sharing, users can know each other's real-time location and easily conduct face-to-face communication or event arrangements when needed.

Real screenshot of Social Media Location Sharing

Feature overview

 

    Pros

    pros

    Real-time location communication.

    pros

    Available for both Android and iPhone phones.

    pros

    Improve the experience of social apps.

    Cons

    pros

    High requirements for network signal.

    cons

    Location information can be misused.

    pros

    Increases battery consumption and data usage of your device.

 

Steps

  • Open apps.
  • Enter the chat page.
  • Select location sharing.
  • Confirm sharing.

 

Part 4. Top GPS phone tracker without them knowing

 

SpyX (iOS & Android)

 

SpyX is a hidden GPS tracker. It is not only suitable for tracking the location of your own phone, but also helps you track other people’s phones without them knowing. 

 

SpyX has very powerful functions. In addition to tracking the location of mobile phones, it can also track text messages, phone calls, photos and videos, chat records of various social media software, etc. Moreover, there is no need to jailbreak or install apps, there is no icon, and it is 100% invisible.

 

GPS Location Feature overview

General Features

Screenshots of users’ real experience using SpyX

Social Media Features

Screenshots of users’ real experience using SpyX Social Media features

 

    Pros

    pros

    Compatible with all Android and iOS.

    pros

    No logo or icon will appear on the target device, and no notifications will pop up during tracking.

    pros

    No jailbreak, no download required.

    pros

    Data encryption, privacy protection.

    pros

    User-friendly interface, 24/7 customer service support.

    Cons

    pros

    Requires subscription.

 

Steps

 

Step 1. Go to the SpyX website and create an account using your valid email address.

 

Step 2. Select the Android or iOS device you want to track and bind it.

 

Step 3. Enter the app and click Locations in the sidebar or dashboard.

  • Select a date to view real-time and historical location information.
Screenshots of users’ real experience using SpyX GPS location
  • Check the mobile phone movement track.
Screenshots of users’ real experience using SpyX GPS location
  • Set the activity range of the target device and receive an alert when the device is outside this range.
Screenshots of users’ real experience using SpyX Geofencing

 

Part 5. How to choose the best app to track iPhone & Android phones

 

When choosing a GPS tracker, the most important thing is to identify your needs and choose a device that meets those needs. Different scenarios may require different types of trackers, so it's important to fully understand a product's performance and functionality before choosing one.

 

🚏 Positioning requirements: First you need to determine your positioning requirements, whether it is for child safety, location sharing or other purposes. Different application scenarios may require different types of trackers. If you are using it to locate children and protect their personal safety, it is recommended to choose SpyX parental monitoring software. If you are looking for a lost or stolen mobile phone, you can first try to use the official mobile phone method, just like Apple users use "Find My".

 

🕗 Real-time tracking & historical tracks: Some trackers can only provide real-time location tracking, but not historical tracks. If you need to view historical location information, it is recommended to choose a method that can provide both real-time tracking and historical tracks, such as SpyX, Facebook location sharing.

 

🏅 Tracking features: Make sure the GPS tracker provides an easy-to-use interface and necessary features such as alarm settings, geofencing, etc. Alarm settings are generally available in most software, but only SpyX has geofencing.

 

💰 Free or paid: If you don’t want to pay for any apps, there are 7 options for you to choose from. If you want to use more functions besides GPS positioning, then you can consider the paid app-SpyX, which can not only locate but also track 30+ apps on your phone.

 

📝 User ratings and reviews: Read ratings and reviews from other users to learn about the pros and cons of different trackers so you can make a more informed choice. But you need to be careful to distinguish between genuine and fake comments.

 

Part 6. Final summary

 

This article focuses on 8 ways to implement GPS positioning. Users can choose either free or paid apps. Whether you want to use GPS tracker to track your own device or someone else's, our article will meet your needs. 

 

If you need to choose the best GPS tracker, SpyX is our first choice. It combines all the features of other apps and has complete functions. While tracking the location of the mobile phone, it can also monitor other data of the mobile phone. Its safety, privacy, and easy-to-use features make it a good choice for child monitoring, employee monitoring, and device positioning.

 

Part 7. FAQs

 

What to know before tracking your location on phone?

 

Before tracking the location of a cell phone, there are some important things to consider.

  • Understand legal provisions and ensure legality.
  • Respect personal privacy and obtain consent.
  • Clear purpose and reasonable use.
  • Communicate transparently to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Choose a reliable service provider.
  • Handle location information with care and security.

 

Overall, before tracking your phone’s location, it’s crucial to understand the legal requirements, respect privacy, have a clear purpose, communicate transparently, and choose safe and trustworthy tools.

 

How to find someone’s location with phone number?

 

There are several ways to locate someone using their phone number. Free methods like using google maps, device locator. Pay to use third-party tools like SpyX Tracker, MinSpy, etc. You can check out this article: find someone's location by phone number to learn more methods and specific operations.

 

How to track phone using IMEI online?

 

You can use IMEI tracker online or use IMEI tracker app to track mobile phones. The method of using IMEI is usually used to track lost or stolen mobile phones. The premise of this method is that you need to know the IMEI number of the target mobile phone. This article: How to track phone using IMEI, can help you have a more comprehensive understanding.

 

How can I track a phone number without an app?

 

Most mobile phone tracking apps currently on the market require downloading and installing an app, so there are very few options without an app. But fortunately, SpyX Mobile Tracker allows users to monitor without jailbreaking, downloading, or even physically entering the target device. It provides users with a variety of connection solutions and can easily connect in just a few minutes and track all activities on the target phone, including the phone number.

 

How to detect GPS tracking on your cell phone?

 

There may be some signs of detecting GPS tracking on your phone, but please note that these methods are not always 100% accurate and may be due to other reasons. If you suspect that your phone is being tracked, it is best to consult a professional or, if permitted by law, seek legal assistance. The following are some methods that may be used to detect GPS tracking:

 

  • Check your phone settings: Look for location services or location settings in your phone's settings. If you find unusual location sharing or tracking apps, you need to be alert, as this may be a sign of being tracked.
  • View the list of apps: Check the list of apps installed on your phone. Some tracking apps may be named in unusual ways or hidden among other apps. If any suspicious apps are found, their functionality and permissions can be further investigated.
  • Check your phone battery usage: GPS tracking apps usually consume a relatively large amount of battery. Check the battery usage of your phone to see if there is any abnormal battery consumption.
  • Randomly check your phone's performance: If your phone suddenly feels slower than usual or has unusual issues, it could also be a sign that it's being tracked.
  • Unknown text messages or notifications received: Some tracking apps may send location information to the monitor via text messages or notifications. If you receive relevant unknown text messages or notifications, you need to be cautious.

 

You can also use security apps like Avast Antivirus & Security, and Bitdefender Mobile Security to detect potential tracking apps. Scanning and protecting with such apps may help identify potential problems.

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SPYX'S SOFTWARE INTENDED FOR LEGAL USE ONLY. You are required to notify users of the device that they are being monitored. Failure to do so is likely to result in violation of applicable law and may result in severe monetary and criminal penalties ...

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visa
mastercard
american express
DISCOVER
JCB
DIRECT Debit
WIRE TRANSFER

Disclaimer: SPYX'S SOFTWARE INTENDED FOR LEGAL USE ONLY. You are required to notify users of the device that they are being monitored. Failure to do so is likely to result .....

Registered Address: South Bank Tower, 55 Upper Ground,, London, England, SE1 9EY

Company Name: UK GBYTE TECHNOLOGY CO., LIMITED

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Copyright © 2024 SPYX. All Rights Reserved.