How To Use Your iPhone To GPS Track Someone's Location


Applies to: iOS6, iPhone, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, "New iPad", & iPod Touch

 

Updates for 2013 and iOS 7 

The instructions on this page are specifically for iOS 6, but if you have a new iPhone with iOS7 or if you have upgraded from iOS6 to iOS7, the settings are basically the same.


Did you know that your iPhone (iPad or iPod Touch) can be used as a real-time GPS location-tracking device, giving the (near) exact location of the phone (or the car, or purse that it is in) in near-real time?  You can watch on your PC or Mac as the location is pinpointed on a map, and updated every several seconds, accurately to within just a few feet!  The person holding the phone doesn't even have to do anything, and won't even know they are being tracked. Perfect for parents that want to keep an eye on their children's location - now buying (or loaning) an iPhone to your kids might make more sense.

 

Watch the video version:

WARNING: Using this method to turn an iPhone into a real-time GPS location tracking device should only be done to an iPhone that you own.  Tracking someone's iPhone that you do not own, without the owner's permission or placing any tracking device on someone without their permission or knowledge is not only immoral, but it may also be illegal in some states.Iphone Tracking via GPS

What you need to track your iPhone location:

  • Any iPhone (1st generation, iPhone 3g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S) running iOS 5 or newer - Jailbreaking is not required.  First generation iPhones will provide slightly-less accurate location information due to the lack of a GPS chip, and must be in range of cell towers.  Works on all iPads, but for non 3G iPads, it will only work if/when the iPad is in range of a wireless network and the location data may be less accurate.  Also works on iPod Touch but only if wireless is enabled and the device is in-range of a wireless network
  • MobileMe Account:  Mobile Me is a service provided by Apple for email, online data backup/storage, calendar/contacts sync, and Find My iPhone.  The normal cost for Mobile Me is $99/year, but you can usually find memberships for less on eBay (buyer beware!).  You can often get several months of Mobile Me for free when buying a new iPhone or computer from Apple, and you can also sign up for a free 60-day trial membership at the Mobile Me website to try the service.  For more info on the Mobile Me service, see Apple's Mobile Me website.
  • iCloud Account (FREE!): iCloud is a service provided by Apple for email, online backup of iOS devices, calendar/contacts sync and Find My iPhone.  iCloud is FREE.  See Apple's iCloud Website

How to turn your iPhone into a GPS location-tracker:

The key to using your iPhone as a real-time GPS location tracker is the Find My iPhone service which is part of iCloud.  Most people have probably heard about the Find My iPhone service - Apple markets the service as a way to find your iPhone if it becomes lost or stolen - but what many do not realize about the Find My iPhone service is:

  1. You can use Find My iPhone to get real-time maps of where your iPhone is at any time.  You do not have to 'report' the phone as stolen.
  2. You can get the location of your iPhone as often as you wish, with no limits
  3. There is no limit to the number of iPhones you can track - they don't even have to be owned by you! Just remember: do not track a phone/person without that person's permission.  Should the iPhone owner catch on that you are tracking their every movement, the information they need to convict you will be stored in the iPhone.

How to setup location tracking on an iPhone:

  • On the iPhone you want to track, go into SETTINGS, then iCloud
  • Enter your iCloud account information
  • Scroll down through the iCloud options (contacts, calendars, etc) and make sure that Find My iPhone is ON

Your iPhone is now setup as a location tracker! 

How to find and track the location of your iPhone:

From any computer connected to the internet: From any browser go to www.iCloud.com and sign in with your email address/iTunes account and password.  Once signed-in select Find My iPhone.  When prompted, re-enter your password.  After a moment a list of all devices you have configured for tracking will show on the left of the screen.  Click the device to track - after a moment a map will appear with the location of your device pin-pointed in the center (this usually takes a few seconds).  If the iPhone is in motion it will not be updated live on the screen - click the refresh button near the upper-right (near the time) to update the location.

From another iPhone or an iPad: Download and install the free Find My iPhone app.  Start the app and enter your Mobile Me membername (email) and password.  Select the device to track from the list and a map will appear with the location.  To update the map/location, click the refresh-button in the lower left.

When tracking on either a computer or another iPhone or iPad: on the map, select "hybrid" view for the best map view.

 

That's all there is too it!  There are other, cheaper ways to track an iPhone but they require jailbreaking and the person with the iPhone must first run a specific application on the phone, and are just not as simple or 'fool proof' as this method.  This method requires only a minute to setup and does not require you to do anything on the iPhone once configured. 

 

More reading about tracking and locating iPhones, iPads, iPods:

 

 

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Anonymous Visitor
GPS Track With an iPhone
I have an I phone 4 in my name with 2 lines. The other line is my boyfriends. I want to know can I download an ap to see his location at all times
I see stupid people (not verified)
Re: GPS Track With an iPhone
Did you read ANY of the words on the page above?
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: How To Use Your iPhone To GPS Track Someone's Location
How or is there a way to find out if someone is searching your locations. I have an iPhone 5 and I have a feeling my ex is watching my every move always knowing where I am. Is there an app I could download that told me when and who is hacking my locations
photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: How To Use Your iPhone To GPS Track Someone's Location

the little purple 'tracking' arrow will show up near the clock any time location services are in use..
If you are concerned that someone is using Find My iPhone to track your phone you can change your iCloud password (and dont give the new one to anyone) and check in all of your account settings to ensure that no iCloud accounts other than your own is configured.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: How To Use Your iPhone To GPS Track Someone's Location

I need to track my boyfriend of 13 years, two kids, one on way.
He has multiple emails, phones he is lying about, changed passwords on everything, I don't know him anymore. He is lying about everything - I am heartbroken, he is downloading pictures and sharing? just family pics-friends,misc. random stuff? freaking out of MY kids!!! & friends - Why?? and anything on my camera phone? He insists I'm imagining everything.

Found out he is tracking me on his Iphone and in my email - putting his files on my address and using my email?? I have nothing to hide - scared that he is using my email, etc. He is on social sites and facebook, ets. lying about it.

How can I track this - print proof and confront him - worst thing- love him so much -never would believe! No one we know would. His family lives with us! we take care of his parents. PLEASE DESPERATE!!! Can't afford any fancy trackers - he changed all passwords no access to account. computer savvy -dont' want him to find -feel so low = but I have to show proof he is ruining so many lives. THANK YOU!!!! cant give email = he is tracking will check site.

NoGoGirl (not verified)
GPS Track Someone

Please read your post and pretend that you don't know the person that wrote it. Do you see how dumb that person looks?! What advice would you give that person???? You don't need to track him or prove anything, you need to leave him now before you ruin your life any more than you already have.

If he is computer savvy and you have no access to his accounts you aren't going to be able to do anything anyway, other than botch it up (unless you're an expert?) and give him reasons to get angry at you and accuse you of not trusting him, and all kinds of other stupid things that you can avoid by just leaving him now. Your life is F'd right now.. It's going to be more F'd, if you don't get out now. 10 years from now when you're swallowing a bottle of pills you'll look back and ask why you didn't get out when you still could.

Sarkas (not verified)
Re: How To Use Your iPhone To GPS Track Someone's Location

And of course there is this very usefull little Apple app called Find Friends with which you can choose who is able to track you. This even doesn't necessitate leaving your iCloud credentials on someone else's phone, which I think is a very bad idea in the first place.

So go the legal route, install Find Friends (it's free) and ask your frinds, children, spouse, etc. for permission to track them. This app also updates your friends locations in near time. The only caveat: you need an iPhone - but I guess you have that.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
GPS Track an iphone
I want to track my very suspicious boyfriend's iphone. How can - can I - add his number to my find my iphone list of devices and if how do I go about doing that? Thanks xxxx
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Read imessage on another apple device
Is there any way to read my husband's imessage on my ipad? I have his password to his icloud account
photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Read imessage on another apple device

Yes.. Since he has given you his password you can add the account on your ipad in the Messages settings.. That iPad will then receive all imessages sent to the iCloud account, but you will not see old/previous iMessages.
Of course, as soon as you add the iCloud account to your device, all other devices using that account will receive a notification.

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