Free SMS Tracker without Installing on Target Phone

Elsa Updated on Dec 5, 2022 Filed to: Parent Control

SMS is still one of the common ways to stay in touch with people. It is an easy means of communication. Anyone anywhere can send an SMS as far as they know how to write.

Besides being the most straightforward means of communication, sending text messages is fast, inexpensive, and effective. However, it is also one of the easiest ways to exploit vulnerabilities. Little wonder parents are always on edge, trying to know who their kids are texting.

SMS tracker app is a tool that lets you see the sent and received text messages on a device. This article contains some free SMS trackers without installing them on the target phone. Read on to discover more!

Part 1. Is There A Free SMS Tracker Without Installing On Target Phone?

To answer this question, yes, there is a free SMS tracker without installing it on the target phone. However, it depends on the device's operating system.

There is a free SMS tracker without installation for iOS devices, thanks to iCloud credentials. You can view the sent or received messages as long as text message synching is activated on the device. But you need to first log in to their iCloud using their Apple ID. Now, this is the tricky part. You cannot log in to their iCloud account if you do not know their Apple ID. Also, it would help if you were sure text message syncing is active.

Android device users do not have this feature. They rely on third-party apps – SMS tracker apps – to track SMS. These apps are available online for free but require one-time access to the target device to set it up. Most of these apps aren't entirely free too. Some require a subscription fee, while some offers trial versions.

Part 2. Top 8 Free SMS Tracker Online Without Target Phone

TrackerProduct HighlightsSupported PlatformsFree TrialStealth ModeEncryptionPrice
AirDroid SMS TrackerSync SMS and show the live screen of kid’s phoneAndroid3 to 14 days free trialYesYes$9.99/monthly
mSpy SMS Tracking SoftwareFind out what your loved ones are up to online without them knowingiOS, AndroidYesYesYes$48.99/monthly
KidsGuard ProCollects information regarding text messagesiOS, AndroidNoYesYes$29.95-39.95/monthly
uMobixRemotely takes screenshotsiOS, AndroidYesNoNo$29.99/monthly basic plan
$59.99/monthly (full plan)
Coco spyProvides real-time location tracking to prevent kids from getting into trouble.Android, iOSNoYesNo$49.99/monthly
XNSPYCapable of controlling/monitoring device data, including social media and messenger messagesiOS, AndroidYesYesNo$9.99/monthly for a year
$24.99/monthly per quarter
HoverWatchAllows you to check sent/received text messages and also social media messagesWindows, MacYesYesNo$24.95 monthly for a personal plan
iKeyMonitorRuns in a stealth/hidden mode.
Synchronizes data in real-time.
Android, iOS, Windows, MacYesYesYes$9.9 monthly license per feature for each device.

1AirDroid SMS Tracker

AirDroid SMS Tracker and Parental Control app is the top app on our list. It is an ideal and comprehensive SMS tracker app to help users keep their kids safe.

AirDroid Parental Control app


  • Sync kid's incoming SMS to your phone
  • Show kid's live screen on parent's mobile device
  • Schedule SMS usage and limit screen time
  • Real-time location tracking and set geofences
  • Monitor phone surroundings remotely


  • Protect kids both online and in the real-life
  • Guide Kids to build healthy digital habits
  • Easy to set up and straightforward dashboard


  • Not compatible with iOS devices

What it Monitors

  • Location
  • device and app usage
  • Calls and audio
  • Device environment
  • Social media apps

2mSpy SMS Tracking Software

mSpy allows you remote and discreet access to any cell phone activity. Information from the targeted phone is usually updated, requiring you to check for updates constantly.

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  • Keyword alerts
  • Photo and video viewer
  • Geofencing
  • App usage management


  • Real-time tracking
  • Gives full access to text messages
  • Has keylogging


  • Re-login is required after 14 days of active sync
  • It is expensive
  • It does not give real-time updates

What it Monitors

  • Call logs
  • Contacts
  • Social media
  • Location
  • Browsing history and Wi-Fi network

3KidsGuard Pro

KidsGuard Pro works with both phones and PCs. It periodically collects information regarding text messages. It is compatible with Android and iOS. It also has the PC version.

KidsGuard Pro


  • remote monitoring
  • social media app monitoring
  • call and SMS monitoring
  • media file access
  • Internet monitoring and filtering.


  • You can chat live with customer support round the clock
  • The performance and functionality are reliable
  • It gives real-time GPS location tracking
  • It is well adapted for parents monitoring their kids.


  • Have a strict refund policy
  • The target phone and the PC need to be connected to the same WI-FI network

What it Monitors

  • SMS, call, and contacts
  • Location
  • Internet and browsing history
  • App usage


uMobix can track several phone activities. It also can remotely take screenshots.



  • Live call monitoring
  • Advanced GPS tracking
  • Remotely access gallery


  • See timestamp and sender/recipient of a text
  • Real-time GPS location tracking


  • It has limited features
  • It may require jailbreaking
  • Use one subscription per device

What it Monitors

  • Device apps
  • Call and contacts
  • Browsing history
  • Location


Cocospy is a popular SMS tracking app if you want to read text messages without installation.



  • Tracks calls and web history
  • Geofencing and geofencing alerts
  • GPS location and SIM tracking
  • Social media monitoring, including Snapchat
  • Can see media files on the target device


  • It has comprehensive features
  • It has customer support in multiple languages
  • it works without rooting or jailbreaking


  • It requires jailbreaking for tracking certain apps
  • It offers no trial or free version
  • It is pricey

What it Monitors

  • Web history
  • Message loggings
  • GPS and location tracking


XNSPY is capable of controlling/monitoring device data, including social media and messenger messages



  • Listen to the device location
  • Monitor downloaded media
  • Screen capture the device's screen
  • social media and call monitoring


  • It is cost-effective
  • Alerts and notifications are instant
  • It provides real-time tracking


  • One subscription per device
  • The basic version has limited features

What it Monitors

  • Wi-Fi, keylogging media files
  • Geofencing and location
  • Phone and social media text and calls


HoverWatch uses the screenshot-based style of tracking. It is multifunctional for monitoring both phones and laptops. Both parents and employers use it for tracking.



  • Remotely view contacts
  • website and browsing history monitoring
  • Access media files
  • Sim change alert


  • Works in stealth mode
  • Can record calls
  • Can monitor internet history


  • Multiple SMS tracking features for jailbroken devices only

What it Monitors

  • Phone book and directory
  • Social media apps
  • Location
  • Internet


iKeyMonitor enables users to remotely observe and control the action of a target device via the web-based user interface. It does not need installation on the device.



  • Set screen and app usage limit
  • Geofencing to track whereabouts using GPS
  • Logs/records call, keystroke, and visited websites
  • Remotely take screenshots of phone activities


  • It is compatible with Android 4.0+, iOS 9-14, Windows 7+, and Mac 10.10+ devices
  • It is easy to use
  • It monitors all kinds of messages
  • It has a wide range of tracking features


  • It has limited features for its non-jailbroken version
  • It requires separate payments for add-on features for non-jailbroken version
  • Its features can be confusing to users

What it Monitors

  • SMS tracking
  • App blocking

Part 3. How We Choose The Best Free SMS Tracker

We chose the above SMS tracking app with the following criteria;


The above SMS trackers run in stealth mode. It is the only criteria for choosing any SMS tracker. You don't want the target device owner knowing you are onto them. These apps run in the background without any icon indicating it has been installed on the device.


Our choices of SMS trackers are simple and easy to use. They also have a simple interface. Installing those takes less than 10 minutes. They also have top-notch customer support services. You can contact them via the app or desktop site. Either way, queries are answered.

Tracking Features

The above apps do not only read text messages remotely. They also view deleted text messages, the time stamp, and who the sender/receiver is. Besides SMS tracking, the apps have additional features like social media message tracking, location tracking, etc.


The trackers give total data protection and privacy. Its policies, terms, and conditions are understandable and well defined. Text messages of the target device are accessed from the user's dashboard without leaking to the third party. Also, the identity of the users and target phone owner remains under safety, away from snoopers. Our top pick SMS tracking app does not store data collected from the target device.

Part 4. Why Do You Need A Free SMS Tracker?

There are several reasons why you need a free SMS tracker. Some of these reasons include;

Safeguarding Loved Ones

Kids and teenagers are both naïve and vulnerable. Anybody can exploit their naivety and innocence. There have been cases of kids falling victims to cyberbullying, addictions, and sexting (sex texting). You don't want them to be bullied or become bullies. Nor want their inappropriate photo in someone's custody.

To Confirm Suspicion or Erase Doubt

If your sixth sense tells you something is wrong with your kid or partner, you shouldn't ignore that feeling. You need to clear the doubts or confirm your suspicion. There is no better way to do it than through SMS tracking.

To Identify the Sender

Sometimes, you can keep getting a text from the same person using different phone numbers. SMS tracking apps can identify these tricks and restrict the person from texting you.

Bottom Line

Although technology has many solutions to reading someone's text without their phone, not all of its solutions are helpful. Some methods are illegal; some disrupt the security configurations of the target phone (jailbreaking). It is why you need a reliable and well-tested solution. SMS tracker apps are the right choice to track someone's text message without them knowing.

FAQs About SMS Tracking

Can You Read Someone's Text Without Their Phone?
You can read someone's text without their phone. iOS device users have apple ID. You can log in to their iCloud account via this ID to read their text messages without them knowing. There are also free SMS tracking apps that require a one-time installation.
Is There A Free App To Intercept Text Messages?
There are free SMS tracker apps to intercept text messages. These apps aren't entirely free, but some offer free or trial versions for SMS tracking. Most of them are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. But some run on either Android or iOS devices.
Can You Clone Someone's Text Messages
Yes, it is possible to clone someone's text messages. AirDroid SMS Tracker and Parental Control app have this feature. It takes less than 10 minutes to install and set up the app. After that, text message cloning is made easy.
Does SMS Trackers Show Delete Text Messages?
With SMS trackers, you can see sent and received text messages, even the deleted ones. So yes, SMS trackers do show deleted text messages. With the AirDroid SMS Tracker and Parental Control app, you can read the entire content of the text and even the date and time it was sent/received.
Can You Track Someone's Text Messages Without Them Knowing?
It is possible to track someone's text messages without knowing with the help of SMS tracker apps. AirDroid SMS tracker can monitor SMS on Android devices without anyone knowing. iOS devices make use of apple ID for SMS tracking. But there are tracker apps that run on iPhones.
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