How to Track a Cell Phone Location for Free
Gone are the days when people relied on tech experts to track a cell phone's location. These days, anyone can do that, provided they have a device with a good internet connection. Generally, tracking a cell phone's location is not rocket science. You need the right app and the knowledge of how to use them.
A phone location tracker app allows you to help recover a misplaced or stolen phone. Parents can also use it to ensure their kid's safety. This post contains an overview of apps to track a cell phone's location. Read on to find out more!
- Method 1. Track a Cell Phone Location for Free with 9 Location Trackers
- Method 2. Track Phone Location for Free with Phone Tracker by Number
- Method 3. Track a Phone Location for Free with Cell Phone Carrier Service
- Method 4. Track Mobile Location for Free via the Location Sharing Feature of Social Apps
- Method 5. Track Phone Location for Free Using IMEI Tracker
Top 9 Location Trackers to Track a Cell Phone Location for Free
- Find My Device (Android)
- AirDroid Free Cell Phone Location Tracker (Android)
- Where's My Droid Location Tracker (Android)
- Find My (iPhone)
- Google Maps (Android & iPhone)
- Video Tutorial: Track a Cell Phone Location for Free with Location Tracker
- Life360 Mobile Location Tracker (Android & iPhone)
- Glympse Free Phone Location Tracker (Android & iPhone)
- FollowMee GPS Cell Phone Locator (Android & iPhone)
- Mobile Tracker Free (Android & iPhone)
1Find My Device (Android)
Find My Device is a Google app to track a cell phone's location for free. Most tracker apps powered by Google are designed for locating lost phones but can also track location with pinpoint accuracy. It works if the target Android device has logged into a Google account and enabled its Location permission. Provided a phone is online, and you can access its Google account, this app allows you to track it.
Here are the steps:
2. Input their Gmail in the search box to see their location.
3. As far as their phone is on and has Wi-Fi or mobile data, you will see where they are.
This app tracks phones via GPS, and you can use it to erase all the content on the device. You can even play a sound on the phone for nearby detection or lock it remotely.
2AirDroid Free Cell Phone Location Tracker (Android)
AirDroid Free Cell Phone Location Tracker holds the topmost position among the list of best location tracker apps. We suggest you communicate with your kid before using it. However, suppose you can't get permission from your kid. The program is still an excellent choice since you can keep it stealthy after installation. It offers up to a 14-day free trial (seven days more than other phone trackers) for a yearly license, and its subscription plan is also very cost-effective.
AirDroid Family Location Tracker helps you:
- Track a cell phone location in real-time.
- View the location history from the timeline.
- Watch and listen to the cell phone's surroundings remotely.
- Set safe zones and get alters when your child enters or leaves the geofences.
Besides, it has many features to ensure your kids' online safety. You are able to:
- Sync app notifications, including text messages to monitor cyberbullying.
- Real-time mirror and see your child's Android screen in some cases.
- View statistics of your child's phone screen and app usage.
- Schedule when and how long your child can access their devices or specific apps.
- Customize keywords to monitor the online content and activity of your child on their social media apps.
The app is easy to use; here is how:
Step 1. Download the accessible version of the app on your device.
Step 2. Install it and create your account.
Step 3. Download the AirDroid Kids on your kid's phone. Install it and enter the pairing code to link their phone to yours.
Step 4. Set up the necessary settings.
Step 5. Now, you can track the real-time location of your kid's Android phone by tapping the "Location icon" at the bottom middle of the screen.
3Where's My Droid (Android)
Where's My Droid is another free cell phone location tracker for Android devices. It provides various features that can assist in finding your phone, such as GPS tracking, remote locking, and even the ability to make your phone ring loudly, even if it's in silent mode. The app also offers additional security features like taking a picture with the front or rear camera if someone attempts to unlock your device. It is an engaging and easy-to-use app. You can remotely take pictures with the target phone from your phone.
Steps to Use Where's My Droid to Track a Cell Phone Location
1. Download and install the "Where's My Droid" app from the Google Play Store on the target Android device.
2. Open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to grant necessary permissions and set up the tracking features.
3. Set up the command account and enable the location service. Now, you can log into the commander account and click Locate to track the Android phone's location for free.
4Find My (iPhone)
Find My app is an official tracking app for iPad, iPhone, or iPod. If you use iOS 13 or later, you can easily share your location with other iOS devices. For iOS 9 to iOS 12, please use the Find My Friends instead. This app makes the device difficult to steal. It can also be used to track a person's location for free.
To track a cell phone location with Find My;
1. Open the app on the target iPhone and tap "Start Sharing Location" from the bottom. If the target phone shares its location with others, you just need to tap the plus icon.
2. Select the plus sign to add you to the contact. Your information should include the email of your Apple ID.
3. Tap your email in your profile. Then Tap "send" and choose "Share Indefinitely."
Now, you can open the Find My app on yours to see the location of the target iPhone. The feature can be used in another way to track a lost iPhone.
5Google Maps (Android & iPhone)
Google Maps is a GPS-based location tracker. It is built initially as a navigator for direction while driving or exploring new places. Its location tracking is real-time and precise due to GPS. It allows tracking more than one device as far as location sharing is in place.
To use Google Maps as a tracker:
1. First, add your G-mail to the target phone's Google contacts.
2. Open the app on their cell phone and sign in.
3. Tap the Google profile option at the top right side.
4. Select "Location sharing" and "New share."
5. Choose the sharing duration "Until you turn this off."
6. Add yourself to the option.
7. Select "Share," and you are done.
You can also track down a lost Android or iPhone or find a friend's or family member's location.
Video Tutorial: Track a Cell Phone Location for Free with Location Tracker
6Life360 Free Cell Phone Location Tracker (Android & iPhone)
Life360 app gives live locations and has interactive maps of cities and neighborhoods. It saves top/frequently visited places and has cloud storage for saving locations. You can also see the ongoing timelines of previous locations. It allows tracking, locating, and communicating with others. Other features of the app include Family Safety Network. It allows easy coordination of family get-togethers and helps them stay in touch with each other.
It will be free if you only need to use the location-sharing service. For more than two geofences or a two-day location history, you will need to upgrade to a premium plan with $4.99 monthly.
Steps to track a location with Life360:
1. Download and install the app.
2. Please create an account with them to get started.
3. Do the same on the target phone.
4. Enable the necessary features and grant permission.
5. Create a circle on the app or join one.
6. If you create the circle, you are an admin. But if you join a circle, you need to become an admin to see the circle member's location.
7Glympse Free Phone Location Tracker (Android & iPhone)
Glympse is a 4.8-rated app for tracking iPhone locations for free. It is fast, simple, and shares live location with the help of GPS tracking. You can share a location with more than one person. Aside from its tracking features, it also has privacy features.
Glympse was built with privacy, following the device's rules. It tracks with a dynamic map and requires no signup to view the location.
Here are the steps for you:
1. Download the app and install it.
2. Select "request location" or "share location" from the option.
3. Choose the time you want your location shared.
4. Click "share."
5. If you request a location, check it on the map; it will pop up there.
8FollowMee GPS Location Tracker (Android & iPhone)
FollowMee GPS Location Tracker tracks location using GPS. Although it is a top-rated iPhone location tracker app, it runs on multiple platforms, including Android. It comes in handy for keeping tabs on friends, family members, and employees.
You can track them through the app or browser to see their location. It has features like Geofencing, location sharing, GPS tracking, etc. It runs in the background, even when the app is closed. FollowMee can locate more than one iPhone simultaneously.
For a short period, you can enjoy this service at no cost when you sign up for any of its premium services. The premium offerings start at $9.99 per device annually.
Steps to track a location with FollowMee:
1. Create an account on the FollowMee website to get registered.
2. Install the app on the target phone.
3. Set up the app there with your details.
4. The app runs in stealth mode in the device background without user interaction.
5. The device location is recorded and stored on the FollowMee website.
6. You can view the location from your end on the website.
9Mobile Tracker Free
Mobile Tracker Free is best for tracking employees and family members. Not only can you see their location, but also you can monitor or manage their phone. With the app, you can record audio and take screenshots without them knowing.
How to track a phone location with Mobile Tracker Free:
1. Download and install it on both devices.
2. Create an account with them.
3. Configure the setting.
Method 2. Track Phone Location for Free with Phone Tracker by Number
You might be wondering: Is there an online location tracker where I just need to type in a phone number, and then it can find the location free of charge?
Well, there are many mobile number tracker websites and apps. They may pinpoint a device's location on the map
with only the phone number. Some don't even need to install an app on the other person's or your phone. Let's take the steps of "Mobile Number Tracker" as an example:
1. Open the website on a browser.
2. Type out the phone number you want to track.
3. Select the country of the number.
4. You can view it from the user space on the website.
Besides, several websites or apps offer free reverse phone lookup services, such as Truecaller, Spokeo, and IPQualityScore. They are designed to identify spam and scams. But you can also use it to find a cell phone's info, including the location.
The accuracy of mobile number trackers and reverse phone lookup services may vary. For detailed information, some services require payment.
Method 3. Track a Phone Location for Free with Cell Phone Carrier Service
Many cell phone carriers offer free location-tracking services for their customers, such as Verizon Smart Family, T-Mobile FamilyWhere, AT&T Secure Family App, and Sprint Safe & Found. These features might only be accessible with certain plans or gadgets, so it's a good idea to confirm their availability and suitability with your service provider. You may also check online first.
Method 4. Track Mobile Location for Free via the Location Sharing Feature of Social Apps
Many social media apps allow users to share live locations for free, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Snapchat, Line, etc. If your family members or friends would like to share their location, tracking their cell phone location for free will be easy. This option is available for all users but must be enabled by default.
Let's take WhatsApp as an example. If you need to know your kids' live location, please tell them to follow the below steps:
1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and enable the permission.
2. Tap on the attachment icon on the bottom right corner of the screen in your chat box.
3. Select "Location" from the six options.
4. Tap on "Share live location" and select the duration.
Method 5. Track Phone Location for Free Using IMEI Tracker
The IMEI number is the International Mobile Equipment Identity. Each phone has a unique IMEI number, which is a 15-digit number. Usually, network providers use it for tracking lost phones for their customers when Find My Device can't. However, the best way to track your phone using IMEI should be to report it to the police and seek their help.
If you would rather try by yourself, you may search IMEI Tracker on Google and choose one to start.
Things to Consider before Tracking Phone Location
It's important to use location tracking services responsibly and ethically.
Consent & Privacy: It's crucial to have the phone owner's consent before tracking. Unauthorized tracking is illegal and unethical. Although parents can track their children's phones without them knowing, it will be a better practice to enlighten them about the tracking process.
Accuracy: The accuracy of the location tracking depends on the method used. GPS-based methods are generally more accurate than those based on network signals. A location tracker like AirDroid Family Locator, which deploys all location tracking technologies, will be more accurate.
Security Risks: The tracking app or service should be secure to prevent unauthorized access to location data. Opt for trustworthy and dependable applications or services that precede data privacy and possess transparent privacy policies. This strategy will safeguard your data as well as the data of the individual being monitored.
Battery & Data Usage: Location tracker apps may use a considerable amount of data, which could lead to additional charges depending on the user's data plan. It may also consume more battery power, so remind your kids to fully charge their mobile devices before hanging out.
Can Someone Just Type in a Number and Track Cell Phone Location for Free?
Many services claim to offer a seemingly amazing service: "Type in a phone number to track its cell phone location for free." But can they deliver? Here are three aspects to consider:
1. Is It Truly 100% Free?
While many services market themselves as free, they often have strings attached. Some might offer basic features for free but require payment for more advanced features, such as real-time tracking. Others may provide a free trial for a limited period, post which charges apply.
2. How Accurate Is It?
Some use public databases for data linked to the phone number, but this might not reflect the current location. Others use cell tower triangulation, whose accuracy varies based on cell tower density. Hence, they may not always provide precise or real-time location data.
3. What about Privacy?
Without the owner's consent, tracking a phone's location could violate privacy rights and raise legal issues.
Besides, if these free services can indeed track a cell phone's position just by a number, it raises concerns about unauthorized data collection and leakage. In other words, are these services violating privacy by illegally collecting people's locations and then revealing that information to others?
This brings us to a key question that each of us should think about. Would you feel comfortable if someone could track your phone's location at any time for free just because they know your number? Likely, no.
But what if you need to track your phone? When tracking your device, considerations change. In the section above, we explored solutions for tracking your cell phone's location for free that don't involve just entering your phone number.
How Does Mobile Location Tracking Work
In this section, we will show you some of the technologies behind location tracking. We have highlighted four of them that we will be discussing.
GPS uses orbital satellites to send signals to the GPS receiver in the phone. This signal is crosschecked with about four other satellites to ascertain your phone's location. The accuracy of the location depends on the strength of the signal received by the GPS. Hence, obstructions like dish installation, heavy rains, and snow should be avoided for maximum strength and accurate location tracking.
Cell Tower Triangulation
Regarding location tracking, cell towers play a vital role. Cell Towers, also known as base stations, are physical locations where antennas and electronic communication equipment are placed.
When a mobile device is turned on, it constantly communicates with nearby cell towers. The device typically connects to the tower with the strongest signal, usually the closest one.
This communication lets the network know which cell tower your device is connected to and, thus, roughly where you are. If you're moving, the device will hand off the connection to the next tower when the signal strength becomes stronger from that tower.
This process is known as Cell Tower Triangulation. Suppose a device is within range of three or more towers. In that case, the network can use the known locations of the towers and the signal strength from each to pinpoint the device's location more precisely.
Keep in mind that location tracking accuracy using cell towers is not as high as other methods like GPS, especially in rural areas where cell towers are spread out. However, it is still a useful method for providing a general idea of a device's location, and it works even when GPS is turned off.
Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) uses nearby hotspots and wireless access points to locate a device. This system can be found in routers, computers, phones, and other gadgets. It calculates exact locations using a scanner called the received signal strength indicator (RSSI).
Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons
This system comprises hardware beacons that transmit signals to other devices. Hence, with Bluetooth technology, your device can share its location with another device and vice versa.
There are different ways to track a cell phone's location for free. The most common is using apps. Fortunately, there are lots of free cell phone location trackers. Some specialize in tracking, while some double as parental control apps.
I believe such apps are the best for location tracking due to stealth. Why not download a family locator to have a try today?