How to Spy on a Cell Phone

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An Easy Step-by-Step Guide on How to Spy on a Cell Phone

Hello, my name is Pat Stanley. This is my beginner’s guide to how to spy on a cell phone.

In today’s market there are basically two types of devices that most people will need to spy on. Those are Android devices and Apple devices. Android devices by far make up the majority of mobile devices currently on the market with iPhone coming in second.

So, let’s start with Android.

How To Spy on Android Devices



Android devices are fairly easy to monitor. Their security system is such that it makes them vulnerable to cell phone monitoring software without the user ever knowing. The application I will show you does not require that you have possession of the device in order to see information collected from that device.

Once the spy app establishes a remote connection with the Android device information from the monitored device will upload freely to your control panel. You will be able to see virtually everything that happens on the cell phone from within your User Control Panel. Your User Control Panel is accessible from any internet enabled device which means that you can monitor the phone from anywhere and anytime. All you need is an internet connection and you can see information from the monitored phone directly on your own cell phone. tablet or computer.

The Application I used is Auto Forward Spy and is available for $69.99 with no additional charges and no monthly fees.

The process is quite simple. After purchasing the program you will receive an email that contains your username, password and license key (your password license key are the same). You use what is called an OTA (over the air) link to download the application. Once the application is downloaded all you have to do is enter your license key, the telephone number of the phone you want to monitor and a few taps of the activation key and you’re all set.

There are three basic steps to using this app:

1. Download – Use the OTA (over-the-air) link to download the app.

2. Activate – Enter the license you get from Auto Forward to activate.

3. Monitor – From your cell phone, tablet or computer view texts, calls, GPS and all available information from the target phone.

The important thing to remember when using this type of software is that it’s not rocket science. It really is quite easy if you just take your time and listen to the instructions. Auto Forward Spy comes with video tutorials and written instructions, which makes it quite simple to install and use. Even the most technologically challenged person can be successful with Auto Forward Spy, I believe.

Visit their site:

How to spy on iPhones and iPads

iPhones and iPads present an entirely different challenge. Unlike its counterpart, the Android device, iPhones and iPads need to be jailbroken before you can install any kind of spy application to that device. Unless, of course, you have a program like DDI Utilities No Jailbreak Needed.

The application I use to spy on iPhones and iPads is Auto Forward. It has both an application that requires that you jailbreak the device and one that does not require that you jailbreak the device. I prefer the latter and you might too if you cannot gain possession of the device you need to monitor.

Keep in mind that if you choose an application requiring a jailbreak you WILL need to have possession of the phone in order to jailbreak it and to install the software to that phone. If you choose the No-Jailbreak version you WILL NOT need to have access to the phone and you WILL NOT need to have possession of the phone. So, it’s quite obvious why I prefer the No-Jailbreak version. If however, you prefer to jailbreak the device, Highster Mobile is more than capable of getting the job done for that too! I will go over both methods here.

No jailbreak

The no jailbreak version from DDI Utilities will allow you to see text messages, calls, GPS location, browser history and just about everything else that transpires on the iPhone or iPad. You will not need to have possession of the device and you will not need to have access to the device in order to use this program. It is very capable of extracting information from the device that is years old. It really depends on what is available from the phone.

All you need to do is enter the Apple ID and password of the device you want to monitor and the program will extract information from that device. What sets Auto Forward apart from its competition is that it supports all versions of IOS including the latest release of 9.2 and the unreleased 9.3 beta version. The program exceeds the competition in speed and ease of use and product support. I like knowing that if I had a problem there technicians were only a phone call away.

To get Auto Forward No-Jailbreak Version GO HERE

Jailbreak version

I personally do not mind using the jailbreak version, however if you are a person who will not have access to the phone you want to monitor, there is no way you will be able to use this program. While it is among the best I’ve seen, it won’t really matter much if you can’t get the phone because you will be able to use it! It is for this reason that I caution you not to waste your money unless you know for sure you will be able to gain access to the target phone long enough to jailbreak it and install the program.

The process of jailbreaking an installation will probably take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The installation of the program is rather quick and can be done within about 2 to 3 minutes. The process of jailbreaking is the time-consuming part. I have personally spent roughly 10 to 15 minutes at times trying to jailbreak an Apple device. It can be a true test of patience.

The jailbreak version is capable of retrieving far more information than the non-jailbreak version. The jailbreak version of highest mobile will retrieve more information from the device and will do it faster because it does not have to work through the same channels of communication that the non-jailbreak version does.

Get the Jailbreak Version of Auto Forward HERE.

Here are a few screenshots of the Auto Forward User Panel:


how to spy on a cell phone


spy on a cell phone


cell phone spy

Here 's why you 'll love this cell phone spy guide.


  1. Beginner friendly – The guide is very detailed and not very technical – it’s completely user-friendly.
  2. Fast Setup – You 'll be spying on a cell phone within minutes.
  3. Up-to-date – I routinely update this guide to keep up with the latest software.
  4. Multiple use – I cover how to spy on Androids and iPhones.



“I knew nothing when it came to cell phones. I’m lucky I’m able to read my email on my cell phone. Jay’s instructions made it possible for me to monitor my kids phones. Great guide. Good Read!” – Alan F., Costa Mesa, CA.


how to spy on a cell phone

Reasons you may need reliable cell phone spy software

Before you do anything you 've got to decide what you want to gain by spying on a cell phone. Are you tracking a loved one? Monitoring your child? Supervising an employee? This will determine the software you choose to carry out your project.


Spying on a loved one.

Depending on your circumstances you may have already decided that you need to see what your loved one is up to and who he or she is how to spy on a cell phonein communication with on their cell phone. Learning how to spy on a cell phone remotely can certainly be useful in a situation like this.

Text messages are the most popular means of communication these days among people who want to remain discreet. So, if you want to spy on text messages, you will want to choose a program that is known for its superior ability to gather text messages.

More important is the ability of the program to extract old and deleted text messages from a cell phone. A program that can do this is worth its weight in gold.

Deleted text messages remain on the phone until they are overwritten by another piece of data. This can sometimes take months to happen. All that time the text message can be retrieved from the phone.


Monitoring your child

Anyone who has a teenager knows how difficult at times they can be. Teens have an enormous propensity to do nonsensical things and get in trouble. Sometimes they just get in with the wrong to spy on a cell phone

Responsible, caring parents often times utilize the power of mobile spy software to keep tabs on their kids and monitor their activities. For parents the GPS tracking feature of these programs can be very useful.

The GPS tracking feature of any good spy app will allow you to see the location of your child 's cell phone to within 50 feet, or closer, of its actual location and will report this data every 5-10 minutes.


Supervise an Employee

Employee theft and productivity is a constant problem among employers. If you suspect one or more of your employees of misconduct, you will benefit from remote cell phone spy to spy on a cell phone

Most cell phone spyware programs are equipped with GPS trackers that will allow you to track an employees movements and whereabouts in 5 to 10 minutes intervals. Locations are shown using a pin on a Google map and can be accessed without installing software on the phone you are monitoring from any device with an internet connection.


How to Spy on a Cell Phone



How to choose the best cell phone spy software


Believe it or not, this is the most difficult part. Choosing a good cell phone spyware company is not an easy task. The internet is loaded with programs that claim they can do a multitude of things. Their claims range from mildly unbelievable to the completely outlandish!

Some claim the ability to spy on cell phone without having access to the phone. And others will tell you that it is possible to spy on a cell phone without installing software to the phone you want to spy on. Is this possible? Yes, it is, but, more on that later.

With consumer versions of cell spy apps, you will want to find a program that works and a company that stands behind their program. Depending on your needs, you will want a program with these "bare bones" features:


  • Text messages (deleted and new).
  • Calls
  • GPS Tracking.
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).


These are the most important features and the most usable for many people, as I have seen.

For text messages you will want to choose a program that can locate and extract old and deleted texts and SMS from a cell phone. This is an important feature to many, and one that should not be overlooked. It is not uncommon for someone who is texting to delete their texts the moment after they are sent or received.

The company you choose to by your app from should have the following features available to its customers:

  1. Telephone number with REAL people answering. Be sure to ask specific questions regarding the product. Many companies
    how to spy on a cell phone

    satisfaction survey

    hire answering services that will not be able to adequately answer your questions. A sign of a legitimate company is one that has their own telephone support team.

  2. Tech Support. For most people, using this type of software will require additional support. Some companies have email support, which is good, but, sometimes it 's necessary to get someone on the phone. A few companies offer Premium Support, which may cost a few extra bucks, but it 's worth it!
  3. Refund policy. Be sure you can get your money back just in case you 're not satisfied.


Where do I get good cell phone spy software?

For this guide I used for my remote cell phone spy software.

Highster Mobile offers the best bang for the buck! It cost only $69.99 (one-time fee, of course) and is loaded with every practical feature you could ask for in a remote cell phone spy program.

They’re really affordable, have great customer support, and the program comes with free lifetime upgrades – so it’s worth checking them out.




How to install and use your program


Now that you have chosen the best cell phone spy software for your needs it is time to install and start how to spy on a cell phonecollecting data.

NOTE: This procedure is for Android phones and mobile devices. For iPhone and iPad installation, CLICK HERE.

Most spy apps start by requiring that you configure the target phone and make sure that a few settings are properly set. This is not nearly as complicated as it sounds and will only take a few minutes.

Remember, you 'll want to make sure you do everything correctly so you don 't have to do it again.

Three settings you will have to check:


  1. Allow from Unknown Sources – This box must be checked so the Android device can accept apps downloaded from sources other than Google Play.
  2. Disable Verify Apps – Check this box to allow the Android device to bypass app verification from Google Play.
  3. GPS Settings – Normally only required for Verizon devices in the US. Configuring these settings allows the GPS tracking system of the app to communicate with the program developers server so the location of the mobile phone can be displayed on a Google map.


To get social media information, emails and other select data from an Android device, in some cases, it will necessary to root the Android device. Similarly, in most cases, you will need to jailbreak the iPhone and iPad before you can install most software to the device.

Now that you have correctly configured the settings – I told it wasn 't going to be that hard – you can move onto installing the app to your phone.


How to install your program


Step 1

Go to the Home Screen of the phone and locate the internet web browser icon. On most Android devices it will be Google Chrome and the icon will look like this:

how to spy on a cell phone

Step 2

Locate the address bar – not the search bar – of the internet browser. The search bar can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen with your finger. Once the address bar appears you will need to enter the special code, or URL, you received when you purchased the program. Usually, It will look like this:

Be careful to enter the URL exactly as it appears. If you misspell it, or enter into the search bar, you will get an error message like this:

404 the page you are trying to access does not exist

After you have correctly entered the URL, tap GO and the app will begin to download.

Step 3

Once the app has downloaded you can access the downloaded file one of two ways:

The first is by swiping down from the top of the Home Screen, which will display all downloaded files. Simply tap the file you just downloaded and the app will begin to install.

The second is to go to the Downloads folder on the Android device, locate it and tap on it there. As with the first option, the app will begin to download.

how to spy on a cell phone

Step 4

Depending on the Android device you are using, it may be necessary to tap the "Install" or "Accept" button a few times.

The myriad Android devices on the market make it nearly impossible for me to include every possible option that must be accepted during the installation process.

Each manufacturer of Android OS devices can implement their own UI (user interface). So, each UI makes the installation process slightly different. The choices to be made are quite simple so, you won 't have much of a problem.

Step 5

After you get done moving through the download and initial installation phase, you will need to enter the license key or activation code that will activate your software and allow communication between the mobile device and the spyware app server.

Software developers use license keys to protect their software from piracy and to protect you from the illegal access of your private information. The license key creates a secure connection between the mobile device to which it is installed and the remote cell phone spy server that receives the information from that device.

The remote server organizes the data received and displays on the screen of your cell phone, tablet or computer. Without the remote connection, spying on a mobile phone would not be possible.

how to spy on a cell phone

Step 6

If you bought Highster Mobile, Auto Forward or Easy Spy, you will only need to enter the telephone number of the phone you want to spy on in the section directly beneath the license key field.

Highster Mobile, Auto Forward and Easy Spy make use if this to accurately keep track of the phone you are monitoring.

When entering this telephone number of he phone you want to spy on it must be entered using the area code and telephone number. If the phone will be out of the country, you will need to enter the country code from which the phone is registered.

Example: If the phone you are spying on is registered in the US, you would enter the number like this:


+1 is the country code for the United States. For a full list of country codes you can visit

Entering the phone number of the phone you are spying on will enable you to keep accurate track of the phone and see all information from your cell phone without getting confused about which texts and calls are from who.

how to spy on a cell phone

Step 7

Following the input of the license key and telephone number, you will receive a message that states whether or not the installation and activation has been successful.

It is important that you receive this message as it verifies that the mobile spy software has made a successful connection with the remote cell phone spy server. It will not be possible to monitor the phone unless you receive this verification. The message will appear on the screen of the cell phone.


That 's it! You 're Done! You have now successfully installed and activated the spyware.


Delete the downloaded file to remain private

Upon completion, the app will normally return to the Home screen of the cell phone or mobile device. At this point, you may want to remove the how to spy on a cell phonedownloaded file from the download section of the device. To remove the file, follow these instructions:

  1. From the home screen, tap on the Apps button.
  2. Find the Download icon and tap on it.
  3. Locate the file you want to delete and tap on it.
  4. From the menu choices select Delete.

Deleting the downloaded file can help remain anonymous and discreet. Once the app is deleted from the Downloaded files section there will no trace of the app on the cell phone, in most cases.



Now, the FUN part...Viewing information from the target phone.


The best part about doing all this is finally getting to see the stuff you want to see. Once the app is successfully installed and operating, information from the target phone such as: text messages, calls, GPS, photos, videos, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much more will be right at your fingertips. To access this information most cell spy apps and text message spy apps require you to login to your online account.

Your online spy account from the spy software company is very similar to your online banking account. You will go to the loginhow to spy on a cell phone screen and enter your username and password just as you would for online banking. The only difference may be that your username and password for your cell phone monitoring account will be assigned by the company you bought the spy program from while, more than likely you created your own username and password for your online banking account.

In most cases, with cell phone spy and text message spy software, the email address you used to buy the program will be your username and your license key, which is created by their system, will be your password. You will be able to change your password after your initial login, if you choose.

Whether you choose to login from your mobile device or computer, the sign-in process will be the same.

Locate your username and password, which is usually sent in an email to the email address you entered when you purchased the program and enter the information in the appropriate field.

After entering your username password, you will be brought to your online account where you will be able to see all information that has been extracted from the phone you are spying. If you bought one of my recommendations, you will not have any problem viewing the information.

A typical Dashboard will have a summary or compilation of all data that is available for viewing. You can see the total number of text messages present in your account. The total number of calls data that is available. Photos, videos, GPS location and diagnostic data from the phone such as; operating system and version, battery life and available memory can be seen.

how to spy on a cell phone remotely

When you spy on text messages and spy on a cell phone remotely, as with anything that involves a large amount of data, it helps a great deal to have everything neat and organized. A good cell phone spy program with a good user interface will layout everything for you in a very neat, organized way. All texts will be in columns and sorted by date or telephone number and all call data will organized in the same manner.

how to spy on a cell phone remotely

A GPS tracker of good remote cell phone spy software will have timely updates and will display the location of the phone on a Google Map. In most cases, the GPS locator will track the location of the device to within 50 feet of its actual location and give the address of the current or last uploaded location.

how to spy on a cell phone remotely

You can also see from the screenshots above that the program is very capable and is able to track just about every activity and transmission of the target phone. The more information you have available to you, the better your decision-making ability will be.

Call listings are very valuable feature. The call listing screen of most remote cell phone spy software programs will provide recordings of the calls duration, telephone number dialed and possibly the name of the caller (if the caller is in the contacts list of the target phone).

how to spy on a cell phone remotely

Additional settings

From your own cell phone you will be able to send commands to the cell phone you are monitoring. Sending commands allows an extra element of control when monitoring a cell phone.

Some commands that you can send:


  • GPS command (#$#GPS#$#)– Force upload of GPS location thereby eliminating the need towait until the programs next scheduled upload.
  • Stealth Camera (#$#camera#$#) – Take a picture using the target phones camera and have it uploaded to you online account for viewing.
  • Remote Uninstall (#$#uninstall#$#) – Remotely uninstall the program which eliminates the need of having access to the phone.
  • Lock Target Phone (#$#PHONELOCK#$#) – Locks the target phone in case it is lost or stolen.
  • Unlock Target Phone (#$#PHONEUNLOCK#$#) – Unlocks target phone.
  • Remote installation Traceability (#$#TRACEBILITY#$#) – Traces recent activity of the target phone.


From within your online account and control panel Dashboard, you can toggle any feature of the app "On or off " without having access to the target phone or without installing software again.

So now that you have learned how to spy on a cell phone you can use this process anytime you want. Now, you will be able to easily choose a cell phone spy program, whether a beginners version or a more capable "Pro Version" such as Highster Mobile. After all, you have the knowledge and experience now to operate just about any cell spy program.

Depending on why you began spying on a cell phone, you can now move on with your life and make what seemed to be an impossible choice possible.

If you are having difficulty with a teenager who may be headed down a dangerous path, you may now possess the information you need to make decisions that will greatly alter their path and possibly avoid tragedy.

If you suspected employee dishonesty, you can now make changes necessary to remove those conditions. And if you suspect a loved one of wrongdoing or questionable behavior you now have the information you need to make life-changing decisions and set yourself free.

Whatever the reason you had that lead to cell phone monitoring software I hope this guide has helped you shed some light on circumstances in your life that seemed hopeless and out of control, because now, you have control. Take advantage of it. The only thing you can control in this world is yourself!


Top programs to spy on a cell phone

From my 8 years in the business, I have come across many cell phone spy apps but only a few that actually work. I will give you my recommendation and you can choose which is best for you.

Each program has each of the necessities I mentioned above so, there is no need to worry about any of that. I have chosen to provide you with the programs I felt have the best balance of simplicity, cost and dependability.

Also, I included only those with no monthly fees and no additional cost. I HATE monthly subscriptions so I didn 't want to give you something I wouldn 't buy myself. Make sense?

One more thing, I used each of these programs when compiling this How-To-Guide so you can rest assured that they do everything you will need them to do. Here are my recommendations:

#1 Highster Mobile


how to spy on a cell phone remotelyMy top choice. You can read my review HERE.



#2 Auto Forward


how to spy on a cell phone remotelyAuto Forward is fast on it s way to becoming the best cell phone spy software on the internet. Everyday I read reviews about how they are adding features and refining the product so, I decided to give it another test.

I contacted the company that develops Auto Forward and they were nice enough to give me a copy with which to conduct this review.

The latest edition of Auto Forward Spy is packed with features that will help even the most inexperienced beginner monitor and spy on a cell phone. I am not going to say that it is the most advanced. I 'll leave that distinction to Highster Mobile but, darn it, it is close second! And I mean CLOSE!

Turns out that the reviews I have been reading and the articles on TechCrunch and CNN are true. They really have done a great job in improving this software. Their hard work and research is definitely paying off. Auto Forward has come from an "also-ran" to a "leader-of-the-pack" in a very short time.

My testing revealed a very easy to us user interface and installation process. Auto Forward was superior with uploading information from the target phone and reporting it in a very easy-to-read format. What was really cool is that I could spy on a cell phone without having the access to the phone I was spying on. I could also spy on a cell phone without installing software to the phone. After the initial installation I no longer needed to have the target phone. It really was very easy.

They also added many features to Auto Forward to bring up to speed with the rest of the industry. Auto Forward now possesses these functions:


  • Text Message Monitoring – Monitors and records all SMS text messages and iMessages. It keeps records of all SMS text messages sent and received.
  • Social Media Monitoring – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, BBM, Skype and many other social media platforms.
  • Real-Time GPS Tracking – Keep accurate track of the phones location and displays the location of the device on a Google Map. Location coordinates are uploaded every 10 minutes.
  • Calls Monitoring – Record all calls data and duration of each call and the telephone number.
  • Stealth Camera – Take a secret picture using the target phones camera.
  • Photos and Videos – See all photos and videos taken and recorded on the target phone.
  • Browser History – See all websites visited by the target phone.


From everything I have seen in the new version of Auto Forward, it has everything you could possible want in a cell phone spy program. Their customer support department was quick to answer any questions I had and best of all, they have a telephone number you can call Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm EST and some one actually answers the phone, which is a BIG plus!

You can visit Auto Forward at


#3 Easy Spy


how to spy on a cell phone remotelyEasy Spy is a very capable cell phone monitoring program. It has many advanced features that make spying on cell phones very easy. There isn 't much this program can 't do.

Under the hood, it is has the most advanced programming code, which is to say that it operates very fast and very efficiently. The load it places on the target phone is considerably less than it s competitors. You may have read that some cell phone spy software programs actually reduce battery life of the cell phone by as much as 50%. Easy Spy will not do that. Easy Spy is reported to have little or no affect on cell phone battery life.

Easy Spy also claims to have Call Recording, which many of the other companies have removed from their program because of legal issues. Call recording is illegal in most states unless you have at least on parties consent and in some states, you need both parties consent to record the call. Proceed at your own risk with this one folks.

Some of the advanced features of Easy Spy include:


  • Text Message Monitoring – See all SMS text messages sent and received. Includes date, time and telephone number of sender or recipient.
  • GPS Tracking – Reports location on a Google Map.
  • Website Blocking – Control which websites can be accessed on the target phone. Excellent for parental control.
  • 24/7 Customer Support – Either by email or phone, they have someone to help you should you get stuck.


There 's a lot of junk out there but Easy Spy is not among them. Easy Spy is a program that will not disappoint. You will have no problems with this one.

I hope I have shed some light on what is a very complicated subject for most people and helped you solve some troublesome issues in your life. Thanks for coming by and reading my article. Drop by often for frequent updates.

– Jay

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