Location tracking is a common privacy invasion issue. However, I don’t know whether to call it an invasion of privacy since apps now allow friends in a circle to see where a device user is with Location sharing.
But what about if your phone location is off? You’re asking, can someone track my phone if my location is off? Or did you misplace your phone and want to know if you can still use Find My Phone or any other app to track it even with the location off? In this article, I’ll answer all questions regarding phone location and what can and cannot be done.
Can Someone Track My Phone If My Location Is Off?
Well, the good news (for those looking to trace their phones) and bad news (for those looking not to have their location discovered) is your phone can still be tracked if your location is off!
First, I’ll start by saying your phone Location isn’t the only feature that helps to geolocate a phone. Location services on a smartphone include GPS, network service, WiFi, and Bluetooth functions. You can also track a phone with its unique identification number called the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).
For example, when you report it lost, the police can track your phone with the built-in GPS or the IMEI number. You can also track and find your phone’s location using an IMEI tracker online.
Your network provider can also help with geolocating your phone. For example, if a SIM is still inserted, the phone keeps triangulating with the nearest network masts, and your network provider can provide the location data.
Also, phone finding apps can help locate a phone regardless of whether the location is turned on or off.
How Can Someone Track My Location on iPhone?
You can find someone’s location in real-time using a spy app like mSpy. Fortunately, apple’s security architecture is quite tight, and unlike Android, it’s a bit complicated to find someone’s location. But it’s not impossible!
With an app like mSpy, you don’t need the phone’s location turned on. To start using mSpy to locate a mobile phone, the person must first install it in the smartphone to be located. Once done, this software collects all location data. After that, they only need to log in to the control panel and track your activity.
Installing the application usually only takes a few minutes, and from then on, its remote monitoring process is triggered.
What I like about this software is it won’t be seen in the list of apps on the phone to arouse suspicion from the owner. It works stealthily!
Below are some of the localization features of this software:
The Map View
When connected to your mSpy personal space, you can access the target’s movement history by clicking on the Locations tab in the dashboard.
This software will generate a map on which you can see the different positions of the target. Note that the time and date of each move will also be displayed.
This list identifies all the positions occupied by the target telephone over a given period. So even if their location is turned off, the location history will be listed on the dashboard.
If you want to view the list of positions, you will also have access to data such as:
- The latitude and longitude;
- The exact address of the GPS point;
- The exact date and time of the reading;
- And a link to be redirected to the map.
Setting the location interval
Range setting is not a way to locate a phone but rather an option to set location in mSpy. This function defines a period at which mSpy will have to send the position. By default, this is 25 minutes, but you can modify this time as you wish.
Note: Only decrease this period if necessary. The lower it is, the greater the server resources of mSpy.
To find out all the full features of mSpy, you can check out a demo of how the software works or check out the video below:
Read also: How to Ping a Phone to Find Its Location
How to See Someone’s Location on iPhone
If you have your loved one’s phone details and want to see their location, sign in to Apple iCloud with their Apple ID. Then select the device you wish to locate in the toolbar. Now you can see the phone’s location on the map.
The iPhone is marked as a green dot on the map display. So you should now see whether the person you’re trying to locate is at the office, home, or elsewhere.
You can also use this procedure to determine when the iPhone was last located. For example, if you only have the iPhone in the apartment, you can play a tune and find it that way.
To do this, go to the green dot in the map display and click on “i.” Now a small popup will appear where you can click on Play sound.
Important: Locating an iOS device only works if you explicitly allow it in the iCloud settings on the device. You can see the exact path to the function below:
How to enable iPhone location on iPhone
- Go to Settings
- Click on your Apple ID (first tab under Settings). Far down the list is a Find My iPhone section.
- Turn on Find My iPhone
When Someone Shares Their Location, How Do You See It?
Regardless of the mode of sharing, the Maps application (whether Google Maps or Apple Maps) will generate an Internet address for people to click and see the individual’s live location. Then, you need to tap the link received to launch Maps and locate them on the map automatically.
On the map displayed, briefly press the blue circle that symbolizes their position. You can then zoom in on the map to see your target’s location. This is a good feature to check on your loved ones and know they are not on the wrong path.
How to See if Someone Checked Your Location on iPhone
If you’re using one of the latest versions of iOS, you’ll see a small location icon beside the WiFi icon when someone checks your location.
You can also see which app has recently used any of your location services in your iOS Settings. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to view apps checking your location within the last 24 hours.
How to Prevent Unwanted Location Tracking
Start by disabling the location history feature. Unfortunately, Google’s location tracking can only be paused and not stopped. You can do this by tapping your phone’s Settings. Go to location >> Advanced >> Google location history.
It is set to “On” by default. If you tap the switch to disable the feature, Android will connect you to your Google account. There you will find another toggle for Location History.
As soon as you slide it to the off position, an info page will appear, in which you have to scroll down to be able to “Pause” the function. A window will then appear in which you can Delete all activities.
However, recording your whereabouts via the cell phone and WiFi continues.
Switching OFF location history is not enough
First, you must know that switching off the phone location is not enough. The American news agency AP published a report in 2018 that pointed out that Android collects location data even when location history is switched off.
As early as August 2018, the American news agency AP found that Google collects the user’s movement data despite switching the location history.
As soon as you connect to the Internet via mobile phone or WLAN, the local weather report, for example, is automatically updated. The responsible app uses the connected cell phone station’s identifier and the designations of the surrounding WLAN and Bluetooth networks.
Android also asks for the location when opening Google Maps or starting a search query. Even Apple device users are not spared from Google’s passion for collecting data.
As soon as you open an app like Google Maps, it automatically records your current location. If the iPhone owner has a Google account, the program enters the data into their timeline and saves them.
How to view and delete location data
Google Maps is the easiest way to call up the stored location data. Don’t open the map service in your browser but on your smartphone app.
After opening the app, tap on your profile picture in the upper right corner and on Your timeline in the following window. For example, by tapping Today, you can open a calendar to see where you’ve been for each day.
To delete the data, tap the three dots in the top-right corner, go to Settings & Privacy in the menu, and on the next screen, tap Delete All Location History.
Read also: How to Change Voice on Apple Maps
How to prevent location detection and tracking
You should turn off Use location even if this only offers limited protection. You can get here from your phone’s Settings > Location.
If you use apps that rely on location information, you can allow this as an exception via “Location access by apps.” In addition, “WiFi and Bluetooth scanning” should remain switched off so that no search for wireless networks occurs in the background.
After tapping “Advanced,” you should turn “Location Sharing,” “Location Accuracy,” “Location History,” and “Emergency Location Service” to “Off.”
However, this is not enough to prevent the location history from being saved. To properly stop this, tap your profile icon at the top right. Then tap “Your Timeline” and the three dots in the top right.
Go to Settings & Privacy, scroll down and turn off Location History. You can remove the data that has already been saved by clicking on “Delete all location history.” By selecting “Automatically delete location history,” you are instructing Google to delete your location data automatically.
Warning: Allowing Google to capture your location also has benefits. If you deactivate the location functions, Google search will no longer provide personalized or location-based results. There are also no results tailored to your whereabouts, such as apps for local public transport or map services of all kinds.
Passionate about technology and communication, I’m more comfortable writing about the key trends in business-to-business software-as-a-service (B2B SaaS). I’m a generalist with interests in journalism, DIY and outdoor. You can always reach me on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more about tekpip and the team here on our about us page.