How to Spy on a Cell Phone Without Installing Software

How to Spy on a Cell Phone Without Installing Software in 2024

Published on: August 8, 2023
Last Updated: August 8, 2023

How to Spy on a Cell Phone Without Installing Software in 2024

Published on: August 8, 2023
Last Updated: August 8, 2023

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A reality in which someone can spy on a cell phone without installing software must sound terrifying (or useful, depending on which side of the argument you stand).

After all, there are hardly places more “private” than our personal mobile phone devices.

Is it possible, though? And if it is possible, what are the consequences?

We’ve all seen movies and TV series where the cops catch thieves by accessing their cell phone communication or smart criminals extract sensitive and useful data from unsuspecting people by using mind games and sophisticated software.

We also know that most state security forces like the police and the army have access to cell phones without having to install dedicated software, naturally.

But can ordinary people also gain this “superpower”?

Is there an answer to the question of how to spy on a cell phone without installing software?

Well, perhaps not that industrial-grade technology from the movies, but stretch the margin of creativity and imagination beyond what is deemed conventional and then, sure, you can spy on a cell phone without installing software.

Curious to find out more?

We’re glad to oblige you, just keep on reading.

How to Spy on a Cell Phone Without Installing Software in 2024

So, what about all that talk of creativity and imagination?

Well, since you do not have access to military satellites and network carriers, you have to spice things up a bit with plain old imagination and creativity.

It is not enough to have just the phone number of the phone you wish to track. You have to think outside the box.

We will give you a couple of creative techniques and hot takes on how to spy a cell phone without installing software to nudge you in the right direction.

There’s also a couple of neat tools packed together in the mix, of course. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Step by step, right?

1) Social Engineering (+ Powerful Tools)

The first method in today’s guide is arguably one of the most powerful ways of gaining access to someone’s phone device.

Why? Because it is so subtle and seemingly innocent that people disregard it until it is already too late.

Our digital world tends to lull us in a false sense of privacy and security.

This method exploits this stance and targets a smartphone device to gain access to pretty much everything stored on it.

The social engineering part is the most crucial step, as it is key to getting the target to allow access to sensitive information and data.

It goes as follows – the perpetrator engineers a situation in which they borrow a phone.

Within seconds the device is already converted into a data emitter by the means of dedicated software. Without saying, the victim knows nothing about this.

Empty the battery on your own phone or otherwise disable the device and show it to the victim as a proof that you need to borrow their device for a short call.

The person, especially if it is close to you, usually does not think much of it and gives you access.

Perpetrators then walk away or walk out of the room and somewhere more private.

No time gets wasted on menial stuff such as browsing messages – it takes far too long and guarantees no results.

Instead, a dedicated piece of software gets installed in seconds and remains invisible to everyone.

The phone is returned, the perpetrator says their thanks, and seemingly nothing has happened.

Much has happened, in fact, as the attacker now has access to pretty much every piece of information stored within the device.

This situation is just one example of social engineering. Other approaches for e.g. your kids and family members are just as suitable. Your creativity is the limit.

No security measure is effective against social engineering and the whole process lasts a couple of minutes at most.

Every subsequent step of the surveillance process is done remotely, without requiring physical access to the phone.

The good parts of the deal?

You get to keep surveillance remotely, from a different device, the whole process is nearly undetectable, you can access even social media, and it does not require tampering with the operating system of the device.

The only bad side is that it is not free. A fair tradeoff, though, if you ask us.

Apart from social engineering, the other crucial part is the software installed, of course.

There are several superb pieces of software that provide access to numerous aspects of the device, from location and communication to even files and internet access.

Here they are!

 1. eyeZy

eyeZy- cell phone tracker

A master of disguise and a perfect surveillance tool, eyeZy is the ultimate answer to how to spy a cell phone without installing software.

Well, except that one setup that is so fast that it doesn’t even count.

Powered by cutting-edge AI technology and equipped with the most advanced tracking features available on the market, this app can establish complete control over any phone device, without any obvious sign that can give it away.

From core features and system apps to multimedia, location, and web traffic, little can miss the overreaching grasp of eyeZy.

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Everything that occurs in the target device will get relayed to you, without exception.

On the other hand, the app gives nothing away on your own privacy and security, so you should never worry about getting discovered.

With this in mind, eyeZy is perfectly suited to keeping your kids safe and away from dark corners of the world wide web, as well as wrong-doers and ill-intended users with nothing good on their mind.

The setup process takes only a couple of moments to finish and you are essentially done with physical contact with the device.

It does not take any particular IT knowledge or experience to complete the installation.

Register, pick a membership plan, set the app up and you are done! Protecting your family is eyeZy’s ultimate purpose.

Under its supervision, every messaging and chatting history will be within your reach and you will know about every conversation as soon as it happens.

Every website is covered, every call history, total with ID, numbers, and relevant data stored within device will be sent to you as well.

Additionally, you can set alarms on certain keywords used, websites searched, or locations visited.

In fact, you can set up custom-designed areas on the local map and eyeZy will automatically notify you if the device is spotted within them.

An all-in-one solution, it is quite obvious why eyeZy is the best surveillance app on the market.

It comes in three different pricing plans, depending on the length of the license, the longer the contract you pick, the lower the price per month.

Pay their website a visit right now and see a live demo of its capabilities yourself!

2. mSpy

mSpy Phone Location Tracker

A common entry in many top-tier tracking apps lists, mSpy has a shining reputation which has been earned in part by the fact that they have been around helping people maintain their security for more than a decade.

With great skills and experience comes a certain legacy, and with a legacy you cannot really afford to mess up.

That is why mSpy never messes up.

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This awesome little app gets installed on a device within minutes and once it settles in it blends into background processes in order not to give any obvious signs of its presence.

In other words, mSpy is not going to be discovered, and even in the case of a paranoid user implementing measures to counter phone surveillance, the trace will never lead back to you.

Safety and privacy first!

How powerful is mSpy at its job and what features the users get with it?

You get direct access to various and detailed info about phone calls, including caller ID and call duration, as well as messaging history on both SMS, system apps, and other popular chatting platforms like WhatsApp and Meta (Messenger and Instagram).

Total web search history will be at your fingertips and you will also get the ability to control which pages are available and which will be blocked from access by the target cell phone.

Furthermore, the location of the device will be traced and relayed to you at all times, with reminders and push notifications informing you if the device enters certain zones of interest.

Again, discretion and privacy are guaranteed as long as you complete the short installation process.

This is perhaps not an answer to the question of how to spy on a cell phone without installing software, but it is the second best thing, trust us on this.

Thank you for an excellent service, mSpy!

3. uMobix


If you are looking for a software that can track most popular apps as well as calls, messages, digital footprint, location, and passwords on any given cell phone device, then you should look no further than uMobix.

uMobix is dedicated to preserving and furthering security of your dear ones and is more than capable of doing that.

This goal is achieved with the help of a set of tools that every surveillance app should be jealous of.

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The most sought-after feature of this piece of software is its ability to forward any file from the target device to you, with multimedia files even keeping their original resolution.

The file-relaying feature is so deep that not even deleted calls, deleted messages, swapped SIM cards, and hidden files can escape its handy scanners. 

The setup process is tailored to suit those with little to no experience in technical stuff, so you should not think about whether you will be able to install the app or not.

Anyone can do it! Safety of family members is paramount even to those without a degree in information technologies, right?

Yes, children are getting smarter and more able to uncover and deinstall measures set up by their parents, but uMobix is a much tougher nut to crack than your average surveillance app. 

Oh and by the way, uMobix has a jolly good cost-efficiency ratio, so these features will be provided to you for a much lower cost than most of their competition on the market. Isn’t that neat?



Again, not really an answer on how to spy a cell phone without installing software, but coupled with social engineering mentioned above, XNSPY is an optimal undetectable surveillance method.

The guys behind XNSPY surely knew their job when they designed this bad boy as it has a whopping arsenal of features available for your tracking intentions.

Phone calls and information recorders? Check. GPS location? Yep. Web search history and passwords? Sure thing.

Messaging, including SMS and third-party apps? Included!

There is hardly a sector of a cell phone that XNSPY does not have mastery over. All this without having to root anything!


As an additional safety measure, XNSPY can set up alarms and notifiers when certain actions get noticed on the device, such as visiting a certain site or a specific word appearing in messaging or chatting history.

In fact, you will know about this as soon as it happens.

You can even set up blockers to certain websites and gain direct control over the device in cases of emergency, such as locking it or resetting.

The guiding principle of XNSPY is an increase in cyber protection and an overall end to cyberbullying, at least in your own family.

Anything suspicious happening to your target device will be delivered in a report in the XNSPY dashboard that you have access to at all times.

This, and more, you can get at a price as low as less than $5 per month. Curious to find out more? Pay their website a visit right now.

2) Google and iCloud Infiltration

Now this method actually exploits certain features of iOS and Android devices which lets you spy on a cell phone without installing software.

Let’s start with Apple first, shall we?

Getting access to an iPhone is pretty easy with this method, which is why it is perfectly suitable – if you have the Apple ID of the target device, which is a necessary prerequisite.

To get this done you need some info first. That info is the login details of the target device.

Once you have that, you still need to get the device physically in your hands for a couple of minutes, but that is more than enough.

Why? Well, this is all done to get you through the iCloud accessing process and passing the 2FA (two-factor authentication) safety protocol.

Got all that done? Congratulations, you now have access to the complete backup of the target cell phone!

This includes emails, iMessage conversations, browser history, GPS location, and shared photos.

To sum up, the whole process is done in these steps:

  1. First you need to get the Apple ID from the target iPhone.
  2. Further, you have to go to from your iOS device/iPhone, login to iCloud using the Apple ID and password that you have discovered.
  3. The first time that you do this you will have to input a code that gets received as a push notification on your victim’s device. Punch it in and you are good to go!

For Android devices, the procedure is similar but instead of iCloud you have to rely on the Device Manager feature.

With access via Google account, you will gain access to the target’s location as long as they stay online.

The steps are as following:

Obtain login credentials for the target user’s Google account.

Go to

Sign in with the obtained data and get precise location of the device at all times!

This method is free and requires no particular tech skills to perform, however you do need to have access to certain login credentials first.

Also, the amount of information that you get out of it might be a bit less than expected, especially for Android devices.

3) Phishing – False Links

We’ve all received malicious links in a procedure commonly referred to as phishing. Similar to social engineering, phishing is its tech-savvy counterpart.

It still relies on manipulating human emotions and reactions, but everything remains within the digital domain.

The premise is very simple. You send the link via SMS or email which the victim goes to and types in sensitive data like login details and passwords.

More sophisticated phishing attempts even directly install a spy app, so this sure can count as a way on how to spy a cell phone without installing software directly!

How does all this work? First, you make an email address that looks similar to something official and formal, such as Apple, Google, Facebook or PayPal.

Fabricate a copy of one of their official emails that you have received and make it look as similar as possible so as not to raise suspicion in the victim.

Encourage them in some way to provide that faux site your login details. Voila! You have received what you desired.

The only issue with this method? It requires brilliant coding skills as well as social aptitude in order to be able to trick the victim into believing that it is communicating with the official site.

Anti-phishing methods employed by many popular sites can also drastically reduce the effectiveness of this method, as 2FA practically nullifies it.

4) Software Loopholes

This method relies on features of certain apps that can alternatively be used as a way of how to spy on a cell phone without installing software.

You will not be able to access everything, but you will be able to access a couple of very useful things.

Take for example WhatsApp, a popular messaging app that has its web function counterpart.

Using it, you can create a replica of the communication hub on a smartphone, tablet, or a PC, with access to all conversation, past, present, and future.

What do you need for this? A quick scan of a QR code with the smartphone camera!

WhatsApp Web works like any other official client for Windows or Mac, so scanning a QR code and clicking on the checkbox to retain full access makes it available on your computer client.

How do you get the QR code? Employ the same social engineering skills as in previous articles, of course.

Just be careful not to read any messages before the victim as this can alarm them that something is not as it is supposed to be.

5) Extracting Data from Wi-Fi Networks (Sniffing)

Sniffing Wi-Fi networks is a very difficult process. Not anyone can do it, so that is why it is pretty low on this list.

However, it is dangerously effective if you know the ins and outs of it.

The term “sniffing” means gathering data that goes around a given Wi-Fi network.

Despite sounding like something out of a CSI series, there are actually quite a few tutorials online that teach you about the process.

Most revolve around the Kali Linux Network Distribution program and other software that drill a peeping hole in the network without requiring excessive tech expertise.

Implement appropriate safety measures and you’re basically undetectable.

On the flip side, many apps have security protocols called end-to-end encryption.

These scramble a message at its source and only decipher it at its destination. Catching the info in transit would only uncover a gibberish string of letters, numbers, and symbols that do not mean anything.

This protocol is used by apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as a growing number of previously accessible communication services.

Still, public Wi-Fi ports are a treasure trove for hackers and malevolent tech experts.

Take our advice and keep your transactions and handling of sensitive data away from public networks!

6) Cameras

Yes, cameras. Take a video record of a person putting in login details and you have acquired that info at the source.

Well, we are discussing how to spy on a cell phone without installing software after all, right?

Seriously. It might sound outrageous, but it still is a pretty reliable way of getting what you need.

Surveillance cameras can get you even more than login details, such as credit card numbers and various other passwords.

The crucial part of this method? Planting the gear at the appropriate place and making sure the equipment cannot be easily detected.

Surveillance cameras today already look inconspicuous when disguised, so that part is sort of already taken care of for you.

Some tips on the location spots, though:

  • Above the head on the bed. Everybody spends at least some minutes per day typing and browsing stuff in their bed before falling asleep or after they wake up. This one’s a no-brainer.
  • Back seat of a car, pointing towards the victim’s hands.
  • Over the toilet box. Yeah, we all use our phones in the toilet. Make use of that fact.
  • Behind a work desk in the office or the spot the victim works on.


As you have probably guessed by now, it is not possible to spy on a cell phone with just a phone number, for better or for worse. In that regard, you (and your spying target) are safe.

The most reliable method requires installing software, and other methods of spying on a cell phone without installing software require some tricks of creative imagination.

Or a hidden camera. That works too.

You have learned about several different methods that you can use to gain access to various amounts of useful data and information about your targets via their cell phones. 

It is true that most of them still rely on software support in order to get anything done.

However, the contact points where you actually need physical access to a device are pretty short and can be done without raising suspicion via social engineering.

With these verified and tested apps that can track a cell phone and most of its features, your privacy is guaranteed, you require no intensive tech skills to set the surveillance operation up, and the setup process is done within just a few minutes.

Yes, the length of an average phone call!

Be careful about apps that promise easy and simple ways on how to spy on a cell phone without installing software.

You actually need either physical access or some sort of a remote access gained via login details in every surveillance case that we know of.

If someone promises to track a phone without those, tread carefully since that is the domain of scams, fakes, and ill-intended individuals.

You might even end up as a phishing victim yourself! Digital safety and security first, especially when you deal with sensitive issues such as cell phone spying yourself.

Ultimately, we recommend spying on a cell phone on underage family members only, as that is one of the rare cases that are not legally prohibited.

Check the legal status of phone tracking in your country and keep your spying as ethical as possible.

Good luck and stay safe out there!

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.