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How Can I Track Cell Phone Location in Real Time?

Cell phone tracking has been on a surge due to better and accurate location services which are now making their way into US homes and offices in the form of cell phone monitoring apps.

If you are reading through this, you are probably looking for some solution to track a cell phone’s location in real-time. And with this guide, were are going to cover all the ins and outs of cell phone tracking, including how one can track a cell phone location in real time. There are various ways you track the location of a cell phone. There are built-in features within Android and iOS devices that make it possible. You can also use tracking apps for this purpose. Below, we are revealing how it’s done.

Track cell phone location in real time on Android and iPhone
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1. Ways to Track the Location of an Android Phone

There are services designed particularly for Android users to track down and locate a cell phone. Although the methods we are going to discuss below are meant to locate a lost or stolen device, you can also tap on these methods to find the location of a phone.

Use Find my device on Android for location tracking

Option 1: Use Find My Device

Find My device’ is an app by Google designed to let you remotely track, lock and erase the data on a phone, particularly if it’s lost or stolen. This app has now become a part of Google play protect, which is a suite of services designed for protecting your device from malicious content. You probably have it in your Android phone already.


Along with tracking the location of the phone, you can perform the following functions with Find My device:

  • Track the phone through GPS
  • Remotely play a sound
  • Erase the data on the phone
  • Lock the device

How to Install Find My Device?

Download “Find My device” from the Play store and install it on your device in case it’s not already enabled on your phone. You will have to sign into your Google account to use this app. If you are signed into more than one Google account on your device, you will get a drop-down menu from where you can select the account that you want to associate with the phone.

How to Use Find My Device to Track the Location of Your Android Phone?

  • To track the Android phone, you must visit from the browser on your PC.
  • Now, you must sign into the Google account (the one that’s connected to Find My Device).
  • On the left of the page, you will see the device’s name. Click on it and this will prompt “Find My Device” to search the location of the phone.
  • You will then be able to see the location of the phone on Google Maps.


There are some limitations to using this method to find the location of another device.

  • You have to be sure the Android phone’s location service is on. If not, you won’t be able to use Find My Device.
  • Find My Device must be installed on the monitored Android phone and you must be signed into the Google account that was used to set up the app.
  • If the phone is off or it is not connected to the Wi-Fi or cellular connection, its location won’t appear.

Option 2: Use Google Maps

Google maps can help you track the location of an Android phone by letting you view its location history.

How to use Google Maps for Android location monitoring


With Google maps you will be able to:

  • View the location history
  • Share your location in real time

How to Use Google Maps to Track the Location of an Android Phone?

  • Visit from your computer’s browser.
  • Click on the “Sign in” button at the upper right corner of the page. Enter the email and password for the Google account used on the monitored Android phone.
  • Now click on the hamburger menu at the upper left corner of the page. A pop-out menu will appear.
  • Click “Your Timeline” from the options. This will bring you to the location history menu.
  • Enter the year, month and day for which you want to track the location of the phone.
  • This will show you all the locations the monitored phone has been to throughout the day.
How to use Google Maps for Android location monitoring


  • This method does not help you track the location of a phone in real time. You just get to see the location history for that particular day.
  • You must have access to the Android phone’s Google account credentials that you wish to monitor.
  • The location services and Wi-Fi or cellular connection of the monitored Android device must be on.
  • In case the monitored Android phone is turned off, you won’t be able to track their location at all.
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2. Ways to Track the Location of an iPhone

iPhone users have the gift of tracking their own device or that of their friends or family in various ways. These ways are mostly used for tracking a lost device and to share your location for safety purpose. But you can use them to determine the location of the monitored iPhone in real time, too. Let’s have a look at these options:

Track iPhone location with Find My iPhone

Option 1: Use Find My iPhone

"Find My iPhone" lets you track your iPhone remotely, allowing you to find your lost, stolen, or misplaced device. You can use it to virtually locate your iPhone no matter where it is as long as it is connected to the internet.


Find My iPhone is not just helpful in tracking a phone’s location, but you can use it to:

  • Remotely wipe information from your phone
  • Play a sound or vibrate the device

How to Enable Find My iPhone?

To get started, you must first turn on Find My iPhone on the monitored iPhone. It may have already be set, but if not then follow the steps below:

  • Go to the “Settings” of the iPhone
  • Tap on the “Apple ID” and then tap “iCloud.”
  • Scroll down and tab ‘Find My iPhone.’
  • To enable this feature, tap switch.

How to Use Find My iPhone to Track the Location of an iPhone?

To remotely track the iPhone, visit from your PC and follow the steps below:

  • Log into the iCloud account. Note: you must know the iCloud credentials of the monitored iPhone.
  • Click on “Find iPhone” from the main menu
  • Enter the Apple Id and password if promoted
  • Click on “All devices” at the top
  • Click “Device Name” to track the particular device
  • The map will then show you the location of the monitored iPhone. You can zoom in and out on the map to look at their location more closely.


  • Location services must be toggled on the monitored iPhone.
  • The phone must be connected to the Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • Find My iPhone must be enabled on the monitored iPhone.
  • You must have access to the monitored iPhone’s iCloud credentials

Option 2: Use Find My Friends

Find My Friends primarily lets you locate your friends and family from your own iPhone. That means you can use this method to track the iPhone of the ones who have agreed to share their location with you already.

If you are using iOS 9 or later, Find My Friends is automatically installed on your device. If you are using version iOS 8, then you will have to install it manually.

Use Find my Friends on iOS devices for location tracking

How to Use Find my Friends to Track the Location of Another iPhone?

To use Find My Friends, you must first add friends (i.e. the target iPhone that you want to track). Here is how you can do that:

  • Open Find My Friends on your iPhone.
  • Tap ‘Add’
  • Choose a friend that you want to add. You can also enter their email address to send them a request.

For this to work, your friend must agree to share their location. Only then you will be able to see their location on the app. Whenever you want to track the location of a friend (who is also an iPhone user), just open Find My Friend app on your iPhone, click on their contact icon and you will be able to see their location in real time.


The same limitations for the methods above apply here i.e.

  • The monitored device’s location service, Wi-Fi/cellular network must be turned on.
  • Find My Friends must be installed on their iPhone.
  • They must agree to share the location with you.

The problem with this method is that your friend can hide their location or stop sharing their location with you even after they have agreed. In that case, you can’t alter anything and you can’t know where they are.

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3. Use a Location Tracking App

Since all the methods mentioned above have some limitations, you could be better off using a location tracking to track the location of an Android phone or an iPhone in real time. You don’t have to enable anything on the monitored device, the only prerequisite is to have their location settings turned and the device must be connected to the internet.

XNSPY’s location tracking app

You can use Xnspy to track the location of another phone. It’s among the top monitoring apps that are easy to use and accurate on its tracking abilities.

In order to get started, you must install Xnspy on the monitored device. You will have to borrow the monitored Android device for just about 5 to 10 minutes and you will be done. To track the location of an iPhone, you don’t even need to install Xnspy. You only need to enable the app by pairing it with the monitored iPhone’s iCloud. In that case, you must have access to the monitored iPhone’s iCloud credentials.


With Xnspy’s tracking abilities, you will not just get to track the location of the device but:

  • Monitor their location history to find out where they had spent their device
  • Apply geo-fencing to restrict them from visiting or entering certain locations
  • Watchlist certain locations
XNSPY’s location tracking app

How to Use Xnspy to Track the Location of Another Device?

You can use Xnspy on any device whether it is Android or iPhone. Once you have installed the app, the method of tracking the location of another device is the same both Android and iPhone. Here is how you can get started:

Step 1: Install or Enable Xnspy

For Android: Follow the instructions emailed to you at the time of subscribing to Xnspy.

For iPhone: After subscribing to Xnspy, pair the iPhone’s iCloud with Xnspy. Follow the iOS guide for this purpose.

XNSPY dashboard
XNSPY dashboard

Step 2: Log Into Your Web Account

Visit and enter your Xnspy credentials to access your web account.

Step 3: Choose ‘LOCATION’ from the Menu

You will see a dashboard there with a menu. Choose ‘location’ from the options.

XNSPY dashboard
XNSPY dashboard

Step 4: View the ‘LOCATION HISTORY’ Log

You will be able to see the location history log of the monitored phone as well as their current location which will be pinned on the map.

Step 5: Dig Into the Details

To see details of their previous locations, you can click on any locations and view it on the map. This will show you the time and date of the visit along with the name of the location.

XNSPY dashboard
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How to Watchlist a Location?

  • To watch list certain locations, click ‘Settings’ on the same dashboard menu.
  • Click on the ‘Add Place’ icon at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Specify the location and then select when you want to receive an alert. It could either be when they check in or when they check out. You can also specify the radius.

Click on save and the location will be added to the watchlist category. Next time the monitored users enters/leaves that location; you will immediately receive a notification on your phone.

Prerequisites of Using Xnspy for Location Tracking

There are a few prerequisites of using Xnspy to track another phone’s location such as:

  • Xnspy must be installed on the target device and it must be functioning properly
  • There should be a working internet connection on the monitored device.
  • The target device must have their location services on

Summing Up

Cell phone tracking works in real-time but it’s never going to be 100 percent real time. But if you plan on getting the best cell phone monitoring app, make sure it’s as clever as Xnspy that won’t drain the monitored device’s battery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

question General Questions

  • If you don’t want someone to know you are tracking their location, you can hide Xnspy’s icon after installing it.

  • Yes, it is completely safe to use Xnspy for tracking the location of another device. Xnspy does not interfere with the activities of the user. The app does its work quietly.

  • No, there is no way they will know someone is tracking their location in real-time. You can track them without worrying they would even have a hint of what you are doing remotely.

  • Most monitoring apps don’t fetch location data too often to avoid battery drainage issues on the monitored device. But when it comes to Xnspy, we update location data very carefully. Location tracking still works in real time, but a new location is only registered on the map if a 100-meter displacement is registered. So if someone is traveling at 40km/hour, they will get around 7 location stamps on the map in a minute, which is nearly close to real-time tracking. Apps that periodically fetch data even the monitored device is stationary end up draining too much battery or don't work in real time.

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