Cell Phone Spy Software – the Complete Guide

I have created this cell phone spy software guide to help you save two things, time and money. You’ve probably found this site whilst searching online for information about cell phone spy software or monitoring software. Good reliable information is hard to find on the subject so I have put together this guide designed for complete beginners as well as more experienced users.

Whether you are looking for information about using this software or need advice on where to buy it, I think I can help.

Updated March 2017

 How to Use This Guide

If you are a total beginner, start at the beginning and read everything. For everyone else it is laid out so that you can scan ahead and find the information you require compiled in one place. I cover the main points in this article and for each section you can click on the blue links to go to a more detailed explanation. The links will open a new page with a more in-depth look at each subject.

 The Problem With Spy Software

What’s the problem, why do you need this guide? At first glance cell phone spy software can be quite confusing. There is a lot of cell phone spy software guideinformation to take in: how does it work, what phones are compatible, what can you monitor. Then you come across terms like Jailbreaking and Rooting it can quickly become confusing.

Take your time it is actually more straightforward than you first think.

The second problem is finding the right product from a reliable company. Unfortunately this market has been targeted by some unscrupulous companies offering software which does not work.

There are a lot of scams around and you really need to be careful what you buy. Sometimes these companies can look legitimate to the untrained eye, but they will basically take your money and run.

Another problem is finding out how to use the software effectively and get the most from it. There aren’t many places on the web with any details on how to use spy phone software, apart from the companies selling it.

The fact is that most of the so-called review sites you’ll come across, have never even tried the software. Any product on this site that I recommend, I have tested and in some cases have them permanently installed on my own cell phones. Not only does this help me to evaluate the various programs, but it means I can give valid help and advice on how to use them properly.

Cell phone spy software is a technical product. People do have problems with installing and using the software but most of these problems are easily avoided, when you have some real experience.

The Legal Questions

I focus solely on legal ways to use spy software – you can read more at that link. Also check out our updated Legal Notice. When people first discover these monitoring programs they wonder how they can be legal.

It is perfectly legal to sell and use cell phone spy software but in legal terms there are certain conditions.

software guides

Follow the Guide

    1. You must own or have legal authority over the target phone.
    2. You must inform any adult user of the target phone that they are being monitored.

Obviously it will be against the laws of most countries to just spy on anyone’s cell phone. Some seriously misleading advertizing has led people to believe this is possible – and many will ignore the legal requirements.

To stay within the law you can basically use this type of software in two ways:

  • You can monitor your own children’s cell phones – without notifying them if you wish.
  • You can monitor your company cell phones but here you must inform the users that their phone may be monitored.

Anything else beyond these circumstances and you will be breaking some privacy law or other. Of course human nature is what it is and people will ignore this in many cases – but you have been warned. (That is my disclaimer!)

What is Cell Phone Spy Software – What can it Do?

It is basically software which when installed on a cell phone (the target phone), will monitor most activities that take place through the phone. If you haven’t looked at any of these programs before I can guarantee you will be amazed just how deep this monitoring can go. The best programs have become very sophisticated and can monitor most phone use.

If you’re totally new to spy software, I recommend you check out a couple of my reviews. These should help you get a better understanding of how it all works.

mSpy Review – Our top pick for value!

MobiStealth Review – new and improved version now.

FlexiSpy Review – the most advanced, but the most expensive – and no longer recommended!

Comparison of Features Review

Mobile Spy Review – no longer hidden!

StealthGenie Review  – no longer available!

Things change in this market – some programs grow and some fall behind. I constantly monitor the products I recommend and report them when they fall short. So always check before buying!

Each software program will have its own unique set of features packaged together in different price plans. They all offer the same basic features such as monitoring text messages, e-mails, web history, call logs and GPS tracking. These features and more are usually available with the cheapest price plans.

They also offer more advanced features for even more detailed monitoring. Some of these include call recording, monitoring chat services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber, monitoring social network use, phone surroundings recording and remotely controlling the target phone.

The top spy monitoring programs are regularly updating their more advanced features, competing with each other to offer more capabilities.

For more details check out – What Can Spy Software Do?

Will Monitoring Software Work on My Phone

People can get confused about the requirements for spy software to work and which cell phones are supported by the different companies. There are two other major points to consider:

  1. The iPhonesee my iPhone Spy Guide – for ANY spy software to be installed on the iPhone (any version), the phone must be Jailbroken. No exceptions – no third party software can be installed on an iPhone unless it has a Jailbreak. The same goes for any iPad you wish to monitor. For more information see What is Jailbreaking and How to Jailbreak an iPhone. It is possible to have limited monitoring without Jailbreaking, using the user Apple ID and iCloud backup – read more here. In this case, no software is installed on the target device.
  2. Rooting an Android – again there is some confusion around this one. Rooting is NOT necessary for spy software to work on an Android phone – but there are a couple of features which require Rooting to work properly. For Mobile Spy Live Control Panel to work the phone needs to be Rooted and to monitor WhatsApp on most programs again Rooting is required. Apart from a couple of advanced features Rooting is not needed. Read more about Rooting an Android here.

Now let’s look at what else is required.

Cell phone spy software will only work on Smartphones – that is phones with an internet connection.

The phone you intend to monitor MUST have some access to the internet. It is best if it has an active data plan but it can work with reduced features using a Wi-Fi connection at home. Data logs – all reporting – is sent from the target phone via a web connection. No internet connection means no monitoring. So your ten year old Nokia brick will be safe from spy software!

The second thing you need is a phone which is supported by the software program you plan to use.

I go into lots more detail in this article about Phone Compatibility.

This type of software will work in ANY country with any service provider – wherever you can get an internet connection.

The most important thing is to make sure the spy software supports the target phone Operating System. If this sounds strange to you – go check out that article!

How Does It Actually Work?

Getting this part clear in your head will help you understand why certain requirements are important for the software to work well. They say an image can tell a thousand words so take a look at the picture below.

how spy software works

Photo credit – StealthGenie

The basic process is this:

  • The spy software is installed on the target cell phone.
  • All monitored activity is logged and sent to the spy software company servers via a web connection.
  • You log in with a unique password to view the reports – again with an internet connection from any device, anywhere in the world. Reports can be downloaded to your PC in most cases.

You can read this article to find out more details.

What About Remotely Installing Spy Software?

I love this one – I keep getting asked how you can install spy software without having access to the target phone. The answer is simple – you can’t!

The confusion comes from some software products online claiming that this is possible. Trust me on this one, they are all scamsjigsawpieces5 and will not work as they describe. You can read a great article about remote install spy software at SpyzRus.net.

If you buy one of these programs you will lose your money and have a useless product. The only way to monitor a cell phone is by physically installing spy software onto the target phone – you need to have access to the target phone for at least a few minutes.

No exceptions! If the phone is password protected you will also need to get past that to install the software.

Buying Cell Phone Spy Software Safely

So we are moving on – you know a bit about how it all works, what it can do and the type of phones we can monitor. Now you need to find the right spy software for your needs but most importantly, you need to find one which works and won’t leave you feeling ripped off!

If you are starting from scratch, with no knowledge, this is the most difficult part – but you have this guide to help you!

The key to buying safely is to do some due diligence, this way you can avoid the scams and poor quality programs. You need to be able to evaluate the spy software company and if you are reading spy software reviews – you need to consider the review site and their motives.

I go into a lot more detail in this article – Buying Cell Spy Software Safely – you must read this before buying any spy software.

Choose the Best Software for Your Needs

People get obsessed about which is the best cell phone spy software. Everyone will form their own opinions on this but the important thing is to find the best one for your needs.trust words

To make that decision you need to find programs which:

  • Support your target cell phone
  • Cover your monitoring needs
  • Suit your budget

There are no shortcuts here; you need to look at the programs in a little more detail. To help I have written some in depth reviews of the best ones. Using these reviews will help you to identify which ones meet your requirements.

Recommended Spy Software Programs

This is by no means a definitive list – other programs are available. These are the cell phone spy programs that I have tried and tested and am happy to recommend. With recent changes in the software market you only really have two main reliable options right now – Flexispy and mSpy. Stealthgenie was taken down and MobileSpy is no longer hidden – so can hardly be called a spy app! No doubt some new players will enter the market – but beware of scams!

mSpy

MobiStealth

FlexiSpy

Remember your due diligence – don’t just accept what I say, check them out for yourself!

A New Addition – But Not Really Spy Software

Monitoring an iPhone/iPad Without Jailbreaking

I have tested a new type of monitoring product this year available from mSpy – it is available for free with all mobile monitoring packages from the company. It can only monitor Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad, under certain limitations, and does not require the phone to be Jailbroken.

Now get this straight, it is not regular cell phone spy software – it is not installed on any phone, and is in fact a computer software program which runs on Windows (hence no Jailbreaking). It is quite limited in terms of features and shouldn’t really be compared to the others. If Jailbreaking the iPhone is not an option for you and you still want to keep an eye on your kid’s phone, this addon from mSpy might be worth a look. It is a good example of how this market is changing quickly with new products and new ways of monitoring – who knows where we will be in another five years!

How to Install Monitoring Software on a Cell Phone

So now you have gone through the learning and evaluating process – you’ve selected the software and you just need to buy it and install the software onto the target phone. This part is really important as most problems will arise from the software not being installed properly.

I have a detailed guide for Installing Cell Phone Spy Software – check it out.

The simple version –

  • Choose the software wisely
  • Buy the package you require
  • You get a download link in an email
  • Download and install the software onto the target phone
  • Configure the options and settings
  • Re-boot the phone
  • Sign in to the online Dashboard to view reports

Sounds easy – and in most cases it is. You must follow any specific directions from the spy software company to the letter.

Taking your time is a good idea if it is your first attempt at using these programs.

Don’t forget to read the article!

Potential Problems with Monitoring Software

Spy software is a technical product and things can go wrong – people do have problems from time to time. If you buy a poor quality software program, the problems will never be resolved. If you stick to the recommended spy software apps you will at least have some back up when things do not work.

Most problems will arise from three things:

  • Selecting the wrong program or package – we go back to the importance of compatibility and is your phone supported.
  • Incorrect installation – it is easy to slip up during the installation process, especially if you are trying to hurry.
  • Poor Web connection – everything depends on good internet connections. If internet access is interrupted, the reporting will be interrupted.

Consider the technology at work and understand that you will have down time at some point. The best programs work hard to minimize any missed reports but if your connection lets you down you may encounter some breaks in reporting.

I continually monitor the programs which I recommend and part of my reason for a recommendation is service reliability.

Tips for Getting Help

If you do encounter problems with your spy software it is good to know you can get some help and support from the software providers. Some are better at providing this support than others and in my opinion they could all do with some improvements in this area.

They will all help but the speed of reply can sometimes be too slow. I have found a few ways to get better support service.

If you are contacting a support line – by phone, email or live chat, be persistent. Try contacting them at different times – day and night, some support centers are in different time zones.

Try to ask clear and to the point questions – don’t just go off on a rant!

Be polite but get your points across.

Apart from sometimes being slow to respond, I have received some good help from support staff. The good companies want to provide help – they want you to keep using their software. Always bear that in mind.

Let’s hope the information in this site can help you to avoid any issues.

Help Make It Better!

That’s about it for now with this guide to cell phone spy software. I will keep this article updated as new programs or new monitoring features are released.spy software guide complete

This is a fast moving market and the technology is continually developing so be sure to bookmark this page and come back.

Now you can help me to make this a truly “Complete Guide” – I will have missed some things, it’s impossible to cover everything so go ahead and ask questions in the comments. There are comment sections below each article and they are totally anonymous – your email will never be printed.

Your questions and opinions can make this a really valuable guide – for real users.

Thanks for reading.

Susan Kennedy

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97 Responses to Cell Phone Spy Software – the Complete Guide

  1. Jennyb July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow. Great information here. Will take a bit to get through this but definitely the most complete guide I have seen online. Thanks for your help and good luck.

  2. Shirley Gl August 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I would like to ask a question. I had stealth put on my old android. I know it was on it. I’ve since bought a newer and better android and changed my number. Is the stealth still on old memory card? And if put in new fone can it be put in new fone via old memory card?

    • Susan Kennedy August 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      You will be fine to use the old memory card. The software would have been on the phone itself so no danger of it being “passed on” to the new phone. Any new instance of the software would need to be installed directly on to your new cell phone.

  3. dev August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    My computer is currently down, infected with a virus. My intent is to purchase a
    brand new never used top of the line desk top, such as SONY VIOS later
    followed by a SonyVios lap top. In order to lessen my expenses up front, which purchase would you recommend first. Lap top or desk top also after first purchase, when I decide to make second purchase will I be able to rout information from desk top to lap top and vise versa and be able to monitor target phone from home and while on the road with lap top. Thanks.

    • Susan Kennedy August 8, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Thanks for getting in touch – I’ll try to answer your questions.
      Laptop vs Desktop – nowadays really comes to personal preference, obviously if you need it on the road laptop or even pad/ tablet is the way to go.

      In relation to the spy phone software – you can access the online dashboard with all the reports from any internet enabled device – desktop, laptop, phone ipad tablet etc. You can access your dashboard from any of these – even a public use computer – all securely with your own personal login and password.

      Hope you get that the device you use does not matter, all you need is to be able to log in to the spy software website and see all the reports from the monitored cell phone.

  4. silvana August 27, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    Hi
    II’m almost sure that a person is monotorizing my android mobile phone.
    How can I solve this situation and remove the installed program.?
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards

  5. bill September 10, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    hi susan , how are you , hope you are well .wondering if you could answer my question . a while back my moblie started sending off texts for no reason . i must have changed some setting because now every time i turn my phone on about 5minutes after its up and running the sim say’s it wants to send a text and wants my permission …………. of course i say no . i would like to know what program i can run to find out if some one is playing with my phone and who or what soft ware is being used on me ……….is this possible ???

    • Susan Kennedy September 11, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      With some spy software programs you can actually send texts as if they are from the target phone – but this does not sound like your situation.

      It could be a type of hijacking program that has infected your phone – allowing others to send messages from your phone. There are some serious scams out there so you should try to get this sorted. Programs like Lookout Security or other mobile security / anti virus apps may flag up any suspicious threats on your mobile. I don’t think this is regular spy software. Remember that doing a factory reset will clean the phone completely.

  6. Susana October 17, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Thank you for this information! It was very useful! I do have a question though. I am looking to get stealth genie for my daughters phone. I was able to track her on the find my iPhone app until she figured me out. She has turned off her location services on her phone, so will this be a problem with the gps tracking?

    • Susan Kennedy October 17, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      Hi, good question. If GPS is turned off you will not be able to track the phone – but the other reporting will work.
      Mobile Spy can get around this by tracking the phone using cell mast positioning – it is not as accurate but provides a useful alternative if the GPS is turned off on the target phone.

  7. Madhu November 15, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Susan, many thanks for this guidance. I’ve one question. I’m not comfortable with target phone details going to vendor’s server. I don’t want audio / video. Just text logs of call details, sms & chat conversions. Any s/w that will secretly sms / e-mail these details directly to me rather than sending to vendor server?

    • Susan Kennedy November 16, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      There is no way around this – all the reporting is done through the software dashboard. There is no reason to be concerned about this – you have sole access to your data, they could technically look at it but why? They deal with thousands of customers, I don’t think they are interested in your data.All the software programs work in a similar fashion.

  8. Marie November 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Great read! I have a few questions. I will be getting my teenager son, a blackberry q10 for christmas. He has been wanting this phone for some time now. If i buy the phone unlocked from amazon or ebay, does it need to be connected with our phone provider in order to install the mobile spy software? Also, in your personal opinion, which software works better with blackberry smartphones for the texting and email feature?

    Thanks, Marie.

    • Susan Kennedy November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      It would be better if the phone is up and running with your provider before installing the software – just to be sure everything is running properly before you give it to him. It can still work if you install the software and then insert the SIM and start using the phone.
      If all you need to monitor is email and texts then the cheaper basic option of either program will be more than enough. Thanks for your questions and good luck.

  9. Boh Bonny November 30, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Not much is said about what the spy software does to the target phone bill. I am assuming that because most of the info and more are duplicated by sending to the server the target phone bill will be doubled or more. The phone i am targeting is the Sony Xperia Z1 that has a high resolution camera which will eat away at the available GB. Is the cost of sending the information to a server a major consideration factor?

    • Susan Kennedy December 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Great question. Early versions of monitoring software did add considerably to the phone bill but they changed how the data is sent. Modern software can send the data in very small packages and so have little impact on costs. Even an itemized bill will only show small anonymous data usage.
      If you are transferring many large files – high res photos and long videos, you could still potentially have problems. You can however set preferences with the software and choose not to monitor photos or videos and so avoid any potential problems. For most users the data transfers are tiny and will not be noticed.

  10. Kelly December 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Hello Susan, Very well written information.
    I have tried 2 product on the market that have not worked for me: auto forward and cell tracker 2013.
    They both make claims, but don’t deliver. The software was completely useless and luckily I was refunded both times.
    I am looking for a software/spyware that doesn’t have to be installed to the target phone. I have not been able to find any legitimate ones.
    I would be more than happy if could suggest one or two that I can use.

    • Susan Kennedy December 9, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Hi Kelly, glad to hear you were able to get refunds – you were lucky! I don’t know those particular programs but it just proves how careful you need to be when looking for monitoring software. Unfortunately many companies make all sorts of claims – the biggest warning is if they claim to be able to install without the target phone.
      You MUST install ANY spy software program onto the phone you wish to monitor – there are no exceptions. Any program which claims otherwise is a scam! Keep looking for one which can do this and you WILL get ripped off.

  11. Luckyaim December 16, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Hi Susan, Really great information you are providing. Actually saving many people to be trapped in scams. I read most of your articles and all are helpful.
    I wanna knw if I can install two programs (let’s say Stealth & Mobile Spy) on one target phone? Will they work simultaneously still producing max results or would they conflict to each other?

    Thanks

    • Susan Kennedy December 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Hi there, you are not the first person to ask this question. I have never tried it but others report that this works well. It may be an expensive way to go but I can see your thinking.

  12. Les December 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    If spyware was put on your phone and then you get a new phone with the same number will they have to have access to your new phone to reinstall the spyware again. Thanks Les

    • Susan Kennedy December 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      No – the software is installed on to the phone itself. A new phone will be free from spy soft. unless someone installs it physically again.

  13. adam January 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Hi,

    Great article. Do the companies selling spy software inform authorities who bought them. Though I want to install it on my son’s cell I want to be certain that it is legal and there is no legal issue.

    Also as these software send data at regular intervals do they drain battery or power on phone or make any sound?

    • Susan Kennedy January 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      It is legal to install on any phone you own – including kids and employees. No one is notified in fact it is incredibly difficult to get any customer information due to privacy laws (ironically!). You need to go to court to get any customer information released. No sounds are made and data transfers are very small – no battery drain is noticeable on modern software apps.

  14. John S February 19, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Very clear and reassuring but if it is impossible to attack my cell phone without accessing, or jailbreaking it how is it possible that newspaper journalists have been able to intercept cell phone messages for a range of victims whose phones are unlikely to have been modified or easily available?

    • Susan Kennedy February 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      That is very different – they hacked in to their voicemail accounts – so were able to listen to voicemail messages only. Remember that some of those journalist went to jail!

  15. rav April 5, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Will I get a Physical bill to the address I have mentioned while buying the software.

    • Susan Kennedy April 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      No – no physical billing etc. You will get email notification to the address you use to sign up – that is all.

  16. ms April 7, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Hello Susan, Thank you for the great info. I have two teens. Do I have to buy two subsciptions? Some of the parental control apps have family plans, but I haven’t been able to find info on the spy apps – which I think are more appropriate for our situation. thanks

    • Susan Kennedy April 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Yes I’m afraid you do need to buy a subscription for each phone you want to monitor.

  17. Maurice May 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Hi Susan, thank you for all the precious info you are sharing with us. I have a question about phone sheriff or webwatcher software that uses icloud account info for monitoring the iphone giving that i know my children’s icloud passwords. Does it really work or is it a scam ? If it works, is there a specific software that works better than the others with this technique or can you recommend one ? Thank you so much. M.

    • Susan Kennedy May 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      I have just recently posted my review of PhoneSheriff Investigator – I have been testing it for a while and it works well. I haven’t tried webwatcher for a long time. The important thing to remember is that these programs are totally different to regular spy software – I go into details in the review. They are quite limited but will be good enough for many people – and you don’t need to Jailbreak the iPhone.

      • Lynn January 31, 2015 at 6:37 am #

        I’m trying to monitor my son’s iPhone. I have his iCloud account info & can monitor what I need through mSpy. My question is, if I log onto his iCloud account, will he get a notification that the account was accessed? I know at times, notifications are sent showing that someone logged into the account.

        • Susan Kennedy February 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

          No notifications are sent because of how the site is accessed (through indirect program). It is a relatively new feature from mSpy and works well – although the monitoring isn’t as thorough or up to date as their regular software, installed on the phone. It is a good alternative if Jailbreaking is not an option. Great question – thanks.

  18. AJ May 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi there

    Is there a software out in the market that is compatible with the Blackberry 10?

    Thanks

    • Susan Kennedy May 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

      Not that I know of I’m afraid. The main ones only support up to v 7.1. and I don’t think they are in any great hurry to update this. The problem is that they see BB declining as a platform and so tend to focus most of their development on Android and iPhone.

  19. Kaydee May 8, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Let’s say I purchase a 12 month subscription, can install it on one child’s phone for a few months, uninstall, and then use the remainder by installing it on another child’s phone?

    • Susan Kennedy May 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Yes that would work as long as the phones are the same operating system – ie both iPhones or both Android. You can change the license between phones.

  20. JennyZ May 23, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi Susan. Great info. Many thanks! Which cell spyware can send live audio / provide live listening in , of the target cellphone’s surroundings even if the phone is switched off? Thanks!

    • Susan Kennedy May 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      None will work if the target phone is switched off – there would be no power or signal. mSpy and Stealthgenie have call recording and surroundings recording – Mobile Spy has surround recording. Hope that helps.

  21. João Silva June 2, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Hhi Suzan,

    Thank you very much for such a nice blog.

    Could you please inform what is the best spy software to monitor what’s up and Facebook msgs on a samsung S4 phone without rooting it?

    Thanks

    • Susan Kennedy June 20, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      For social network monitoring – like Facebook and WhatsApp etc. Android phones need to be Rooted – it will not work on those platforms without root access. All spy apps need this only for those features.

  22. Nathan June 3, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    Hi Susan, I have a tiny problem and I would love if you could elaborate on it! My problem is that I can’t get past my sons pass code lock on his iPhone…I need to get past that to install the software. Could you please direct me to some resources to help unlock it?

    • Susan Kennedy June 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      I’m aware that many types of phones can have the password lock bypassed. Try a Google search for your phone model/make and you should find something.

  23. Tara July 26, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Love the information. You just saved me money. I do not have access to the target phone and was about to buy from a company claiming I did not need it!

    Thank you

  24. Todd February 13, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    Hi Susan! Great intel. Thanks so much! Only question which i think you may have pointed out is, this. Am I able to use any Sim in the target phone at the time of instillation of the spyware? and then take that Sim out and have the other person place there sim in the phone? Thanks very much! Todd

    • Susan Kennedy February 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Yes that would work – the software is installed on the phone itself, not the sim card. It is best to set it up with the card that will be used and that way you can test everything is working well – but your idea will work fine.

  25. jake April 3, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    I need to use these following features
    1- sorround listening and recording
    2- calls listening and recording
    3- whatsapp chats viewing
    I need it for a time period of one to three months, which software would u suggest will be better option for me.

    • Susan Kennedy April 13, 2015 at 9:53 am #

      Have a read through my main reviews for more detail – FlexiSpy is the only one right now offering all of the features you mention. Good luck!

  26. Keith April 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Great article Susan,

    I was very informative and helpful. I do have one question that you may or may not be able to answer. Do you know of any software that will work on the Blackberry 10 os? I have checked the websites of the ones you recommended as well as any other seemingly legitimate software websites and all the ones that do support Blackberry only seem to be compatible up to the 7.1 os. I appreciate any help you can provide as my teen son uses a Z10 and I would like to be able to keep track of him. Thanks

    • Susan Kennedy April 13, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      I’m afraid you are out of luck – none cover BlackBerry 10. They all seem to concentrate on covering the most popular operating systems — Android and Apple, with no development of BB or windows mobile. Until someone sees this gap in the market as viable, I don’t see things changing. I guess they don’t see the investment in providing support for the other platforms as profitable.

  27. Dwight Jnocharles April 15, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    Love u

  28. Priti May 3, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    will flexispy work on a dual sim card android phone…

    • Susan Kennedy May 14, 2015 at 9:53 am #

      Yes – the software is installed on the actual phone not an individual SIM card. I haven’t tested it myself on a dual Sim but I am told it works. Thanks for your question.

  29. kristine May 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    hi susan, thanks for the information it really helps a lot though i have some question that i hope you can help me to which one i should buy that if i install the spymobile to the phone it cannot been remove even the iphone was been reset to factory setting.thanks a lot in advance.

    • Susan Kennedy June 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      There is no way around that – if the phone is reset to factory settings the software will be removed and needs to be installed again. All programs are the same.
      mSpy have a no jailbreak solution that does not have a software download – it uses the Apple ID and password. It can monitor certain things but is very different to their regular software. Phone resets will not stop it from working. Hope that helps you.

  30. Terri June 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    If a spy app was downloaded on my android and I got a new IOS 4 and had everything transferred from the old phone to the new phone, kept the same number and account…could the spy app still be on the new phone?

    • Susan Kennedy July 7, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      No – it couldn’t be transferred in any way from Android to iOS. The only way would be to Jailbreak the iPhone and physically install the software again. Thanks for the question.

  31. Dnick July 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi Susan, this was soooo informative but i have a question. If a the phone data is down and only uses wifi when it comes across wifi will it still upload the information that was accumulated before or only when the wifi is available the information will begin to be recorded. I hope i explained it well. Thanks.

    • Susan Kennedy July 7, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Hi – the logs will be stored and transferred when either data or wi-fi are enabled. It will still capture things like texts emails and timestamps etc. Gps will not be accurate as it needs to have regular connections via data to keep constant tracking – it will only show up when the phone has an active connection. Most of the collected data will still be logged and reported – hope that makes some sense.

  32. sally July 14, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    Hello! Do you have any recommendations for motoring an iphone 5 without jailbreaking? I simply want to see only texts calls and gps location. Also the target phone is through verizon. Your article is amazing by the way. Thank you.

    • Susan Kennedy July 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      Thank you! Your only reliable way to have monitoring without Jailbreaking the iPhone is to use the mSpy No Jailbreak service (see my main review of mspy for details). The drawback is that you need the target phones Apple ID and password – and monitoring isn’t as detailed as regular software – but it will cover your needs. Thanks and good luck.

  33. dfbell July 21, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Thanks for the great information. My question is, if the phone number on the targeted phone is changed, or the sim card is replaced, will the software continue to work? Thanks in advance.

    • Susan Kennedy July 31, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      Yes it will continue to work. The software is installed on the device itself, not the sim card. Thanks for your question!

  34. lamont October 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    Will any of the software pull old information from the target or just record what occurs after installation?

    • Susan Kennedy November 7, 2015 at 7:33 am #

      Things like photos and videos – contacts and apps etc will be collected – but old calls and texts etc will not. They will only be logged by the software after installation. Hope that makes sense!

  35. Lynn November 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Can you put spyware on a flip phone??

    • Susan Kennedy November 7, 2015 at 7:29 am #

      If it has internet capability and the operating system is compatible you can. Check their site for your make and model of device to be sure.

  36. Michelle November 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    HI. Great info. I was wondering if there is anything now that will spy on a phone number I currently have but is being transferred to another phone soon?
    Anything that will stay with that number once I have it set up?

    • Susan Kennedy December 5, 2015 at 5:12 am #

      It wont follow the number – the software is installed on the actual phone, not the SIM. If the phone handset number changes, it will still be monitored, but it will not monitor on a new handset without a fresh install.

  37. babu December 19, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    Hi .. I have heard of many cell phone spying software.. but i just want to know whether i can listen to the environment sounds where the mobile phone is placed without making a spy call to it…. its like the environment sounds are captured and recording in a cloud memory which i can hear it anytime…

    • Susan Kennedy December 21, 2015 at 2:06 am #

      The target phone needs to be activated – by a silent message from the dashboard panel. You send the hidden message to start and stop the recording. It wouldn’t be possible to do this with just voice activation for example. I hope this covers what you mean.

  38. AllanJ December 28, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for great information. Regarding Flexispy can you confirm the licenses required for a user that has an iphone, ipad and an ipod touch? Does it require a separate license for each and does the solution even work on the ipad and ipod touch?

    • Susan Kennedy January 8, 2016 at 3:42 am #

      You would need a license for each separate device to be able to monitor all three at once. It will work on the iPad and the iPad Touch as long as they are internet connected – Wi-Fi or a data plan. You could monitor one at a time and switch the license between them – to save money. Hope that helps.

  39. Marsha February 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi my question is, is there a software where you do not need to hook the phone up to the computer? We have wi-fi. I would like something I can install on the phone without a computer. I will be using my tablet to access the information. Also is this completely undetectable on the phone you are installing it on? Can you actually read the text sent and received? I have been looking at Highster Mobile is it any good?

    • Susan Kennedy February 6, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      You don’t need a computer for installation – you download directly to the phone you need to monitor, by visiting a web link. It can be done using a Wi-Fi connection – and you can view all of the activity from your tablet device online. Yes texts sent and received and a lot more besides! If you want a program that works reliably and is undetectable I would look at mSpy or Flexispy – check out my reviews. Thanks for the questions.

  40. Sherry February 26, 2016 at 3:42 am #

    I need an app that will allow me to monitor all messages sent and received on my sons phone but need something completely discreet that cannot be detected, he has found and deleted the others. Any suggestions?

    • Susan Kennedy March 5, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      The best programs – mSpy and Flexispy are very well hidden – that is why I only recommend a couple of programs. They should be safe for you.

  41. Meghan June 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    If I own the phone device I wish to monitor and have the SIM card number including the unblocking number through my ‘manage your devices’ on my provider/carrier account online access, but no physical access to the actual phone…impossible to get because my daughter always has it on her. Is there a software that can download the spyware remotely onto the target phone?

    • Susan Kennedy July 5, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      No – and don’t be tempted by some that claim this is possible, they are scams. You need to have physical access to install spy software.

  42. Candace June 21, 2016 at 5:12 am #

    Also if you have the target phone in hand but is password protected is it possible to unlock it with out having to wipe it clean

    • Susan Kennedy July 5, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      If it is password protected you will need to get the password to be able to install the software. There are usually ways to by pass password locks on most phones. Do a Google search for your device.

  43. Irene July 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    my husband has an android phone. Some of his texts and pictures have been removed remotely by someone else. Is it possible for someone to do this through his email account or spyware?

    • Susan Kennedy July 20, 2016 at 11:18 am #

      It would be possible using some spy phone software programs. Not through the email account though. Some programs allow you to change things on the target phone – deleting or adding photos is possible once the software has been installed. A factory reset will remove the spy app if you are concerned.

  44. Need2Know August 3, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    Wow you’ve really given some great information I greatly appreciate the detail links that you provide however I do have a question as I’ve seen this particular company all over the internet but yet I did not find it on your site so I’m curious to know what is your opinion of “AUTO FORWARD”? This review that I read claims that auto forward does not need the target phone in order to install the spy app or spy monitoring software but I remembered you said this wasn’t possible so is this a scam in your opinion??

    • Susan Kennedy August 4, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      There is a very good reason why I only do positive reviews of a few phone spy programs. There are only a few that are reliable and stand the test of time. I also try to avoid calling out poor programs by name – as they can attack my website! (Sadly it has happened). If you read the small print and look closely at that program – they imply remote installation, but actually they say you do need the target phone in your posession to install. They are playing with words to increase their appeal. Would you really want to deal with this company? Trust?

      You can also find out that this program is actually Highster Mobile by a different name – same company, different brand. I guess their reputation was in need of a fresh start. Also look carefully at some of the “reviews” sites promoting these programs. Owned by the same parent company – you need to be careful online! Don’t believe all you read. Thank you for your comment and good luck.

  45. Waleeed August 10, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Susan, which of the softwares will be compatible with Samasung note 7?

    • Susan Kennedy August 12, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      It depends more on the operating system version rather than the phone model. Check the operating system version is supported – I have them listed in the reviews and keep them updated.

  46. Kmarc27 September 2, 2016 at 1:56 am #

    Hi thank you for all the useful information that you have provided us…I do have one question for you regarding the two spy phone apps that you have reviewed and recommend a few times which are MSpy and Flexispy do either of these have the capabilities to record the incoming out outgoing phone conversations? I would also like to have the surrounding record option as well. Could you tell me if one of these are able to do that or if not can you recommend one that can. Thanks in advance. KMarc27

    • Susan Kennedy September 12, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Mobistealth is the best one that offers call listening and recording – plus surroundings recording. If you need those features it is your only reliable option right now. Good luck.

  47. Andrew88 October 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

    Hi susan is there any spy software that cannot be deleted and stays like forever even after so many factory resets please I really need to know have a nice day

    • Susan Kennedy November 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

      No – the factory reset will remove any installed spy phone apps. The only slight exception is with the No Jailbreak versions (iphone only) which monitor through iCloud backups and don’t install any software on the actual device.

  48. sadgirl January 22, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Hi. I live in the Philippines. Internet and data is not always available. My question is, when searching for location, if Location is ON in the device, will GPS work? And will the icons light up on the phone? Is there a way for these apps to turn on data and GPS remotely?

    Thank you so much. You are a big help to a lot of people.

    • Susan Kennedy January 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

      GPS tracking reqiures that it is enabled on the target phone – but in order to work in real time it needs internet connectivity, either data or Wi-Fi. Without an internet connection no location data can be recorded at that time. It just means it will only track when there is a connection. Spy apps can’t remotely turn these features on – they must be enabled on the target device. Hope that helps.

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