Cell Phone Spy Software Apps - The Complete User Guide (2019)

Cell Phone Spy Software – the Complete Guide 2019

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 phone spy apps 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 spyware for cell phones or need advice on where to buy it, I think I can help.

Updated March 2019

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.

I try to cover everything you will need to get started with the latest phone spy apps.

phone spy apps guide

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.

Cell Phone Spy Reviews in 2019

mSpy Review – Our top pick for value! The best selling spy app on the market right now and in terms of performance and reliability it is easy to see why this program is the most popular. Feature rich, no jailbreak version and affordable pricing – and it just works!

FlexiSpy Review – the most advanced, but slightly more expensive! If you need call recording features, this is the best option. Pricing changes have made it more competitive and it is still a reliable, working solution.

MobiStealth Review – Their new and improved version makes this app worth considering. May not be just as sleek as the others but it works well and is from a reputable company with a long track record.

Comparison of Recommended Spy Apps – Review of the features, prices compared and ratings.

XNSPY Review – The newest addition to my list of recommended spy apps. This one combines some advanced features at a low price – a great value option definitely worth looking at.

Mobile Spy Review – no longer hidden and not recommended!

There are lots of different programs available across the web but very few reliable spy apps that actually deliver on their promises. There is a good reason for this website only recommending a small number!!!

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. Now you can also hack Snapchat and Instagram – new articles added with more information.

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

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 information 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. Also beware of companies offering “free phone spy apps” – always a catch!

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

cell phone spy 101

Follow the Guide

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 spyware 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 Around Cell Phone Surveillance

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 phone spy software but there are certain conditions.

    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!)

Hacking vs Monitoring? – I prefer the term monitoring but hacking a phone refers to essentially the same thing in most peoples minds.

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 example Rooting is required to monitor WhatsApp on most programs. 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.

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 Phone Spy Apps 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

The basic process is this:

  • The spy software is installed on the target cell phone (physical access is required!).
  • All monitored activity is logged and sent to the spy software company servers via a web connection.
  • You log in to an online dashboard 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.

If the phone is password protected you will also need to get past that to install the software. There are ways to bypass passwords on most devices – Google is your friend ….

A New Spying Method – Without Having the Phone/Device

This new service has become very popular – it only works on Apple devices (iPhone and iPad etc), does not involve installing ANY Software on the target device and therefore you don’t need to Jailbreak.

It works by monitoring through iCloud backups – Apple’s free backup service. To use this service you will need to have the user’s Apple ID and password – and iCloud backups must be enabled. Remember the legal requirements still apply!

Monitoring an iPhone/iPad Without Jailbreaking

I have tested this No Jailbreak Version from mSpy and it works very well giving a very useful alternative to their main iPhone spy software. I go into more details in my main mSpy Review.

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 regular software.

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!

Buying Mobile 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 Program 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 a few reliable options from trusted companies – mSpy, Flexispy and Mobistealth. No doubt some new players will enter the market – but beware of scams!

mSpy Review
FlexiSpy Review
MobiStealth Review
XNSpy Review

I have made detailed reviews of these spy phone apps going into a lot of detail – these are constantly updated to keep up with the changes.

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

How to Install Cell Phone Spyware

So now you have gone through the learning and evaluating process – you’ve selected the surveillance software and you just need to buy it and install it on 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!

Help With Installation?

mSpy and Flexispy both now offer installation services – for a small fee. They will root or jailbreak your target device and install and set up your spy app. You still need to have the target phone in your possesion and have access to a PC/Laptop with internet connection.

It is a great service if you are worried about installation.

Potential Problems with Cell Phone Spy Apps

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 apps you will at least have some back up when things do not work as expected.

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. Consider using their installation services if you are worried.
  • 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 This Spy Guide 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.

The comments sections in this site have grown over the last few years providing lots of useful tips and answers to questions all about cell phone spy apps – I advise reading through them – find some gems! If you have a question that hasn’t been answered – be the first to ask.

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

Thanks for reading.

Susan Kennedy

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Leave a Comment:

Jennyb says July 31, 2013

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.

    Susan Kennedy says July 31, 2013

    Thanks for your kind words.

Shirley Gl says August 4, 2013

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 says August 7, 2013

    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.

dev says August 7, 2013

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 says August 8, 2013

    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.

silvana says August 27, 2013

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.

bill says September 10, 2013

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 says September 11, 2013

    With some 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.

Susana says October 17, 2013

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 says October 17, 2013

    Hi, good question. If GPS is turned off you will not be able to track the phone – but the other reporting will work.
    M 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.

Madhu says November 15, 2013

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 says November 16, 2013

    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.

Marie says November 25, 2013

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 says November 26, 2013

    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.

Boh Bonny says November 30, 2013

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 says December 1, 2013

    Great question. Early versions did add considerably to the phone bill but they changed how the data is sent. Modern apps 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.

Kelly says December 8, 2013

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 says December 9, 2013

    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.

Luckyaim says December 16, 2013

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?


    Susan Kennedy says December 17, 2013

    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.

Les says December 27, 2013

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 says December 30, 2013

    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.

adam says January 2, 2014


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 says January 6, 2014

    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.

John S says February 19, 2014

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 says February 24, 2014

    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!

rav says April 5, 2014

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

    Susan Kennedy says April 5, 2014

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

ms says April 7, 2014

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 says April 8, 2014

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

Maurice says May 6, 2014

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 says May 7, 2014

    I have just recently updated my review of m spy and their iCloud monitoring version – 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 says January 31, 2015

      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 says February 10, 2015

        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.

AJ says May 6, 2014

Hi there

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


    Susan Kennedy says May 7, 2014

    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.

Kaydee says May 8, 2014

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 says May 13, 2014

    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.

JennyZ says May 23, 2014

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 says May 30, 2014

    None will work if the target phone is switched off – there would be no power or signal. Flexi spy and Mobi stealth have call recording and surroundings recording. Hope that helps.

João Silva says June 2, 2014

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?


    Susan Kennedy says June 20, 2014

    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.

Nathan says June 3, 2014

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 says June 11, 2014

    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.

Tara says July 26, 2014

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

Todd says February 13, 2015

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 says February 24, 2015

    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.

jake says April 3, 2015

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 says April 13, 2015

    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!

Keith says April 9, 2015

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 says April 13, 2015

    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.

Dwight Jnocharles says April 15, 2015

Love u

    Susan Kennedy says May 14, 2015

    Thanks, You too – lol

Priti says May 3, 2015

will flexispy work on a dual sim card android phone…

    Susan Kennedy says May 14, 2015

    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.

kristine says May 15, 2015

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 says June 7, 2015

    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.

Terri says June 28, 2015

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 says July 7, 2015

    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.

Dnick says July 3, 2015

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 says July 7, 2015

    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.

sally says July 14, 2015

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 says July 15, 2015

    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.

dfbell says July 21, 2015

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 says July 31, 2015

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

lamont says October 27, 2015

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

    Susan Kennedy says November 7, 2015

    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!

Lynn says November 2, 2015

Can you put spyware on a flip phone??

    Susan Kennedy says November 7, 2015

    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.

Michelle says November 30, 2015

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 says December 5, 2015

    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.

babu says December 19, 2015

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 says December 21, 2015

    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.

AllanJ says December 28, 2015

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 says January 8, 2016

    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.

Marsha says February 1, 2016

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 says February 6, 2016

    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.

Sherry says February 26, 2016

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 says March 5, 2016

    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.

Meghan says June 13, 2016

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 says July 5, 2016

    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.

Candace says June 21, 2016

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 says July 5, 2016

    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.

Irene says July 14, 2016

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 says July 20, 2016

    It would be possible using some spy 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.

Need2Know says August 3, 2016

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 says August 4, 2016

    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.

Waleeed says August 10, 2016

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

    Susan Kennedy says August 12, 2016

    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.

Kmarc27 says September 2, 2016

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 says September 12, 2016

    Flexi spy 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.

Andrew88 says October 21, 2016

Hi susan is there any spyware 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 says November 1, 2016

    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.

sadgirl says January 22, 2017

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 says January 24, 2017

    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.

Sean williams says May 5, 2017

Hi is there a spy software that includes rooting software or do you always need separate programs? Thank you

    Susan Kennedy says June 15, 2017

    You don’t need to Root android for spy software to work – but some advanced features do require it to work. Rooting is done separately but does not cost anything. Mspy and Flexispy both offer rooting, jailbreaking and installation services – for a resonable fee they will do everything for you and get the programs up and running. Well worth it if you are unsure about the process.

Nilsa says August 8, 2017

Hi Susan! , I found your advice very helpful. I want to know, if a spy software was installed in my phone and I change phones but keep the phone number, the software can be pass to the new phone through the sim card, the memory card or my google accounts?

    Susan Kennedy says August 10, 2017

    No it will not be passed on – the software is installed on the actual phone – not the sim card, memory card and it will not be re-installed from any accounts or backups. Good luck.

Pat says November 10, 2017

My other question would be…..what happens to the software when a subscription expires after 1 or 3 months etc…..and also, if a spy software is ever “updated”, will any notifications show up on the targeted phone?

    Susan Kennedy says November 15, 2017

    There are no notifications at any time sent to the target device – any notifications are sent to your online dashboard where you view the reports etc. Most spy programs can also be removed from the target device remotely, again from within your dashboard. Hope that helps.

Giles says February 10, 2018

Can I install a spy app prior to the SIM being inserted?

    Susan Kennedy says February 21, 2018

    It is possible to do this – but much better to install, configure and then test the device and the spy app.

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