How to See Who Someone is Texting Without Them Knowing

If you’ve ever wondered how to see who someone is texting without their knowledge then this is the post for you. And no, I’m not going to tell you to sneak a look at their phone!

You’ll come across some crazy ideas on ways to see who someone else is texting in online articles but in truth most don’t work. At least not how they claim.

I’m going to show you the best way to do this – a method that really works and is reliable.

Before I get into it, you need to consider the legal and ethical side of reading someone else’s text messages. If you have read any of my guides on this website you’ll know I never condone illegal spying or monitoring.

The methods I cover are aimed primarily at parents needing to see who their kids are messaging online. It can also be legal to monitor company cell phones. In most cases it is not legal to monitor someone else’s phone or texts. So please stay legal!

see who someone is texting

Using Spy Apps to See Who Someone is Texting

Modern spy apps offer the most reliable way to see who someone is texting. With this method, you can monitor their phone discreetly – the user will not know.

In most cases using a spy app will require you to have access to the phone you want to monitor. It works by you installing a spy app onto the person’s phone to track their activity. Reporting is then done remotely and you can read every text sent and received without having their phone again.

For monitoring an iPhone there is an alternative method that can in some cases be used without having access to the user’s cell phone. I’ll cover this below.

Most modern spy apps allow you to see all incoming and outgoing text messages and importantly who is texting.

You’ll also see things like call history, GPS locations, web browsing history and much more depending on which app you choose. Some are very advanced in what they can monitor.

These apps are also known as phone trackers, spy software or cell phone monitoring apps. You’ll also come across SMS Peeper – a scam product I cover in detail and one to avoid! I also have an article explaining SMS Interceptors – basically another term to cover text monitoring apps.  

I have done a lot of research into this subject. I’ve read countless customer reviews, looked at what other people are saying online and spent many hours testing spy apps. This has allowed me to find the best apps for seeing who someone is texting.

On this site I only recommend a few reliable apps and only apps I have tested and can honestly stand over. There are many on the market but unfortunately you need to be careful. Some spy apps are little more than scams. Choose wisely!

See Who They are Texting Without Access to Their Phone

I mentioned this briefly above. There is always a lot of chatter online about ways to hack text messages without access to the phone – see my article about this. The truth is that there is really only one method that can work in some circumstances.

This is only available for monitoring an iPhone or Apple device. Several spy apps now offer what is known as a No Jailbreak monitoring service. It does not involve installing any software on the phone whose texts you want to see. Instead it works by monitoring their backups in Apple’s free iCloud storage platform.

To work you must have the user’s Apple ID and password. To do this without needing to have physical access to their phone you also need to:

  • disable 2 FA (2 factor authentication)
  • Backups need to be already running.

This is the only way this can work without having the phone in your possession – and it only applies to the iPhone. See my article covering mSpy’s No Jailbreak Version here for full details.

Next, let me show you the best apps you can use to see who someone is texting. As well as showing you how they work and what kind of data you get, I’ll also be sharing my main reviews with you.

mSpy for Monitoring Text Messages

The mSpy app is usually my top recommendation for someone looking for a spy app. It has been the best selling app for several years now so they must be doing something right. It is easy to use, has a great range of features and is very competitively priced.

mSpy is very advanced and to be honest monitoring text messages these days is seen as a basic feature. If all you want to do is see text messages and who they are texting then the basic version of mSpy will be all you need. That is – the cheapest. Check out my main review for full details of mSpy:

mSpy also have the No Jailbreak version mentioned above for iPhone tracking. They were the first to offer this service for iPhone monitoring and have perfected it.

With mSpy you’ll see every text sent and received including any images or files included in the message. You’ll also get detailed logs of time stamps and who texted who. Here you clearly see who someone is texting including their contact name and phone number.

One of the best things about mSpy is how well their reporting dashboard is set out. Everything is clear and easy to see. You can also download the reports.

Like most good quality apps you can see all reports simply by logging on to their online reporting dashboard – from anywhere and on any device.

Of course mSpy is well hidden from the phone user – they will not know that their text messages are being monitored.

FlexiSPY Advanced Monitoring

Next up is the FlexiSPY app. Again this is a very popular app that has been around for years now. That equals a reliable company! FlexiSPY is recognized as the most advanced spy software around today – thanks to their live call listening and call recording features.

FlexiSPY offers loads of other features and again, these days monitoring text messages is standard. I mean, that is what you would expect from a high quality spy app.

Beyond just seeing who they are texting you’ll also get access to their text message content. You can see everything – like actual texts, images and videos sent via text message. You’ll definitely see who someone is texting in detail. 

You also get other data like call logs (including time, duration and contact name), GPS location tracking built in (see their exact location on a map) and it will even let you see every website they visit. There’s lots more to this app but I’d better not list it all here or this article would never end. Be sure to check out my main review for all details.

FlexiSPY offer two versions: Basic and Extreme. They are both good but if you just want to monitor text messages then the basic version will be enough for you. They work for a range of devices including Android, iPhone and Blackberry phones.

One thing to note is that they do not offer the No Jailbreak system for iPhones. For their most advanced Extreme version it can be expensive but their Premium version is competitively priced and covers many great features.

I usually recommend FlexiSPY when people need that little bit extra in terms of voice call monitoring. Their advanced features are amazing and at present they are the only company to offer call listening and recording that actually works!

See Who They are Messaging on Other Apps

So far I’ve looked at SMS text messages sent and received on native text – on their phones. Of course today everyone seems to use other messaging apps to send messages. Especially kids!

I’m talking about messages sent on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp and more. The good news is that the monitoring apps above will cover most of these apps as well. Do check my reviews for coverage but both mSpy and FlexiSPY can spy on messages sent on a wide range of apps.

If you need to find out who your kids are texting – you need to be able to see who they are messaging online, no matter what app they are using.

who are they texting

Other Ways to See Who They are Messaging?

I mentioned above that you need to be on the lookout for some scams out there. Unfortunately some online marketing will try to convince you to try their “Free” text message reader, or SMS Finder. Stay away from these.

You will be asked to download an app or file that is basically adware or spam software. It will could infect your device with all kinds of problems – including slowing it down, draining the battery and most importantly making you lose control of your phone.

Another thing I see on forums is people asking how they can see who someone is texting for free or at least, really cheap. If you are thinking about anything like this – don’t bother. Companies offering this are usually scammers who will try to install malware on your phone, or collect your private data and sell it on the black market. Stay away from them at all costs!

Stick with one of the apps I’ve listed above and you’ll be fine. Using a quality phone spy app is the best way to monitor text messages in a reliable way. Plus you get the added benefit of monitoring other messaging apps and a lot more. Remember to stay legal!

Thanks for reading and good luck.

Author - Susan Kennedy

Hi there - I'm Susan Kennedy, a regular mom who has used spy apps for years now. I was fed up with spammy reviews and poor information so I started this website. I also teach how to improve your online security and stop unwanted spy apps. Reliable information from a real person!

Susan Kennedy author