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free cell phone monitoring for parents SPY

22 Apps for Parents to Monitor Kids’ Mobile UseKids and mobile devices can be a scary mix. Whether your toddler is just starting to use your family tablet or your teen has a new smartphone of her own, check out the wide variety of apps and software — free and paid — that you can use to monitor and limit her mobile activity. If you would like to allow your kids to have some privacy and independence online, but worry about things like cyberbullying or too much screen time, these apps may help. And remember, new social media apps pop up all the time, so educate your kids about social media safety and “digital citizenship” from an early age.

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There are a lot of benefits to allowing your child to have a mobile phone. It helps to keep them safe because they can always call you if they are in trouble. It also helps them to maintain a healthy social life with their friends. However, there are a lot of dangers that come along with owning a phone, and it’s important that parents are able to control their child’s usage properly. You need to know whether they are accessing websites that are unsuitable for them, and being able to track their location can help you to make sure that they are safe. Having access to messages and emails is also a good way to protect them from online predators and bullies. 

A lot of parents have taken to using free spy apps on their child’s phone so they can monitor all of their activities and make sure that they are safe. There are a lot of different ones out there, so we have put together a list of the best.

what is cell phone monitoring
what is cell phone monitoring

Jump to:-

  • Free Spy Apps for iPhone
  • Free Spy Apps for Android

Free Spy Apps for iPhone

Every parent wants what is best for their kids, especially when it comes to their safety. In this digital era, it’s important to monitor your child’s activities on their smartphones to ensure their safety. This is because smartphones expose kids to various risks, such as online predators, adult content, and cyberbullies, among others. That’s you need a parental control app.

  1. Family Orbit
  2. TeenOrbit
  3. TeenShield
  4. Bark
  5. MobiCip

Family Orbit

Family Orbit is the best all-round monitoring app for your child’s phone because it has a whole range of features that you can use to protect them. It has a great GPS feature so you can locate the entire family any time you like. You can also keep a close eye on their messages, calls, and internet browsing history. Family Orbit also lets you view the photos and videos that are stored on their phone to make sure that they are not viewing any content that is not suitable for their age. If you want a comprehensive piece of software that helps you to protect your child by monitoring their phone, Family Orbit is the best choice. 

Compatibility: iOS 9.0 – 13

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $19.95 per month for up to 3 devices.

Methods for iPhone Spy: iCloud, iTunes, iOS app

Family Orbit is one of the few apps we reviewed that works with iOS 13. You can monitor text messages, iMessage, WhatsApp, Kik and other chat messengers using the Family Orbit app. It is the only app to offer all-round monitoring features using an iOS App, iCloud based Service and a Desktop software to extract logs from iTunes.

Install the iOS app on your child’s phone to keep an eye on the real-time location of your child, as well as get notifications when they arrive at or leave from your specified geofence locations. Besides location tracking, you can also spy on your child’s address book, calendar events, mobile data usage, photos, and device logs such as WiFi hotspots they connect to.

Family Orbit also offers the iCloud based monitoring, where you can monitor the phone logs such as call history, websites visited, text messages, photos, location and more by simply providing your child’s Apple ID credentials. You need not jailbreak or install an app on the child’s phone. Here’s how it works?

Get your free trial key here and sign up for your account.

Add Your Child’s Apple ID Credentials.

Select the Device You wish to Monitor

Get Report Emails or View the Logs Online Anytime.

[Sign Up Here]

Finally, if your Apple ID is protected with 2FA or you wish to monitor iMessages, WhatsApp, KIK, and other comprehensive logs, you should consider using the Family Orbit Desktop App. You need to install the Family Orbit Desktop software on your computer (Windows or macOS) and configure your child’s iPhone to remotely backup to your computer. 

Family Orbit Desktop will decode the backup and upload the logs to your private online account. The process happens automatically and wirelessly so you seldom need to connect your child’s iPhone to your computer to fetch new logs.

TeenOrbit Spy App

TeenOrbit is one of the most effective free spy apps for monitoring your child’s calls and texts in order to protect them from cyberbullying and online predators. After the free 3 day trial, you will have to pay a subscription, but it will help you to keep your child safe. Cyberbullying is very common these days but a lot of children will keep it to themselves and won’t tell their parents, so the situation escalates. But with free spy apps like TeenOrbit, you will know if there is a problem right away. 

Children that are targeted by online predators may also be confused by the situation and will not realize that something is wrong, which is why you need monitoring apps like TeenOrbit to help you protect your child.

Compatibility: iOS 10.0 – 13

Free Trial: 3-day Free Trial

Price: $19.95 per month.

Methods for iPhone Spy: iCloud

Using TeenOrbit is very easy. Simply download the app on your own (the parent’s) phone.

You can create an account and activate the free trial.

Once done, enter the child’s Apple ID credentials and select the device he or she uses.

Now the app will fetch logs from your child’s iCloud account and display it in the interface as and when it becomes available.

does cell phone monitoring
does cell phone monitoring

Bark Monitoring for Parents

Bark is a new free spy app that you can use for a limited time without paying. It is built as a non-intrusive app to report only concerned activities rather than a comprehensive log of everything. Bark is mainly focused on monitoring your child’s internet usage and making sure that they are not accessing anything that could be harmful to them. You can connect as many different social media accounts and other websites as you like, and Bark will monitor your child’s activity. The best feature is that it will send you notifications if the software picks up on something concerning. This means that Bark is always working alongside you to help you monitor your child and keep them safe.

Compatibility: iOS 10.0 – 13

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $99.99 per annum.

Methods for iPhone Spy: iTunes

Bark app for iPhone works in a similar manner as Family Orbit Desktop. You have to download an app on your computer and configure your child’s iPhone to create a wireless backup to the same computer. Once done, the Bark desktop app will decode and upload the logs to your online account. You will receive email alerts as well as view the alert notifications online.

Mobicip Internet Filter

Blocking certain websites from your child’s phone is so important because there is a lot of damaging content out there. When they are using a device at home, it’s easier to keep an eye on what they are doing. But if they are out of the house, you don’t have any control. Unless, of course, you install the free spy app Mobicip. It gives you different levels of protection for children of different ages and blocks content like pornography, violence, gambling websites, and dating sites. 

Compatibility: iOS 9.0 – 12

Free Trial: No Free Trial

Price: $89.99 per annum.

Methods for iPhone Spy: iOS App with MDM and VPN

Mobicip offers an iPhone app that you need to install on your child’s phone as well as install an MDM profile to be able to monitor and filter website activity. Mobicip is recommended for younger children who may accidentally visit an inappropriate website. Mobicip provided limited monitoring activities and suffered a recent blockage from Apple.

Free Spy Apps for Android

The best free spy apps for Android should have features that will help you protect your kids from online dangers. Such features include content filtering, app blocking, phone activities management, e.g., texting, GPS location tracking, social media management, and web browser monitoring. They should also have key aspects such as a well-designed dashboard, flexible usability, and real-time monitoring notifications.

  1. Family Orbit
  2. mTracker
  3. Mobile Spy
  4. My Spy
  5. Norton Family

Family Orbit 

Family Orbit has set gold standards when it comes to Android parental control that enable you to install limits on Android and iOS devices. It has an integrated system incorporating all aspects of parental control. With a well-designed user interface, the app is easy to use without complexity. It allows you to set limits and boundaries for your children without having to take their freedom away entirely. Its rich feature set includes GPS tracker, phone usage monitoring, screen time limitations, app blocking, web filtering, Geofencing, and many more.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 10

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $19.95 per month for up to 3 devices.

Here’s a step-by-step instructions video that guide you how to set up Family Orbit:

how to block cell phone monitoring
how to block cell phone monitoring

Mobile Spy 

Mobile Spy is a very popular piece of software because it is one of the only services that offers a live monitoring system that you can access from your computer. Once you install the software on your child’s phone, you will be able to track their location, look at their call history, view their messages, and check their internet history. You can see all of this information on a live feed from your computer and get instant GPS updates so you know exactly where your child is and what they are doing at all times. There is also a feature that allows you to send a notification when you are monitoring their phone, so your child knows that you are watching.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 7

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $89.95 per annum for up to 3 devices.

mTracker – Mobile Tracker

mTracker for Android is a simple and easy to use mobile location tracking app. You can track the location of your child on a real-time map and also view the location history of the child’s phone at any time. Above all, it is completely FREE to use the tracking app and the only downside is the ads displayed inside the app. 

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 10

Free Trial: Free

Price: $0

Phone Sheriff

Phone Sheriff enables parents to spy phone usage of their child’s cell phone. It works well with all Android phones and tablets. It offers flexible screen time management that enables you to set limits for your kid’s online activities. With advanced internet filtering, you can restrict inappropriate content that your kid may come across. This software has an incredibly efficient feature where you can get real-time updates of your child’s location. You can monitor text messages, block phone numbers, and have access to their call history. In addition, the app also provides profanity alerts.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 7

Free Trial: No Trial

Price: $89.00 per annum for up to 3 devices.

mSpy (My SPY)

mSpy is one of the leading spyware apps offered. It possesses a fully customized interface with all the necessary functions. This offers a suite of features where parents can read text messages, view call history, block apps, and web content, track the child’s location, and monitor internet activities. You can easily install the app without having to be there physically as long as you have the target device’s iCloud account details. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 9

Free Trial: No Free Trial.

Price: $89.95 per annum for up to 3 devices.

how to stop cell phone monitoring
how to stop cell phone monitoring

Norton Family Premier

Norton Family Premier is a comprehensive spyware app from Symantec that protects iOS, Android and Windows devices. However, it’s not compatible with Macs. It’s user-friendly with a well laid out monitoring dashboard and settings menu. You can monitor your child’s web content and be able to view web history by category. Another feature is the location tracker which enables you to know where your kids are. You can get access to their text messages and call logs, installed apps, the videos they watch, as well as be able to limit their screen time.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 9

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $89.95 per annum for up to 3 devices.

Qustodio Parental Spy App

In this digital era, Qustodio parental phone spy app has proven to be one of the best apps for managing kids’ online activities. It comes with a powerful filtering technology to protect your child from inappropriate and harmful content. It has a variety of features that enable you to block adult content, view social network activity, track calls and SMS, control games, limit screen time, and track location. This app is compatible with a variety of devices, including Windows, Android, Mac OS X, iOS, Kindle and Nook.

Compatibility: Android 4.4 – 9

Free Trial: 7-day Free Trial

Price: $89.95 per annum for up to 3 devices.

Questions You Might Have About Spy Apps

Do spy apps really work?

Both Yes and No! It really depends on if you fall for a scam or if you buy it from a reputable company offering a working product. How do you figure this out? First, use common sense. A “Money-Back” Guarantee is the oldest trick in the book. The fine prints in the refund policies of these companies will never let you get your money back. If they are really that out and about their products, they would offer a free trial.

Second, use a payment provider who is easier to approach and cancel your charges if need be. Several times customers keep requesting these companies requesting to cancel their subscriptions – only to be given runarounds. Reputable order processing companies include PayPal, FastSpring, PayPro, Avangate, BlueSnap, etc.

Also, if it is too good to be true – it probably is. Remote installation of spy apps is impossible on Android phones. Remote spying is possible on iPhone only if your Apple ID is NOT protected with 2FA and even then you would occasionally need administrative access to the device to unlock your Apple ID.

And, finally, check your own motto. If your motto is to use spy apps illegally you are most likely to fall for the scamsters. Avoid that, the only legal uses of the spy apps are to monitor your own underage children or employees with whom you have written consent. Be warned, using spy software for any other reason may get you in legal trouble. Consult your local legal experts before signing up for any spyware apps.

how to install cell phone monitoring software
how to install cell phone monitoring software

Can someone spy on my phone without touching it?

No, it is extremely hard to spy on a phone without touching it. We read about such things every now and then, regarding vulnerabilities found in popular apps leading to backdoor spyware to be dropped. However, this remains very difficult for commoners to be able to do so. If you suspect your phone has spyware without your knowledge, you can use these tips to detect spy apps on your phone.

What is Rooting or Jailbreaking?

Rooting is a process in the Android phone of accessing “root” or “superuser” permission in the phone’s operating system. Once this is achieved, an app can do “what it wants” and “where it wants”. Like the spy app can read your Facebook Messenger database, or it can manipulate your phone to make international calls without your knowledge. It is dangerous, voids your warranty and no goods come from putting your phone to this insecure environment. Unless you are a developer or technical expert, avoid rooting your Android phones.

Jailbreaking is a similar process but for the iPhone where the program allowed “root” access to the device operating system. Earlier spyware apps like Mobile Spy and Flexispy required you to jailbreak your iPhone to be able to install their spy apps but now most of them have switched to the iCloud based method. Jailbreaking has become a cat-and-mouse game between jailbreak community and Apple, where Apple is winning the game by releasing updates almost immediately as and when new jailbreak surfaces so for years new working Jailbreak has not come for iOS. We do not recommend jailbreaking your iPhone to install hidden spy apps.

How Spy Phone App Helps You?

There are two use-cases for spy apps for cell phones.

  • Monitor Your Underage Child,
  • Monitor Your Employees.

You can spy on your kids using one of the spy apps listed above if you are the parent or the legal guardian of your child. The child must be under 18 years of age and it might be a good idea to convey your intention to your child beforehand. We offer a cell phone contract just for this case.

Also, you can “monitor” but not “spy” on your employees on their company-issued cell-phones with a written and signed agreement between the employer and employee. Please note, Family Orbit is not offered for employee monitoring.

Is it Possible to Track a Phone by its Number?

No, it is not possible to track a phone without installing a spy phone app on it. However, you can find the Caller ID details of the cell phone number owner by using a Phone Number Tracker Apps. You can find the information like the name, address, social media profiles of the person who is associated with the phone number. However, it is impossible to find the real-time location of the mobile user just by tracking by its phone number.

You can download Number Tracker Pro for Android and iPhone.

how to remove cell phone monitoring software
how to remove cell phone monitoring software

What is Keylogger for Android and iPhone?

On Android, some fo the spy apps will install a custom keyboard. Once activated, every key entered on the phone in any app will be automatically captured by the spyware and logged to your online account. This may help discover the content of messages shared on Snapchat and other messengers who are otherwise difficult to monitor using other methods. However, since there is a huge possibility of abuse with this method we do not offer this method in our Family Orbit app.

Please note, keylogger functionality on the iPhone is impossible to obtain because of Apple’s closed ecosystem.

How do spy apps work?

Spy Apps are just like any other mobile apps with the exception that they are designed to read information from out-side-the-box rather than minding their own business. They can read all the notifications sent on your mobile device, they can read all the call history, text messages, websites visited on your phone and make a log of them and upload them to an online server. The spy app runs in the background of the device operating system, listening for new conversations and silently processing them. Even though the amount of data they process is large, the apps itself have a small footprint and utilizes limited resources.

Can Spy Apps be Detected?

Yes, spy apps can be detected. You can watch for signs of spyware like slow responding phones, overuse in mobile data plans, notifications or alerts. You can also scroll through the list of installed “Apps” on your phone and watch for suspicious apps that require a ton of permission to function. Click here to find more information about detecting spy apps on your phone.

When Should I Buy Spy App?

You got your kid a new phone and he or she can’t get his eyes off the phone. Spy phone apps may be helpful if you suspect your child may be suffering from cyberbullying, extortions, online dangers, sexting, alcohol or drug addiction or peer pressure. Spy software will help detect early signs of dangers and help you in being proactive in protecting your children from situations that may hamper their life later. While having an open conversation always help, sometimes by nature young children are rebellious and prefer to break the house rules. Tracking and monitoring your child will help you protect them better from both cyber threats and real-life dangers like abductions and extortions.

Before you install any software on your phone, always make sure that it comes from a reliable company because there are a lot of fake apps out there.

It’s important for parents to have a solid set of parental monitoring and tracking installed to keep their children safe. Though Android and iOS devices have monitoring and restriction features, you need more robust spy & monitoring software to ensure the safety of your child and be able to guide them as they grow up. All the above monitoring apps are great and undetectable. It’s up to you to decide on the one that fits your needs best. Start your free trial of Family Orbit today!

FamiGuard is the one of the best cell phone monitoring apps for parents available on the internet. This amazing tool is a very effective phone monitoring app that will protect your children and help you keep an eye on them by any means. It has all the advanced features that a great phone monitor should have. As for the compatibility, its iOS version is under developing.


  • It will allow you to limit screen timing of your kid’s phone.
  • It will help you block access to inappropriate apps and filter web content.
  • You will be able to know the real-time location of your kid’s phone.
  • It has location history feature that allows you to know where your kid’s have been.
  • The geo-fence alert will help you set an area and know when your kid’s are going out of that area.
  • You will get information about app activity, web activity and activity summary from your kid’s phone.

Compatibility: It supports Android 9.0 to 4.1 operated devices.

2. Highster Mobile

Highster Mobile has made cell phone monitoring easier on iPhone. It has great features like GPS tracking, call and text messages tracking, view browser history, access photos, videos, apps and contacts, monitor social media activities etc.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with all Android and iOS devices.

3. ESET Parental Control

ESET Parental Control app is another special app that will allow you to monitor your kid’s phone and control their phone usage so that they get the freedom they deserve according to their age. This app will allow you to ensure your kid’s phone usage in various useful ways. It has time limits options for apps and application guard to filter inappropriate apps from your kid’s phone. The Web guard feature will allow you to monitor and filter inappropriate websites from your kid’s phone. It also has various phone monitoring advanced features such as SOS button, geo-fencing, GPS locations tracking etc. Its SOS button is more preferred by many parents.

Compatibility: Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.

4. Net Nanny cell phone monitoring

Net Nanny is a great parental control phone monitoring app that can monitor multiple devices at the same time. It’s considered as one of the best monitoring app that stops your kid’s from going into the wrong way of the internet. It has great web filtering feature that blocks inappropriate websites and gives access to useful sites. It has app blocker that blocks apps and games that are addictive for your kids. It also has simple operating process.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with Android, iOS, Windows and Mac devices.

5. Screentime

Screentime is a helpful parental control app that will help you manage the time your kids spend on their smartphones and tablets. It has amazing features like time limits, help kids with homework and learning things, schedule periods, instant pause, website history monitoring, app monitoring etc. It acts as a great tool for communicating with friends. It helps your kids to gain healthy behaviors and activities but it doesn’t help build creative thinking.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with iPhone and Android devices.

6. PhoneSheriff

PhoneSheriff is another special mobile monitoring app that can monitor multiple devices together. It can monitor your kid’s activities on their phone and monitor their calls and text messages. It has a built in camera monitoring option and photo editing option. It can also monitor browsing history, app usage and location of your kid’s phone.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

7. MobiStealth cell phone monitoring

MobiStealth is one of the best cell phone monitoring apps because it has a good range of parental control features. It will allow you to view text messages, app list, monitor social media and web browsing, track location, emails, pictures, keylogging, surround recording, call recording, email tracking etc.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

8. Ourpact cell phone monitoring

Ourpact is not a normal parental control app because of its various features. It’s one of the best family locator and screen time managing app available on the internet. You can easily use this app to schedule screen time and block unnecessary apps on your kid’s phone. It can manage up to 20 devices at the same time and it has app time schedule feature. It has many advanced features but it doesn’t support much it’s free users.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with Android devices.

9. Surfie cell phone monitoring

Surfie is a helpful parental control mobile monitoring app that will give you text alerts about your kid’s device activities. It will allow you to monitor the contacts of your kid’s phone and block websites, apps, games, social media messengers etc. It also has keyword and phrase alert that allows you to monitor your kid’s phone ans save them from cyberbullying.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices.

10. Qustodio

Qustodio is an amazing parental control app with various helpful features. It’s designed to protect and manage your kid’s device remotely. You will be able to keep your kid’s free from any cyber threats and protect them from inappropriate content. It totally blocks pornography, tracks social media activities, control games and app usage, balance screen time, tracking location, calls and SMS etc.

Compatibility: It’s compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS and Kindle.

Conclusion cell phone monitoring

In the end, this article has a great list of best parent cell phone monitoring apps available on the internet. You can choose any one of these parent phone monitoring apps and you will be greatly benefitted by them. These apps are built to protect your children from any online and offline harms. If you are still confused which one of these apps will provide best cell phone monitoring for parents, then you can blindly put your trust on FamiGuard. This is the most effective parental control app that will give you undoubtedly the best guaranteed monitoring for your kid’s phone. So start using FamiGuard to prostect your children from any harm.

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