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Tracking your child’s iPhone without their knowledge is a sensitive topic but can be accomplished through various methods. The primary methods include using the ‘Find My’ app, third-party parental control apps, or iCloud services. It’s important to have your child’s Apple ID credentials for some of these methods.

Using the ‘Find My’ App

The ‘Find My’ app is a built-in feature on iPhones that can be used for tracking. To utilize this feature, you need to have your child’s Apple ID credentials and ensure that the ‘Find My’ feature is activated on their device. This method is straightforward but requires access to your child’s Apple account details.

Third-Party Parental Control Apps

There are numerous third-party apps like mSpy, eyeZy, and Localize.mobi, designed to help parents monitor their children’s phone usage discreetly. These apps offer features like live GPS tracking, mobile geofencing, and access to various phone activities.

Understanding Parental Controls

Parental controls are essential tools for monitoring and managing your child’s digital activities. They can be used to set limitations on screen time and access to specific content. Google Family Link and Apple’s built-in parental controls are some of the free options available.

iCloud’s ‘Find My iPhone’ Feature

Using iCloud’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature from a computer is another method. By logging into icloud.com and selecting ‘Find My iPhone’, you can track the device using your child’s Apple ID credentials. This method works with any computer, including Windows PCs.

Setting Up Family Sharing for Location Tracking

Family Sharing on Apple devices allows you to share locations among family members. By setting up Family Sharing, you can keep track of your child’s location in real-time. This method is part of Apple’s ecosystem and is relatively easy to set up.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

It’s crucial to balance safety with respect for your child’s privacy. While tracking can be done for safety reasons, it’s important to consider the legal and ethical implications, especially with older children.

Discussing Safety with Your Child

Open communication about safety and the reasons behind tracking can foster trust. Discussing the use of tracking technology with your child can be an integral part of teaching them about responsible digital behavior.

Alternative Methods: Non-Technical Approaches

Besides technical solutions, non-technical approaches like setting ground rules, regular check-ins, and fostering an environment of trust are equally important. These methods can complement technical tracking for a comprehensive approach to your child’s safety.


Tracking your child’s iPhone without their knowledge is possible through various methods, each with its own set of pros and cons. It’s important to consider both the technical aspects and the ethical implications to ensure a balanced approach to your child’s safety and privacy.


Q1: Is it legal to track my child’s iPhone without their knowledge? A1: The legality depends on your location and the age of your child. Generally, it’s legal for parents to monitor their minor children’s phone activities, but it’s always good to check local laws.

Q2: Can these methods be used without my child’s Apple ID? A2: Most methods require access to your child’s Apple ID, especially for features like ‘Find My’ and iCloud tracking.

Q3: Are third-party parental control apps safe to use? A3: Reputable parental control apps are generally safe, but it’s important to research and choose one with strong privacy and security features.

Q4: How can I track my child’s iPhone without them knowing for free? A4: Using the ‘Find My’ app or iCloud’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature are free methods, provided you have access to your child’s Apple ID.

Q5: Should I inform my child that I am tracking their phone? A5: While it’s possible to track without informing your child, open communication about the reasons for tracking is recommended to maintain trust.

Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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