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How to Spy on iPhone Without Them Knowing

Whether you’re harboring suspicions about your significant other’s possible affair or get too concerned at times about how protected your child is online, gaining access to their cell phone may remain the only way to gain peace of mind.

If you’ve decided it’s time to play sleuth and spy on iPhone, you’d better know how to do that properly. For this article, we only picked the apps and gadgets with proven safety that do exactly what is promised. Still, no matter which option you go for, remember to exercise great caution while secretly operating in another person’s private space. 

3 Best Ways to Spy on iPhone in 2022

Depending on your access to the person’s credentials, your budget, and the data you wish to acquire, you are free to choose among several equally efficient ways of spying. Not all of them imply installing iPhone spy software or even approaching the device physically. We have prepared a detailed overview of the best available methods, including the prerequisites for using each, their scopes of application, as well as benefits and limitations.

#1: Spy on iPhone for Free with Apple ID

This method may save you the cash you’d otherwise have to invest into an iPhone spy app – however, it comes with many ‘if’s’ and relies on a fair amount of tinkering, both with the device and the iCloud service. Even then, you may still be unhappy with what you’ve managed to lay your hands on. This is how you do it in practice:

  • Make sure the target’s iPhone is synchronized with iCloud. The switch for cloud backup can be found in the corresponding submenu of the device’s Settings;
  • With the iCloud credentials that you have to obtain beforehand, log into the web version of the service from the device you’re using for spying;
  • Provided that you activate the iMessage feature, you should now be able to access the target’s GPS location, iMessage dialogues, photos, and browsing history.

As you can see, despite it being free and simple, the method only allows for partial access to what’s going on on another person’s iOS devices. Bear in mind that you also have to wait until the next synchronization happens for fresh data to pop up in the iCloud, which only happens once a day.

#2: uMobix – Best Spy App for iPhone

uMobix is an app that allows you to spy on iPhone with virtually limitless access to the data generated by its user in real time. This includes not only the standard Apple applications but also dozens of the most in-demand apps intended for socializing. uMobix is distributed on a monthly subscription basis – the full monthly pack costs $49.99. Using the uMobix spy app looks like this:

  • Upon purchase, install uMobix to your device of choice;
  • The app will prompt you to enter the target’s iCloud login information. This is only used to sync uMobix with the iOS account; no data is sent to third parties;
  • Complete the two-step authentication using the target’s device, if enabled. That’s right, you don’t have to either jailbreak or install the tracking app on their phone – a luxury unavailable to Android users;
  • Have patience while uMobix syncs up with the phone’s memory, cache, and online data;
  • Use your unlimited access wisely – now you can see practically everything on your uMobix dashboard, including screen time, calls, messages in apps, and much more. The coolest part is that the target won’t suspect a thing unless you meddle with the remote control conspicuously.

There is little else one could ask for when looking for a way to spy on iPhone – you get to see another person’s digital life in the tiniest detail, but then again – that’s if you have their iCloud password, so this method still relies on the prior investigation.

#3: Spy on iPhone with a Recovery Stick

This third option we’re reviewing conveniently bypasses the critical flaw of the two previous methods, namely the need to know your target’s Apple ID credentials. iPhone Recovery Stick contains special software on a USB drive allowing users to recover deleted data on an iOS device even if it is screen-locked.

This is, on the other hand, balanced by other limitations, including heavy reliance on physical access, yet it doesn’t make the recovery stick any less useful for some purposes. Upon buying one, you are supposed to follow these steps:

  • Gain control of the target device for no less than half an hour;
  • Connect it to a Windows PC (Mac won’t do) via USB;
  • While the iPhone is connected, insert the recovery stick into another port;
  • Allow up to 20 minutes for the stick to do its thing;

Using the simplistic interface of the app that comes on the gadget board, you can now access both the available and deleted contacts, messages (including iMessages and Facebook convos, but that’s just about it), photos, phone calls, and viewed browser pages. You can save and copy everything to a standard text file for further use.

If this data is enough to quench your concern, then spending $129 on the stick to spy on iPhone may be your best option, especially if you don’t know the coveted password and ID. Speaking of which, there are other ways around this problem that we’re looking at next.

How to Spy on iPhone Without Apple ID and Password?

Unless your target has willingly shared their account credentials, obtaining this data can be tricky – but not impossible. We’re going to leave the ‘analog’ means like looking for the sticky memos and peeping over the shoulder at your discretion while focusing on surefire digital methods, of which there are two: hiring an ‘ethical’ hacker or acquiring the data with iPhone spying apps to catch a cheater.

Resort to a Professional Hacker

For obvious reasons, hackers that offer commercial services do not disclose their exact methods of work, but it is safe to assume that they will attempt breaking into your target’s iPhone remotely by either tricking them into installing keylogger spyware (apps that track cursor movements and input symbols) or, perchance, brute-forcing the password (computer-assisted picking of the combination). The question is, how far will they go upon getting full access to the phone?

This method is, overall, the riskiest of all but can be chosen as a last resort when the target device is simply out of reach. We are not going to endorse any hacker names here, but a quick Google search will take you to their natural habitat – just be prepared that such iPhone spyware services from a trustworthy, ‘ethical’ hacker can easily bust your bank – we’re talking four to five-digit sums here.

Download an iPhone Spy App

Alternatively, you can spy on iPhone without the owner’s iCloud password using one of the innumerable phone tracker apps. This is a viable method if you prepare beforehand (most such apps require purchasing – at least those that have been proven to work) and can gain physical control of the device for at least several minutes.

Since there is no point in reinventing the wheel, such apps are often total lookalikes. Similarly to uMobix, reviewed earlier, they work in a background mode (double-check the menu of the target iPhone for the icon that would give it away) and are virtually impossible to track unless the target suspects something. All you have to do is to install a control app on a device of your own and spy on your target in real time via a dashboard or an analogous interface.

Monitoring Apps That Can Spy on iPhone Without Installation

If the methods we described above seem either too pricey, too burdensome, or maybe you simply don’t need such overwhelming control over another person’s private information, there are feasible alternatives for iPhone monitoring. None of them require installation onto the target phone, and such apps help you reveal only a particular type of data, so let’s take a look.

GEOfinder – The Ultimate Tracking Tool

GEOfinder is a very peculiar monitoring app that monetizes its services via trial and subscription, with a monthly cost of $39.99. What you get for the price is a chance (we’ll talk more about it later) to establish the precise location of someone’s phone using its GPS data. The service is provided directly on their website, so no tampering with hardware is needed indeed – the target can be on a different continent. This is the algorithm:

  • On the website, type in the desired number;
  • The search begins immediately, and it takes about a minute before they notify you whether it yielded anything;
  • If the search was a success, you are redirected to the payment screen. The initial deal is $1 for a two-day trial, with automatic subscription activation after the period expires;
  • Upon successful transaction, the search results will appear on the screen.

A dream-come-true iPhone tracker? Well, here’s the catch: while the service truly works as claimed, the target must share their location with GEOfinder in order for it to do anything. The request is sent via SMS, containing a geo-data sharing link. Even if they click on it, a system confirmation screen will pop up, giving them time to think. The good part is that you can edit these text messages, so you’d better come up with something convincing.

Cocospy – More Than a Child’s Play

Advertised as a versatile tool for parental control, Cocospy can easily double as an infidelity checker or any other similar purpose. The data is sent to your dashboard in real time and includes calls, messages across all social media cheating, visual content, locations, and much more. A quick guide to Cocospy looks like this:

  • Install the dashboard app on your device;
  • Hook up your account to the target’s iCloud;
  • Wait a few moments for the data sync;
  • Enjoy your ability to spy on iPhone at any given moment.

It’s safe to say the app combines all the flaws and benefits of uMobix, and its monthly subscription price equals $49.99 as well. Ultimately, the choice between them boils down to your personal preferences – you may find uMobix’s customer support to be more responsive, as we did, or simply prefer the layout and design of one app’s dashboard over another.

XNSPY – Gain Complete Control

If you want to not just passively spy on iPhone but control it as if you were the user, then go for XNSPY. Of all the products we reviewed, it has the longest list of remote commands, including screen and ambient sound recording, deleting or blocking the apps, and even turning the phone on and off. Surely it’s not the best option for clandestine spying, but if you act on a mutual agreement with your child, it may make sense.

Using XNSPY is identical to uMobix and Cocospy, so if you need installation instructions, see the corresponding sections above. What’s different about the app’s web interface is the fact that it has password protection against reverse spying and informative diagrams with a visual representation of recent activity. From the financial standpoint, the subscription to XNSPY is slightly lower than that of its competitors – full access to the app’s features will cost you $35.99 per month.

Final Words

The market of tools one can use to spy on iPhone is diverse enough to let you choose anything from cheap basic options to fully-fledged remote access apps. You may think of any similar activity as morally wrong and unethical – however, this article by Financial Times on the ethics of spying begs to differ, substantiating the perspective that it’s not so much about how you obtain the information but what you actually do with it afterward. 


Your burning questions about the iPhone spy apps are all answered below:

How are spy apps regulated from a legal standpoint?

Using spyware is not considered a personal data breach if the device belongs to you and the person you spy on is informed about such surveillance and consented to it. Theoretically, it means you are okay with using such apps with your kids’ devices, but not so much if the target is an unsuspecting adult.

Are there any free spy apps out there?

Yes, but you must avoid them like fire because they are a flagrant scam. At best, they will drain your personal data, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Always stay vigilant and dig up as much trustworthy feedback as possible.

Is there a way to spy on iPhone remotely if I don’t have the owner’s iCloud password?

Not that we know of. In cases like that, your only option would be to hire a hacker, but you may get scammed faster than you can say ‘spy’. Although, it is possible to reveal the phone’s location via GEOfinder remotely if that’s the only thing you need.

What if the target changes their iCloud password?

Bad luck. You’ll have to somehow lay your hands on the new credentials to log into the spy app. As soon as the credentials are changed, your app of choice will automatically log out and stop tracking the data.