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[5 Ways] Track My Child's Phone without Them Knowing for Free

Elsa Updated on Jul 14, 2023 Filed to: Parent Control

Societies are increasingly becoming unsafe. Social unrest, shooting, and bullying are a few issues arising from the absence of safety in many communities. Also, the internet has shown that there are many more security loopholes. Its digital setup means that new vulnerabilities are being discovered daily. Many people affected by these insecurities and vulnerabilities are family members and friends.

track my child's phone without them knowing for free

To ensure that they are protected and safe, it is advised that we watch each other closely. For instance, the best way to preserve my kid is to track my child's phones without them knowing for free. This article will further explore how to keep our children safe by tracking their phones without them knowing for free.

Part 1: Why You Should Track Your Child's Phone

The world is becoming dangerous by the day, and you need to maintain peace of mind. As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring that their actions will not unknowingly harm them, their friends, or others.

Hence, it would be best if you track your child's phone. Keeping track of the activities on your child's phone will keep you informed about their behavior and decisions. You can advise them on the troublesome or harmful ones. Also, you can easily spot a scam and help them avoid it.

On the other hand, parents should not also allow their child have sleepless school nights because they are playing games. And one of the ways to know this is by monitoring the phone of such a child.

However, a child may feel trust is missing if the parent bugs their phone with a tracker. So it is advised that parents can let the child know through an open discussion that you will be tracking them.

If you do not want them to see, you can get up the tracking app without their knowledge and not give them a clue of what you are doing.

Part 2. 5 Ways to Track My Child's Phone without Them Knowing for Free

This section discusses five main options to track a child's phone without them knowing. Hence, you can pick the one that suits your need the most without being detected or grey-balled.

1Free Child Phone Tracker App

AirDroid Family Locator is a full-feature tracking app. It is a safekeeping tool for parents to protect their children from physical and online harm. Its interface makes it easy for parents to track their children from other devices. These features allow you to enable many functions that relay the action on your child's phone to you.

AirDroid Parental Control

Key Features

  • Track kid's Android phone location in real-time and without them knowing
  • Remotely monitor your kid's phone surroundings
  • Monitor online activities in real-time and review daily or weekly report
  • Sync social media apps' notifications, such as Facebook Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp
  • Set geofenced zones and get instant alerts
  • Schedule screen time and app usage to help kids build healthy digital habits
  • Block or restrict specific inappropriate apps and new apps
google play blackapp store black

2Free Cell Phone Tracker by Number

Instead of using an app, you can use the phone number of the phone to track your child. This method does not often offer full features like using a dedicated tracking app. However, some apps that use numbers to track cell phones have full features. Most apps and methods (like service providers) that follow a phone with the number only provide your child's location. Some online options to track your child's cell phone using a number are GPS Mobile Number Tracker, Phone Location, Phone Number Tracker, etc.

GPS Mobile Number Tracker

3Phone's Built-in Functions

Both Android and iOS phones have in-built functions that can help you track a phone. For instance, Android phones with Google enabled can use the Find My Device feature. Samsung devices have a similar Find My Mobile feature that you can use to track your child's location. Apple has a dedicated Find My iPhone feature to track its user's phones.

Google Find My Device to track my child's phone without them knowing for free

If you know their account before, you can track kids' phones without them knowing.

4Google Family Link - Track Your Child's Android Phone for Free

Google Family Link is a setup account created by Google. It is designed to help parents monitor all digital activities their children are involved in. It helps you track your child's Android phone for free, and as such, It could be used to track your children's online activities without them knowing.

Google Family Link free app to track phone without them knowing

With Google Family Link, parents can have a uniform platform to track the activities of their wards in the system. Also, it provides a range of features such as age content filters, easy integration with other Android devices, remote device locking, and many more. All of these features help to protect your kids and help you take control of your child's exposure online.

5Google Maps - Free Child Phone Locator for Android & iOS

Google Maps is one tool that can track your child's phone without them knowing. However, it is important to note that Google Maps is not a tracking tool. It contains certain features that make it easy to track your child's phone without them knowing.

Google Maps track my child's phone without them knowing

With Google Maps, you have a location-sharing tool at your disposal. Use your child's phone and send you a location-sharing message on Google Maps; then, you may track your child's location without them knowing. So it makes family locations possible. Aside, Google Maps comes with a feature that enables you to access the Android function "Find My Device."

Bonus Tips to Choose the Right App to Track Your Child's Phone

If you're still not sure which software can help you track your kid's phone without them knowing, you might want to check out our suggestions:

  • Get a rough idea of where your child is: Free Cell Phone Tracker by Number
    Cons: Results aren't always precise or accurate.
  • Track your child's phone location without installing an app: Built-in phone features
    Cons: Can't track if your child's phone isn't linked to yours or if they unlink it themselves
  • Track your child's location for free: Google Family Link
    Cons: Limited location tracking features.
  • Track your kid's location for free without any parental control software: Google Maps
    Cons: The shared location link might get discovered and stopped by your child at any time.
  • Track your kid's phone for more than just location: AirDroid Parental Control
    Cons: Can't track if location services are turned off.
  • google play blackapp store black

Part 3. Can I See Everything on My Child's Phone Without Them Knowing

Yes, you can see everything on your child's phone without them knowing. You need to monitor their phone discreetly with a phone monitoring app. However, not all monitoring apps are discreet and invisible. Hence, you should use an app like the AirDroid Parental Monitoring app that works in stealth mode.

While you want to install the monitoring app on your child's phone, you should wait until the child has gone to school or out to play with friends. Also, you can use phone features that allow you to hide apps. Once the app is kept from sight, it becomes almost impossible for the child to know that their phone is being tracked.

One of the things that can make your child know that their phone is being watched is changes in their phone settings. Hence, avoid making unnecessary changes to their phone from your tracking app. For instance, some tracking app allows you to block certain apps, turn off location, lock your child's phone, etc. Give parental counsel for why changes should be made to certain settings and ensure they are there when making the changes.

Once their susception is raised about how those changes were made, tracking their phone may become more difficult. It would be best if you also were careful not to raise a point that will tip them off about being monitored. During discussions, avoid using information obtained while tracking their phone, except if there is an additional source to confirm the information.

Part 4. What You Want to Track on Your Kid's Phone

The purpose of tracking your child is to protect them from harm and prevent them from making grave mistakes. Hence, it would be best to specify what you want to track on your kid's phone.


Some parental control tools allow parents to monitor their child's surrounding, knowing what is going on there at the moment. Parents can easily know the events occurring there and understand their kid's current situation.

Live location

You can easily know the current location of your child. You can track your child's real-time location to ensure your child's safety or make sure your child is not in an inappropriate place. For example, your child is arriving at school for class and not skipping to hang out.


You want to ensure your child is not exposed to cyberbullying or harassment in the neighborhood and at school.


Older folks may want to take sexual advantage of your child. Tracking helps prevent your child from such danger by knowing who they speak with and go out with.


Children are curious creatures, and the internet has the answers to satisfy their curiosities. One of those curiosities is sex and pornography. You want to ensure your child is not accessing inappropriate sites and sharing their nudity with anyone, especially strangers.


Children are not very watchful in identifying the intention of strangers. Hence, they can easily be targeted with ads to defraud them of their money or any other valuable.


Kidnapping for ransom is another danger to children. You can track their movement and know that they are safe.

Addiction (Drug and Alcohol)

There are growing chains or means of accessing drugs in society. Many bars do not require a means of identification to sell alcohol. Hence, you want to track your child to ensure they do not fall victim to addiction to these social vices.

Part 5. How to Prepare the Kid's Phone for Tracking

The target phone often requires app installation that is linked to your device. However, some phones require rooting or jailbreaking. It is best to buy a phone and root it or jailbreak it immediately to avoid the child's suspicion. However, if you don't want to root their Android phones, you can install the kids' version of the AirDroid Parental Control. Then, you can hand it to them as a gift.

Part 6. Weighing the Pros and Cons of Tracking Your Child's Phone

While it is good to track your child's phone, it is very important to compare the pros and cons of what you are about to do so you can make the best decision.

Let's start with the benefits:

Safety and Security

Tracking your child's phone helps you monitor your children for their security and their safety. This is because it gives you access to their location and probably what is going on around them.

Prevention of Cyberbullying

Tracking your child's phone helps you to monitor how your child interacts in the digital space and can provide you with heads-up information about what is happening to your child. This, in the long run, helps in early detection and prevention of Cyberbullying.

Control over Screen Time

Monitoring your child's over-screen time is tracking your child's phone. Usually, most phone tracking apps come with screen time and control which can be used to monitor and regulate how long your child spends on the device.

Inappropriate Content

When you track your children's phones without them knowing, you can easily regulate the kind of content they get. This is because you can use age restriction to restrict the kind of programs or content they watch, which helps prevent them from harmful content.

The Potential drawback and cons:

Privacy Invasion

Tracking your child's phone without them knowing is a breach of privacy that can breed distance between you and your child. And as such, it should be approached cautiously.

Overdependence on Technology

Tracking your child's phone may make you over-dependent on technology and lead you to ignore other aspects of child raising.

Creating Anxiety

Tracking your children's phones could create Anxiety and some forms of worry, particularly on the part of the parent.

Stifling Independence

Tracking your child's phone unawares could damage your child's sense of freedom. It could also restrict some of their actions and reduce their independence.

Part 7. Consider Discussing Phone Tracking with your Kids First

Tips for Having an Open Conversation

Choose the Right Place and Time

To successfully have this discussion with your kids, you must discuss it at the appropriate place and time; failure to do this could lead to tension and distrust.

Express Your Intensions Honestly

Though our topic is tracking your child's phone without their knowledge, we still recommend parents be honest about their intentions when monitoring their child's phone.

Being honest with your child demonstrates respect and care for your child and does not diminish your child's trust in you.

Listen to the Child's Perspective

Ensure the conversation is a free-flowing conversation that is not authoritative. To do this, you have to listen to the child too. Learn what your child thinks about cell phone monitoring through conversations and answer any questions your child has.

Also, you can learn about what your child is currently interested in or concerned about, making it easy to customize the content or app your child can and cannot access when you monitor a cell phone.

Discuss Boundaries and Expectations

It is important to have boundaries and expectations to ensure a fair and open standard. We do not support completely dictatorial phone monitoring.

Implementing phone monitoring that parents and children agree on under one standard helps children develop a sense of rules and does not cause them to lose trust in their parents.

Educate Them about Online Danger

Educating children about the dangers online can help increase receptiveness to the plan, making it easy to comply.

Building Trust with Your Child

After establishing communication with them, it is important to build trust with your kids; you can do that by ensuring the following:

Respecting Privacy

It is important to stay within the agreed boundaries. Except in emergencies, parents should refrain from any exploratory behavior that violates the agreement with the child and risks breaking trust with the child if the child learns of it.

Encourage Open Conversations

Open conversations serve as a way to get feedback and more from their expression. Encourage your child to initiate a conversation with you. You can also guide your child to express their ideas or opinions. Talk about anything, but remember not to use a preachy or scolding tone, or your child will be frustrated and refuse a conversation.

Be a Role Model

Being a role model makes it easy for children to follow. Trust and compliance can be achieved once the parents set good examples and become good role models.

Encourage Them to Make Choices

It is important to give children some level of freedom within acceptable limits to choose what they want. It can boost the trust of your child.

Regularly Discuss Phone Usage

You can regularly discuss cell phone use with your child, who is under cell phone monitoring. Listen to whether the situation inconveniences your child. If your child's reasons are valid, you may consider whether to relax the intensity of monitoring their cell phone.

Part 8. Balancing Tracking Your Child's Phone and Their Independence

Also, it is important to balance phone tracking and children's children's independence. Here are some tips:

Encouraging Responsible Phone Use

Set online etiquette: Set clear rules and guidelines for the children; this helps them regulate their behavior and not do anything undesirable.

Cultivate online critical thinking skills: Guide your child to cultivate online critical thinking skills that can help them to interact successfully in digital space without being scammed, bullied, and blackmailed.

Set Screen Time Limits: Screen limits, when implemented, would ensure that children enjoy the flexibility of independence within a specified period. Also, it creates a healthy environment for children to use cell phones and avoid over-indulgence in the internet.

Fostering Independence While Maintaining Safety

Allowing more freedom over time: If your child can perform well under the monitoring standards you set, you may consider lifting some of the restrictions on your child's phone overtime to give them some freedom.

Teach cyber safety skills: It is important to teach children cyber safety skills to guide how they use the media. Children could be conducted online privacy, online literacy, cyber security, and more.

Offer support without intrusion: It is always important to have limits when interacting with children, particularly when helping out on any issue.


AirDroid Parental Control is the best solution to ensure your child is safe online. It has features that can help you keep track of your child's location anywhere and anytime. In addition, you can listen to the child's environment, watch where the child is, and get alerts about what the child may be doing.

More than what you have expected, right? Download to try to track your kid's phone for free right now.

FAQs about Tracking My Child's Phone 

Q 1. How Can I Track My Child's Phone Without Installing an App?
You can track their phone through the carrier app or phone number. Some apps can track their location with these two options, and you would not need to install an app on their phone. Another alternative is using the IMEI number.
Q 2. How Can I See Everything on My Child's Phone Without Them Knowing?
You need to monitor their phone discreetly with a phone monitoring app. However, not all monitoring apps are discreet and invisible. Hence, you should use an app like AirDroid Parental Monitoring app, that works in stealth mode. It can show your kid's live screen on yours and sync app notifications.
Q 3. How to Track My Child's Location in Real-time?
You can track your child's location in real-time by following the recommendations provided in this article. For instance, you can use AirDroid Parental Control.
Q 4. My Daughter Ran Away; How Can I Track Her Phone?
You can track her through a phone monitoring app, phone number tracking apps, through her carrier, and check if she has her phone's built-in tracking features enabled.
Q 5. Can I Track My Child Without Giving Them a Phone?
Yes, there are some keychain-sized GPS trakers which can clip to a wriggly kid's belt loop, shoelace, or backpack. You can share your child's location with trusted adults, set geofences, get alerted when your kid gets out of bounds, and swipe between multiple children.
Q 6. Can I Remotely Access My Daughter’s iPhone?
Yes, you can. Apple's family sharing features allow you to access your daughter's phone remotely.
Q 7. How Can I Track My Child’s iPhone Location?
Using the IOS family sharing feature, you can track your child's phone once they are connected to the family account you must have created.
Q 8. Can My Child Uninstall the Tracking App?
The answer is no. Because most of these tracking apps will usually require the parents to use a password to keep it from being deleted by their children, if the password is exposed, the app can then be deleted.
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Elsa has worked on a number of iOS & Android solutions, she can always find her way around almost any application. She is an accomplished, skilled and versatile writer with more than 7 years of technical article writing experience.
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