Apple designed Find My Friends in 2012 as a means for better-connecting with friends and family. It's pretty useful for scenarios when you need to keep tabs at an amusement park or to get a live ETA when your buddy is coming to pick you up from the airport. You can even share your location with others so they can track your whereabouts as you go about your day.
Then it struck me; can't this be used to effectively spy on someone?
Sure, you need consent from both parties before sharing a location, but what if I were to enable Find My Friends on someone else's iPhone, then share their location to my iPhone without them knowing?
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I decided to try it out, and not only was it incredibly easy, it was also fairly incognito—once turned on, the person you're tracking never receives a notification or alert of any kind. Even if the other person decides to open Find My Friends—which most people bury in a folder anyways—it's not very apparent that they're being tracked. It simply shows that you're a follower (and not a stalker).
Once set up, you can monitor every movement of the person you're spying on. Not only that, but you can even set reminders for when they leave or arrive a certain location, if you want to be especially intrusive.
So whether you want to keep tabs on your kids or know exactly where your significant other goes after work, I'm going to show you how to track someone's location without them knowing.
Before You Start
If the person you want to track is running iOS 8, you'll need to download the Find My Friends app from the iOS App Store on their phone, as well as yours. On iOS 9, which is already available, Find My Friends is a stock app that will already be on the device.
Step 1: Enable "Share My Location" on Their iPhone
Begin by opening the Find My Friends app on their iPhone, then tap on their contact picture at the bottom to enable "Share My Location" from the settings.
Also make sure that the location is being shared from "This Device" (under the "Share My Location From:" setting), as there may be other devices (like an iPad) that are attached to the same iCloud account.
Step 2: Share Their Location to Your iPhone
On your iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to enable AirDrop from the Control Center. Make yourself discoverable to "Everyone", although the "Contacts Only" option will suffice as long as their iPhone has your contact information saved to it.
Back on their iPhone, tap on "Add" (in Find My Friends) and hit your contact icon when it appears. Select "Share Indefinitely" to share their location to your iPhone for an unlimited amount of time.
Step 3: Accept Their Location; Don't Share Yours Back
Once their location is shared to your device, hit "Accept." After a few seconds, a popup will appear asking if you want to share your location with them. Tap on "Don't Share" so that they can't track your location.
Step 4: Track Their Location
In the Find My Friends app, simply click on their contact icon to see their exact location in realtime. You'll also see options to be notified if they leave or arrive at a certain location, so you can alert yourself when someone leaves their house or work (yeah, creepy).
How to Be Really Sneaky About It
Of course, all of this is probably dependent on you not getting caught. Luckily, most people won't venture into their Find My Friends app, and even if they do, they'd have to actively look at who they're sharing their location with.
But, there are a couple of ways to hide the app so that they don't even realize they have it.
Step 5: Hide Their 'Find My Friends' App
You can do this one of two ways:
- Make It Disappear Using the Dock (Easy)
- Make It Disappear Using a Folder (Not as easy)
Either of the methods above will remove the Find My Friends app temporarily, but restarting the device will bring the app back on the home screen.
While I don't condone tracking someone's location without their consent, I believe that it's important to be aware of how built-in features can be manipulated to take advantage of others.
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anyone know if there is an Android equivalent to this?
Yes, there's a "share location" in Google's map. Just turn it on if you get alone time with their phone. If they don't have a Google account, create one. Just about all phones come with both GoogleMaps, Google search, and Google+
They don't send out emails. If you share it directly to your phone, they can find out though. If you just be patient and look at their "activity" later when you have alone time with their phone again, it shows a path of where they've been. If you want to keep it then photo it with your own phone, then delete it off of theirs so if they look, it'll be blank.
You can even hear any voice recordings they have shared with someone else. Patience is a virtue. Plus, you can deny you know it was on. After all, it's not like you're working AT Google! :) mean, I know, but I'm fed up myself when our "track family" app "mysteriously" turned to off when I looked at why I was getting fragmented locations! The best time is when the other person CANNOT for some reason get to their phone (like in the shower etc.) or are asleep.
This will work with ANY phones that have Google regardless if they're the same brand or type of phone or even computer.
You r so stupid , every body knows that apps, i wanna track my boss. no hem to tracking me
I cant find my hisband after he left the house after a fight. i tried to use the Find My Friend app., but he is not my Facebook friend but he is a contact on my iMessage, how do i do it? please help me as i am very worried about him, he is elderly. He has an Ipad and NOT iphone, and i am quite sure his ipad has that app cos he always download the latest IOS.
If you don't see him in Find Friends, then you'll have to wait until next to set it up on his iPad. If he doesn't have it set up, he doesn't have it set up. If you know his iCloud information, you can always use Find My iPhone to track it, but only if he has it activated on his end.
So I know how to track someone's whereabouts, but how do I keep someone from tracking mine ? I was told by Apple; if this person is tracking you using the Find iPhone app, all you need to do is change your password, so I did. I went from the numerical 4 digit to the alphanumerical 9 digit; but I'm still skeptical. Any thoughts?
Did he/she mean change your Apple ID password? Not your lock screen password? This article was more about using the Find Friends app, not the Find iPhone app. Changing your lock screen password should have no effect on both of those apps.
The only thing I can think of is turning it off. I Caught my boyfriend lying to me about his wheeabouts. After I confronted him he continued to deny it so I sent him a screenshot of where "Find my iPhone" tracked hm. Apparently he didn't like that so instead of changing his credentials he just turned it off completely. Now when I log in, it says he's online but it can't find his location.
The only issue with this is if someone steals his/your phone when "Find my iPhone" is turned off, you can track it's whereabouts. Hope this helps!
I would have turned off the relationship completely.
yes but if this person is always turning off location services then this does not work right? Is there a way to hide the location services little arrow?
Yes I also want to know how to hide that arrow or I want to find some app which can track location by wifi or another way not with location service.if you will find please send me to this Facebook account
Did you figure out how to track him even if he turns off his location services??
If you're going to all that trouble...time to say "goodbye".
I've just upgraded to the new version of the iPhone and the Find my Friend app downloaded automatically. When I opened it I already had a follower - a friend so no big deal. But how did he become a follower when there was no invite? Can he now actually track me? Thanks ??
I don't mean to necro this thread but reading a couple of these comments, lol. I beg to differ. My wife got a new job working for the local govt. and was sent off to a very crime ridden area to document the area for her dept. and really doesn't know the roads like I do. This app really allow EACH OTHER to communicate and know the whereabouts of said location to make sure she is AT LEAST safe and I can find her, God forbid, if there was any trouble. Even SHE loves this app for just the 2 of us. (hint: there IS an option to pick only the ones you WANT to find you.)
If you are just looking at it as some "stalker" app, then maybe it's you so you might want to get your insecurities in check.. Just saying.
iPhone and its tracking ability is simply a tool, it's how it can be used is the important part, no matter how good the intention was, when used incorrectly people need to be aware of the risks they are taking, no one need to get their insecurities in check,
Are you actually telling me that you enjoy people knows your where abouts at all times? Even if you are i can imagine many people don't, and they would have no idea they are giving away their location just by having an iphone.
Taking your extreme case as example, i can also provide you with evidence how criminals have far more success in tracking their targets, whether for raping, killing, stealing ...etc.
You are trying to necro this thread and you have the full intention to so.
So I notice when I share my location or vice versa, we get notification of such activity in iMessages. How do we stop this? I have turned off notifications in settings and within the FMF app. Please help.
Hmm, looks interesting. I think it's worth installing a similar app to track the location of the child.
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