Smartphones & Tablets

How to Install Spyware on a Smartphone

Spyware is a popular method of monitoring what a person does on their smartphone. With spyware, you can access messages, call history, photos, emails, location data, and other information. You will not find spyware applications in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, making it less-than-obvious how to install them.

Why Install Spyware on a Phone?

There are a few situations where you may want to install spyware on a smartphone. It is common for parents to use spyware to keep track of their kids’ actions. Especially, in the case of younger children with their first smartphone or older kids that have made poor life decisions. You may also consider installing spyware on the phone of friends, family members, or significant others if you don’t trust them for any reason.

The bottom line is that most people install spyware on someone else’s phone because of a lack of trust. With the spyware, you can track their actions and movements for confidence.

Be Aware of Legal Requirements First

Before installing spyware on someone’s phone, make sure that you are aware of the legalities involved. Unsurprisingly, it is not legal to install spyware without someone’s knowledge.

You can legally use spyware if you own the phone or you have legal authority over it. If an adult uses the phone, you must inform them about the spyware. In other words, there are two main legal uses for spyware:

You can legally use it to monitor the cell phone of your children if you paid for the phone in question. Businesses can also use spyware to monitor company-issued phones, but only if the users know about it.

Any other use of spyware is not legal, and we cannot condone it. Even so, the methods of legally installing spyware are identical to illegal methods. This is unfortunate for those looking to enforce the law.

Check the Requirements for Installation

To install spyware on a phone, it must have internet access. The ideal situation is a phone with a data plan that remains active. Spyware can still work with Wi-Fi but have reduced functionality. You must also confirm that the software you choose supports the phone in question. The software developer can let you know whether that is the case. Similarly, you must confirm it supports your operating system. Spyware usually works on either Apple or Android, not both.

You Cannot Remotely Install Spyware

As you start looking at spyware options, do not fall for ones that claim to work via remote installation. It is impossible to install spyware without having access to the phone. Anything that claims otherwise is a scam. You must have access to the phone, including its password if there is one. For those who do not know a phone password, you could probably find a way to get around that roadblock.

Choose the Spyware Application

The first thing you will need to do is select the spyware application that you want to install. Do some research and find one that works on the phone in question. Confirm that the spyware is not a scam.

Installing the Application on Android

Once you select the spyware to use, you can get started. Begin by going to the settings and enabling installation of apps from unknown sources. Then, go into the web browser in the phone and enter the URL for a direct download of the app’s APK file. Download the file and run it, following the on-screen prompts. You will need to open the application and put in an activation code you received at purchase. This works for mSpy and other similar programs.

Installing the Application on an iPhone

Installing spyware on iPhones is a bit more complicated since you must first jailbreak the phone. This makes it possible to install applications that are not from the App Store. Open Cydia on the jailbroken iPhone and go to Sources, then Edit, then Add. Put in the download URL. Click “Add Source” and wait. When it is done, select “Return to Cydia.” You can click on the new source, then select Install. Now, you open the application and enter the activation code.

If you have an iPhone and do not want to jailbreak it, there is one alternative. You can use mSpy with the iCloud login credentials. As such, this method only works if you know the login information for iCloud on the phone.

How Long It Takes

Remember that you will need physical access to the phone throughout the process of installing the spyware. The installation time depends on your internet speed and the phone itself. It tends to take between five and 25 minutes. If you need to root an Android phone or jailbreak an iPhone, expect it to take more like 20 or 25 minutes.

Remember, it is only legal to install spyware on a phone you own and if you inform all adult users that their actions are monitored.


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