Nothing is ever truly guaranteed in the world: when it comes to work, relationships and family, that stands to reason even more. That and our reliance on the internet for everything we need has led to both good and bad.
A few of those dangers include scamming, stalking, harassment, cyberbullying, etc. A naive person (or even not-so naive) might get tricked into giving away money or credit card information to strangers.
Speaking of which, you can never be too sure that your relationship is as solid as you think it is. who really knows what goes on online? Can you be certain your significant other isn't tempted by other people online?
I have found that a lot of people worry about these issues, but don’t have a good way of solving the problem. They might not have credit cards or can’t afford expensive spying apps and software.
So, I have picked out a list of the best spying apps that are really free. Anyone can download and use these, for any reason they like.
Our Picks for The Best Free (and Free Trial) Spying Apps
After searching through the various free trial spying or parental monitoring apps, I have selected the top five here. Each of them has the necessary features along with a free trial.
mSpy is my #1 choice for the best free trial spying apps. It is one of the top dedicated spying apps out there. It has every feature you might want to have, plus some other features you didn’t think you could have. They have been around for over 10 years and have served more than 1.5 million customers satisfactorily. It has received stellar reviews as well.
mSpy is very easy to set up and always provides real-time data feedback. You can monitor every single message, text or image your target receives. If you see they are getting inappropriate or worrying images, videos or texts, you can immediately take action. You could block the app they are using, filter or restrict the website, remotely delete the app, or shut down the phone.
There are numerous other features to make your spying activity and daily life less stressful. Nearly every social media site can be monitored by Mspy. This includes Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, Signal, Instagram, etc.
Some of these apps actually put in security measures to prevent monitoring. For instance, Snapchat deletes messages and images after a short time. However, Mspy can defeat measures like this because it actually records the whole screen. For more details on how to monitor snapchat – read our complete guide
In addition to the whole Screen, Mspy can record every single keystroke your target enters, thanks to the keylogger. If necessary, you could even enter their social media accounts to check if everything is spick and span.
There’s no risk of being discovered. The app will run in the background and won’t show up on the apps list.
There are actually two ways to check it out before committing. One is a 7-day trial that you can cancel at any time. The other is a free demo of the dashboard. From the dashboard demo, you’ll be able to see how the app works from a parent’s perspective and what tools are available.
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“Cellphone Tracker for Modern Parents”. That’s how uMobix markets its services. In reality, it can much more than just tracking cellphones, or tracking children – you can track your employees, your spouse, and anyone else you choose to. You can monitor the calls that come in and go out, the messages, social media platforms including messengers, and even photos and videos!
Needless to say, uMobix rocks a GPS tracking feature in real-time which ultimately results in the “cellphone tracking” part.
The only drawback of this spying app is that it’s not one of the really free spying apps. It does offer a demo for prospective buyers. But in the long run, you’ll need to make the purchase to unlock the full itinerary of services.
If you do decide to get it, our recommendation is to go with the 1-year package because it’s the most economical. For shorter tenures, you’ll be paying way more than you should.
uMobix app comes for both Android and iOS devices. You can check the compatibility of your device by entering the model directly on the website. Some features, however, are not present for both users.
For example, the keylogger feature that tracks every key entered is only available for Android. Interestingly, Android is the superior app in terms of features because many of the unique ones have been disabled on the iOS app.
If you prefer feature-packed spying apps for your children, spouse, or colleagues, very few options can top XNSpy on our list. It claims to have the latest and cutting-edge mobile monitoring features of our time. Even if it’s not cutting-edge, we have to admit the feature pack is very impressive.
Let’s start with the WhatsApp monitoring feature without rooting your device. The end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp makes it notoriously difficult to track. XNSpy seems to have cracked the code on that.
Surround recording is another great feature if you want pretty much 24/7 surveillance on someone. Usually, spying apps can record calls but surrounding recording is still very rare to come across.
As for social media monitoring, this app is good for Snapchat, Tinder, Kik, Line, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Instagram, and all other mainstream platforms. It can track the emails and the SMSs that come through the mobile carrier as well.
Just like the rest of the top spying apps on our list, this one is not truly free as well. You get the live demo on the website before you purchase any of the three packages. On the bright side, the company offers flash sales from time to time where you can get up to 40% off on the purchase!
FlexiSpy is one of those spying apps that like to take things above and beyond. It not only works on cellphones of all kinds but also desktops of all kinds! By all kinds, of course, mean Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.
Along with all the monitoring services, which we’ll get to in a minute, the company helps with the remote installation! You get a free Mobile Viewer app for both Android and iPhone that you can use to monitor whoever it is you’re trying to monitor.
Coming back to the monitoring service, it’s primarily divided into two sections. Parental control and Employee Monitoring.
In the parental control software suite, you get features like email and messenger monitoring, tracking online activity, tracking the device’s location, listening to phone calls in real-time, capturing photos through the camera remotely, keylogging, and so on! The list just keeps going!
On the employee monitoring side, you get redirected to Digital Endpoint, which is the dedicated service for commercial scenarios. If you’re interested in this, you may check out the features independently.
As for the free aspect, do you really think it’s possible to offer all these features for absolutely free? No, right? You can view the live demo on the website and later purchase any package that you see fit your needs.
MyCellSpy is one of the few parental control apps that are actually completely free to try out! Plus, it has all the basic features you need from a parental control app.
So, this is one app that parents who want to monitor their children without spending too much should definitely try out.
It can monitor text and SMS messages, as well as call logs and browser history. It can track the phone’s location in real-time, though Geofencing is not included. It can remotely take photos and record all keystrokes with a keylogger.
MyCellSpy is unfortunately only available for Android devices. You may download the free trial without having to spend any money.
SpyTrac is a global leader in parental monitoring software. It is used by millions of people around the world for monitoring text messages, social media and messaging apps.
It can also spy on photos and videos, text messages and GPS location. Apps, websites and phone calls can be blocked on an individual basis. You can remotely record screens, calls, videos and audio live.
Several different types of alerts can be set up. For example, you could get an alert for specific language or words used. Or you could get an alert when they go somewhere they shouldn’t be, with Geofencing.
All of these features are available in the free trial. The full version is a little expensive, starting at $8.25 a month up to $24.92 a month with discounts. So, use the trial first to see if it is worth it or not.
Do you really know where your target is at all times? Even if they say they’re somewhere, how can be so sure?
That's why location tracking is really important. Knowing where your target really is can give you a lot of peace of mind.
Life360 is the best app for this. It tracks real-time location very accurately compared to other apps and lets you place alert spots similar to geofencing. You can check on the location of every target you set.
If they are in a car, Live360 has a whole host of features specifically for that. The driver report tells you about the driving habits, how fast the car is traveling, etc. It even has a crash detection feature in case there’s an accident.
The free version of Life360 has location sharing, two alerts/geofences, driving reports, phone battery monitoring, and stores location history up to two days. The premium version only costs $4.99 and offers unlimited geofences, high-priority customer support and a month’s location history.
FoneTracker is a very simple and very powerful monitoring app. It has some spying features, plus a lot of in-depth options for recording calls.
Social Media can be a very dangerous, scary place. Cyberbullying and cyber crimes like scams and frauds are very commonplace, not to mention temptation and more.
This is where FoneTracker comes in. It can automatically monitor all online interactions on social media platforms and messaging apps. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Discord, Snapchat, Instagram, and so on.
It’s not just threats that you should be aware of. Other issues could include cyberbullying of your target, or even secretive conversations your target had wished remained secret.
FoneTracker’s call monitoring features are seriously in-depth. The hidden call recorder can capture the exact audio of the call as well as any metadata and store it. It sends a notification for suspicious calls and can record at any time 24/7.
The audio is stored in the cloud. You can listen to the audio of the call at a suitable time afterward.
FoneTracker is fully free, but it is only available for Android users.
iKeyMonitor is probably the most comprehensive monitoring or spying app that still has a free edition. It nearly has feature parity with Mspy.
This app includes phone call and texts recording, social media monitoring, location tracking, and screen recording.
Some keyloggers require a Rooted phone. Rooting is difficult for non-tech savvy users. This app installs a multi-language keylogger without any need for rooting. Considering most keyloggers are in English, this is actually an ideal app for multilingual users.
In terms of location tracking, iKeyMonitor uses the GPS to track a phone in real-time. Additionally, it has geo-fencing. Geo-fencing allows you to designate an area like the house or building as a ‘safe’ area.
If your target leaves the bounds of this area bypassing the ‘fence’, it sends out an alert so you can investigate.
The most popular messaging apps are all covered by iKeyMonitor, even in the free version. This includes Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, etc. The list also includes some really niche apps, like IMO and Hike.
The free version stores SMS and Call History, location recording, contacts and notes. The premium pricing ranges from $9.99 to $16.66. It adds social media monitoring, app blocking, taking photos and audio records remotely, and multilingual keylogging.
iKeyMonitor is available for free on Android, but the iOS version is premium-only.
mSee is a parental control app for those looking for a very easy to use yet effective program. It has over 150,000 active users and can be used worldwide. It has both an extremely generous free trial and an extremely competitive price, so it might be the app of choice for parents on a budget.
mSee’s features include the typical call logging and text messages monitoring. It can read the phone’s contacts, notes, installed apps, calendars and events, etc. Browsing history is also recorded.
Even if someone tries to circumvent browsing history by using incognito mode or a VPN, the phone can record each website visited manually. Websites can be filtered out through the app, so parents are able to ban sites with adult content. They could also block social media sites if the kids are too distracted.
A big range of messaging and social media apps can be monitored through this app. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Telegram, Skype, Kik and even Tinder are all covered.
Since those apps or sites can be hotbeds for scamming, harassment, cyberbullying and other dangerous online activities, keeping track of them is necessary.
Finally, mSee still includes GPS location tracking and geofencing. All monitoring data will be recorded and synced to an online dashboard as long as the phone has internet access.
You can demo mSee on their website to check out the dashboard features. Alternatively, you can register an account and try out the app. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can use it for a whole month before deciding to keep it or not!
Kiddoware’s Kids Place Parental Controls is a bit of a unique app compared to the others. Rather than monitor what your target does, it actually does the opposite. When installed on a phone, everything on the phone is put ‘inside’ the controls. And best of all, this free spying app is not just for spying on your kids.
Basically, with this app, you can give your target a phone with user-friendly software and various controls. This is more of a parental control app than a spying app, but it does the same job.
This app lets you restrict browsing. You can prevent your target from stumbling across certain parts of the internet, or getting in contact with certain people you don’t want them to. There is also a screen time limiter built-in.
With the premium version, you can run this app in the background where it will be invisible. The premium version cannot be uninstalled by the target as it is protected by a PIN set by you.
The free version does not have any trial limit or duration. The premium version costs up to $79.99 a year.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Spying Apps
Typically, I recommend purchasing paid spying apps. Most paid spying apps will give you a better overall experience. By contrast, most free spying apps either have a limited set of features or various other disadvantages.
If you are trying to decide if it is worth using a paid app or if a free spying app is fine, then this section is for you.
I have outlined and summarized the main advantages and disadvantages of really free spying apps. Consider these before you choose one of my recommended apps.
- They are free and therefore suitable for anyone on a budget or those who don’t have access to an online payment method.
- You can try out various features to see if the app will be useful for you before spending money on it. You are not limited by the short duration of most free trials or guaranteed refunds.
- You can monitor and track your target for free.
- Free apps often have strict restrictions on which features are available.
- Some free apps have advertisements, which can be annoying.
- You’ll get more peace of mind when you can rely on a paid app with high-quality customer service.
Should You Use Free Spying Apps?
The ultimate question is, should you use free spying apps? There are some ethical concerns about spying on someone. But it is still perfectly legal, and it is also in their best interests.
After all, you aren’t spying on them to find out the latest gossip or otherwise. You are spying on them to figure out if there is any betrayal or something dangerous going on.
That’s why it’s crucial to monitor them especially in the age of the internet, where someone on the other side of the world could be talking to your partner for hours and you might have no clue. However, monitoring can get expensive.
Some of the best apps cost upwards of $20 a month. Or they have a single payment of $200 or $300 every year. For anyone who’s already near the red-line in terms of monthly budget, this can be a big source of stress.
So, an app that is free but still capable of monitoring is a godsend.
Here are the best really free spying apps for you to monitor your target. These apps each have their unique features and advantages.
For anyone who wants to try spying, these free apps are a good option. Most of them also have dedicated premium versions with additional features that you could upgrade to if you are satisfied.
Overall, I recommend Mspy as an app with a limited free version and amazingly cheap but feature-packed premium version. For a fully free app, I recommend Xnspy due to the wide range of features even in the free version.
- Completely undetected and 100% discrete
- Location tracking and geofencing available
- Monitor calls, SMS and some apps
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- AI-Powered alerts and notifications
- Social Media monitoring focused
- Very affordable
- 30+ popular apps monitored
- Review complete browsing history
- Set to receive automatic or real-time updates
- Call and surrounding environment recording
- Monitor the most popular social media apps
- Email monitoring
- Monitor calls, texts, social media accounts, and emails as well as other important platforms
- AI Phone Guard For Parents and Employers – GPS location tracking, browsing history monitoring and social monitoring.