How to Track / Find Your Child's iPhone Using GPS

Whether you're a parent of an existing iPhone owner, or you've recently decided to give in to your kid's incessant pleading for the new iPhone 4, you may find yourself wondering if you can leverage your son or daughter's shiny gift to keep tabs on him/her. The answer is that, yes, with a bit of setup on your end and a subscription to Apple's MobileMe service, you can indeed track your teenager's iPhone.

track and monitor your child's iphone

Now, before we go on, let's go over what we know about kids and parents. Kids, especially teenagers, are astoundingly moronic, impulse driven idiots that are typically completely ignorant of their own mortality who spend their time traveling in packs looking for opportunities to trump each other's stupidity. Parent's, especially American ones, are overwhelmingly paranoid, obsessive, overbearing blowhards that misidentify harmless coming of age behavior and experiences as threats to their child's well being while ignoring real threats to their mental and physical health such as television and run-amok consumerism.

The message being conveyed by that last paragraph? Kids, don't do anything to fan the flames of your parent's already smoldering desire to play big brother in your life. Parents, use the below knowledge wisely: check on your kids when you're worried they're in real danger, don't destroy their privacy and their trust in you.

Now, on with the how to.

Thankfully, the iPhone isn't setup by default to track your kids like an animal tagged for research. You're not going to be able to follow a blue dot as it pulses around the map or set latitude/longitude boundaires that, should your child escape them, sounds alarms and dispatches an elite retrieval team. That said, with a little effort, you can -- in times of emergency -- leverage the GPS chip in your child's iPhone to determine the location of the phone, and presumably the location of your child. Here's how:

1) You must be signed up for Apple's MobileMe service. Yes, this is a drag, but it's the reality of the situation. It's not that MobileMe doesn't offer some perks, but it's unfortunate that you have to pay for an entire service when you might only need one feature. In any event, if you're not already signed up for MobileMe, go ahead and do so.

enable restriction password

2) Before handing over your son or daughter's shiny new iPhone, you'll need to enable Restrictions on the iPhone and set a passcode. Tap the 'Settings' application from the iPhone's homescreen and navigate to 'Restrictions' towards the bottom of the screen. The iPhone will prompt you to set a 4-digit restrictions passcode. You'll need to enter it twice. Once this password is set, anyone attempting to access the 'Restrictions' menu will need to know the password. This will prevent your child from modifying the setting we'll be fiddling with in the next step.

restriction location services

3) Once inside the Restrictions settings, you'll need to toggle the 'Location Services' setting to OFF. While this might seem counterintuitive, what you're doing by switching the setting to OFF is dis-allowing the ability for Location Services to be turned off elsewhere on the phone: essentially negating the ability of your child to hide the phone's location from Apple's MobileMe service.

track and monitor your child's iphone 2

4) When the time comes that you need to find out where your child and his/her iPhone is, you'll login to MobileMe and use the 'Find My iPhone' feature. MobileMe will retrieve information from the iPhone and provide you with an approximate location of the phone on a map.

Now, bear in mind, your teenager can -- at any time -- simply turn the phone off. Again, as previously hinted, this whole little guide is based on the premise that you and your child have a relatively healthy relationship, and that you're not treating each other like prisoner and warden. If that's not the case, you might need to pursue more elaborate measures, or just relax, a lot.


"Kids, especially teenagers, are astoundingly moronic, impulse driven idiots that are typically completely ignorant of their own mortality who spend their time traveling in packs looking for opportunities to trump each others stupidity. Parents, especially American ones, are overwhelmingly paranoid, obsessive, overbearing blowhards that misidentify harmless coming of age behavior and experiences as threats to their child's well being while ignoring real threats to their mental and physical health such as television and run-amok consumerism."

Well spoken, sir. Well spoken indeed. You got kids?

"Especially Americans"...really? Obviously you didn't grow up, live in, or visit any of the mid west. Try Albuquerque where the high school drop out rate is hovering at about 50%. I'm sure the parents of those kids really fit your ignorant description. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

Why do parents buy their kids iphones? My kid is probably not getting the latest hot ANYTHING. I aim to keep her safe, not deprive of all conveniences, and still leave some things that she wants within her ability to earn for herself. If the only thing that young adults want-but-can't-easily-afford are way out of reach to them, then they won't even try and they might become accustomed to being dependent for everything they want. My parenting advice: leave most of the really good stuff just out of reach, and then help them in their efforts to get it themselves if that is what they show that they really want.

You're a tool bag. It's one way or the other for you. You the dumb ass blowhard the other guy was referring to. If you have great kids, do incredible in school by working their asses off, are respectable to you and others, there's nothing in the world you shouldn't try to do for them. You teach as you go, not try to deprive them. The same mentality was forced upon a neighbors little girl and she came to our house and stole what she wanted. Great kid, misguided parent. Wake up and know that the time your kids invest in the books and sports is just as hard and more than likely harder than your nine to five. Plus, they already have it tough dealing with just growing up. Be a good parent, support your kids in what's important, and as the succeed reward the he'll out of them. Otherwise your kid is going to learn how to rake leaves, mow yards, and flip burgers for that iPhone, new purse, or cheap apartment just to get away from you. You sound like the shmuck that puts everything on your kids shoulders. They have enough to worry about. When are they supposed to be kids if they are out trying to earn what in reality you're either to greedy to give or unable to provide. Support man. Support and watch them shine. Hell you'd probably crumble taking half my daughters AP load and and would have to skip her 4 day a week cheer practice, 2 day a week play practice, and have to skip out on all of her One Tree Hill episodes just to cut mustard.

obviously you are an idiot. I'm not even going to try to reason with you because I know your kind and it's sad.

You're a tool bag. It's one way or the other for you. You the dumb ass blowhard the other guy was referring to. If you have great kids, do incredible in school by working their asses off, are respectable to you and others, there's nothing in the world you shouldn't try to do for them. You teach as you go, not try to deprive them. The same mentality was forced upon a neighbors little girl and she came to our house and stole what she wanted. Great kid, misguided parent. Wake up and know that the time your kids invest in the books and sports is just as hard and more than likely harder than your nine to five. Plus, they already have it tough dealing with just growing up. Be a good parent, support your kids in what's important, and as the succeed reward the he'll out of them. Otherwise your kid is going to learn how to rake leaves, mow yards, and flip burgers for that iPhone, new purse, or cheap apartment just to get away from you. You sound like the shmuck that puts everything on your kids shoulders. They have enough to worry about. When are they supposed to be kids if they are out trying to earn what in reality you're either to greedy to give or unable to provide. Support man. Support and watch them shine. Hell you'd probably crumble taking half my daughters AP load and and would have to skip her 4 day a week cheer practice, 2 day a week play practice, and have to skip out on all of her One Tree Hill episodes just to cut mustard.

You're saving yourself a lot of trouble with the way those things are stolen on high school campuses. I know, I work on one. We have kids who keep their eyes out for iPhone owners who've turned their back on their phone for a second. That's all it takes. Then, all you have to do is text a friend to be by the classroom door, pass the phone to him, and it's gone. The teacher can call security, have everyone turned upside down, given a good shake, and nothing, no iPhone, already gone. The kids will turn off the phone so iCloud can't track the phone until it's safe to break into the thing. They're very savy, especially where I work. You have organized gangs, mostly Hispanic and African-American. One of my girls came to school flying a red bandana out of her back pocket. Someone in her crew will know the tricks.

Look narrow minded.My kid goes to school where its all WHITE and they steal just da same.If not worse.Money,phones,etc.Theft has no color.

Ahhahahahahaahaaaaaaa. Haahahahaahahaha. hahahahaahaha. Yeah, theft is color blind. That's a good one.

My advice is totally opposite yours i give mine everything of the latest then they head into adulthood expecting inly the best and they will always get it, your child will never have anything as shes grown up never having anything and thats what she will expect of herself as an adult. No wonder so many people have issues with parenting like yours.

MobileMe is now converting to iCloud. While iCloud still offers the "find my device" feature, the PROBLEM, as I see it, is that if you want to have the ability to track your teenager SECRETLY, it's impossible. Even if they can't disable the location feature because you've restricted it (and now you can just choose "don't allow changes" instead of turning location off), the iCloud settings are COMPLETELY accessible in the child's phone. And if you using your OWN iCloud account, they can simply turn on any of the other things (such as mail, calendar, contacts, documents/data), as well!! WTF?! I cannot find a way to track an iPhone without that iPhone user knowing, which is practically useless. "Hey kid, as you can obviously tell in your phone settings, I'm tracking your phone. If they are good kids, they will feel bad and whine (what's the point of letting them know and creating trust/independence issues in their mind if you don't have to?). And if they are bad kids, they will just either leave the phone somewhere (like in their bedroom when they sneak out) or disable the find my F-ing phone feature right in the god damn iCloud setting on their own F-ing phone. SO frustrating. And for anyone who thinks tracking your child's whereabouts secretly is bad, do me a favor please and shut up, spare me your useless opinions and fuck off.

Wow, angry much? Glad I am not your kid.

well i agree with angry cos im sick off the do gooders allowing my child to be out there with money and unprotected 16 isnt old enough to know enough these days u got to protect them however you can and its frustrating

You're going to have to use the spy software for cheating spouses. You don't need the whole package, only the gps part, unless you want to spy on your kids text messages and phone calls.

I agree with the idea that tracking your kid is okay. They're not adults. They don't have all of the rights of adults and guess which part of the brain neuroscientists say doesn't mature until around the age of 23? The decision center. Explains a lot about teenagers. Don't forget to be parents of children. They're not adults yet. They don't have the life experience or the maturity yet of one and working at a school I see parents who have the laissez faire approach all the time who have kids who are flushing their futures down the toilet.

It just frustrates me because I'm a seventeen year old straight A student, I've hardly gotten into any trouble with my parents in my entire life, and I always check in with my parents to let them know that I've safely got where I am going, yet they STILL insist on gps tracking me. I thought that my god behavior would've earned me some privacy but evidently that's not the case.

Of course my father came to find that I had driven out of my way a few minutes to give a friend a ride to school when he was desperate after missing a school bus, and now I'm in shit loads of trouble. I really don't feel like I did such a horrible thing but now I've "betrayed his trust"

It just frustrates me because I'm a seventeen year old straight A student, I've hardly gotten into any trouble with my parents in my entire life, and I always check in with my parents to let them know that I've safely got where I am going, yet they STILL insist on gps tracking me. I thought that my god behavior would've earned me some privacy but evidently that's not the case.

Of course my father came to find that I had driven out of my way a few minutes to give a friend a ride to school when he was desperate after missing a school bus, and now I'm in shit loads of trouble. I really don't feel like I did such a horrible thing but now I've "betrayed his trust"

Really useful article on GPS Tracking

Parents can’t keep their kids in their sights all of the time, Child safety is constantly on every parent’s mind. Knowing your child’s location is key to knowing that your kids are safe.
Mapimo is a very handy App to locate your child for a specified amount of time. You can track your children or anyone by just giving a missed call to their mobiles.
You can download application from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.omkar.map&hl=en

This is a great app. I am using this app to locate my (aged about 95 yeas) grandfather. It is Awesome.
http://mapimoapp.com/

I text my dad when I get where I am going so he knows I am safe. I just came to find that regardless of this, he's STILL been gps tracking where I am going. I felt like I would've earned his trust but evidently I did not. This is creating a real rift between us.

I am using Mapimoapp Location tracking Android application to track the location of my grand fater ( aged about 95). Seriously This application is helping me a lot to find my grandpa's location. This is Awesome location tracking application.

http://mapimoapp.com/

I'm just baffled by the author's blatant ruthless disdain for America. I don't wish this Chad Shmukler any harm. He already has to live with the name CHAD SHMUKLER. But really, I hope this guy died of something stupid like pneumonia in the four years since this article has been written.

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