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How to Find Hidden Tracking Apps on iPhone

Learn how to tell if your phone is being monitored and how to find hidden tracking apps on iPhone and take the needed measures to remove such apps once for all.

By Cody | @Cody

Updated on Aug 05, 2019

Spying apps can drain your phone battery, cause high phone bills, and harm your personal data. To avoid such problems, it is necessary to know how to find hidden tracking apps on iPhone. With the fast innovation in technology, the hidden spying tools increasing fast as well.

Suspicious Apps

If someone intentionally infected your phone, it is even harder to find out. For example, a parent who wants to know whereabouts of their children or what they are text messaging or a husband who wants to track his wife’s location. If you are not sure whether your iPhone is infected, just follow this guide to give your iPhone a full check to see if there are hidden apps installed and remove them if installed.

How to Tell If Your iPhone Has Tracking App

Tracking apps allows others to know your real-time location. Some tracking apps are also able to access your SMS, social media messages, phone calls and much other sensitive information. Though there is no such app that can effectively tell if your iPhone is infected, there are still some obvious signs to tell if you have spy software on your iPhone.

Abnormal behaviors: If your iPhone has some abnormal behaviors, it is possible that your phone is infected. For example, your phone turns on for no reason when you turn it off.

High data bills: If the data bill is very high and you don’t have location services on all the time, it is likely someone may be spying through the phone. In that case, you can go to your device’s settings to look for an unexpected spike in data usage.

Weird background noises: If you can hear weir background noise while talking to someone on the phone, it is possible when some spy apps turn the phone call into a conference call.

Battery drain fast: You may not see spying app running because it is running in the stealth mode. It always remains active in the background all the time, so the battery keeps running out. If your battery is not in need of replacement but it runs out very fast, it is likely your phone has tracking app installed. 

Suspicious Messages: If get a lot of weird text messages, this can be a prominent way to know whether your phone is being tracked or not because most of the tracking apps often send odd texts on the device for some background functioning.

Unknown apps: If somehow, there is an app that you have not downloaded appearing on your iPhone, it is possible that your phone has been controlled by someone else. It could be a tracking app disguising as any other app.

Suspicious browser history: If you notice some odd browser history, it may be that someone has opened a few links to download the tracking app on your device. You can keep checking your web browser history to tell if your iPhone is being tracked or not.

TIP : Tips: When people seem to always have your location, they may have a tracking app secretly installed on your phone or a GPS tracker installed on your car. You may also want to learn how to find hidden GPS tracker on a car.

How to Remove Hidden Tracking Apps

Your iPhone may get infected due to many reasons, some of which still remains unknown to most. For example, if you click on an untrusted link, you may get your iPhone infected with malware. No matter how you get the hidden tracking app installed on your iPhone, you can try one or more of the following methods to delete the tracking app on your phone.

Disable Location for Suspicious Apps

One way to track an iPhone is with a legitimate-looking app which is tracking your location in the background. To check it, you can open the Settings app and navigate to General > Privacy > Location Services. From there, look for apps that turn to “Always.” If you find some apps that are not installed by you, you can delete it or turn off location service.

Location Services

Delete Unknown Profile

When someone wants to track your iPhone, they can do secretly install a provisioning profile on your iPhone, which is hard to get detected. You can check installed profiles from the Settings app on your iPhone. In Settings, navigate to General > Profiles. Tap on the unfamiliar profile and then tap the "Remove" button to delete the profile. You may need to enter your passcode to confirm the process. Once done, your iPhone or iPad should be secure.

Profiles Management

Get an anti-spyware tool

Some spying apps can be detected and removed by anti-spyware tools. You can install these tools on your infected iPhone and then run a full scan to see if it can detect and remove a spying app.

Restore to Factory Settings

If your iPhone is jailbroken, then it is much more difficult to detect the spying app. if you cannot suspect your iPhone is been hacked but you cannot prove that it otherwise, it is recommended to reset your iPhone.

If you do it on your iPhone, the spying app may still remain after removing all content and resetting to the factory. Therefore, you should connect your iPhone to iTunes and reset your iPhone from an IOS IPSW firmware, which can be downloaded online.

How to Secure iPhone from Tracking App

After removing the tracking app, you should also take some steps to prevent from being hacked again. If your iPhone is secured, it is also recommended to take these steps to protect your privacy. As it is known, prevention is better than cure.

Set Strong Passwords

Protect your iPhone with a strong passcode that cannot be guessed easily. If possible, do not lend your phone to other people. In addition, you should set unique passwords for each of your accounts.

2. Use an anti-spyware

As mentioned, you can use an anti-spyware and malware tool to protect your iPhone from such tracking apps. Make sure they are running well on your iPhone can constantly check your iPhone for any unusual activity.

3. Only Install Apps from AppStore

There are some provisioning profiles that once installed, you can install apps without Appstore. You can go to Settings > General > Profiles to check if there is a profile installed for installing apps from Unknown sources

4. Do not Jailbreak

Surely, jailbreak can give you more freedom but it also compromises your iPhone’s security level. If you care more about your privacy, you should stay out of jailbreak. 

If you take measures addressed in this article, you can find hidden tracking apps on iPhone if there is and remove them to take control of your privacy. Just remember not to grant permissions to apps that you are not aware of and keep checking privacy settings on your iPhone.

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