4 Easy Ways to Track a Cell Phone with GPS Location Turned Off

4 Easy Ways to Track a Cell Phone with GPS Location Turned Off

Around 2,300 children are missing every day in the United States, reports Childfind of America. This statistic is enough to send chills down the spines of most parents.

Smartphones offer the ability to track and share locations with ease. But what if your child turns their location off? This could happen by accident, or it could be something worse.

You need to know how to track someone when their location is off. While this may seem like the realm of law enforcement, the basics are easy to try.

You can track the phone using more than GPS. Read on to learn how.

How to Track Someone When Their Location Is Off

It is important to note that prevention is better than a cure. A dedicated parental control app offers more information than these methods. Because you set them up beforehand, these apps can send you far more location data from your loved one’s phone.

Data and communication protection laws prevent certain information from reaching the public sphere. It may be hard to get location information from the operator, even if you set up the contact yourself.

Most of these methods need an active internet connection on your loved one’s phone. However, some are more traditional, like tracking a phone number. If you feel they are too technical for you to try, you could ask our live chat agent to help.

Let’s get started with how to track someone when their location is off.

1. IP Address

Internet Protocol (IP) is like a postal system for internet data. Devices, internet service providers, and servers are given numbers, often in a 111-111-1-11 format. The numbers act like postal addresses, and they allow hosts and servers to send data packets to each other. Your internet service provider ISP gives you an IP address when you join a network.

When you enter a search term or web address online, the browser uses that site’s IP address to post your request to the server. The server uses your IP address to return the data packet you asked for. Data packets are media content in most cases.

IP Addresses on New Networks

Each time you join a new network, say, when traveling, you will receive a new IP address unique to that area. This is how movie streaming sites limit access to media from certain locations. It is one of the main ways the authorities find people who upload inappropriate content.

IP addresses give a general location, but they are far from precise. There are countless IP location search apps online. Many virtual private networks (VPN) offer free IP checkers on their sites to prove their products work.

How to Check an IP Location

A quick search on the IP checker will return the city and country location. This lets you know if your loved one has left your area. You can use other methods to narrow your search down once you know their general location.

Note: It is tricky to access someone else’s IP address. Emails in mailing apps will have information in the header of the email. You should find a show original/raw source tab or similar in your email app; this should have the IP address of the sender.

Unless you have a recent email, this method has limits. Even if you have an IP address and an IP search tool, the location data will be too vague.

Another way to find someone’s IP address from their phone number is by sending a tracking URL to their phone through a text message. Upon receiving the message, the owner consents to share their location and opens the URL. This action will automatically reveal the IP address and provide an approximate location. Various apps, such as Number Tracker, Localize, Scannerio, and more, operate based on this method.

2. WIFI Logger

WIFI loggers are third-party apps that let you find your loved one’s location. You will get real-time updates about their movements, so you can adapt your approach if they move. This is one of the most effective tools you have to keep your child safe, but it needs an active internet connection.

WIFI loggers are far more precise than IP searches, and you can get almost the same details as you can with GPS. Street-level data is available with WIFI loggers. So how do they work?

Access Points and Geolocation

When you search for a network on a phone, your phone returns a menu of network access points listed by signal strength. After you join a network, your device will search for known network operators globally. Your device will then narrow down the search by location using your local network’s location.

This search will return WIFI access points, their locations, and their MAC addresses. Your MAC address is like a device ID, and each internet-capable device will have one. This number is static; unlike an IP address, it never changes.

Location services use this technique to pinpoint your location. The relative strengths of each network can triangulate your position.

WIFI location uses the same principles as map triangulation. However, instead of using landmarks and valley peaks, it uses WIFI signals from different places to work out where you are.

WIFI Logger Tools

You can find apps online that will record this network search data and send it. This could help you find a loved one, but many of these services lack trust. A dedicated parental safety app is the best choice, and it offers plenty of extra tools to help keep your loved ones safe.

3. Phone Number

CocoLookup Phone Lookup App

Even with no internet connection or activity, you can use phone number data to find phone information. Precise location data is hard to access though. The authorities can do this for you, but that may be excessive at this stage.

SIM Card Data

Phone number location searches work using the SIM card data created when someone turns the phone on. This data reaches the operator with information about your calls, messages, and location.

The network’s satellites receive data from the phone. Using geolocation, it is possible to find the phone’s approximate location, but it is almost impossible to access this information yourself.

Registered Number Searches

There are apps online that show information about a phone number’s registered location, country, and city. You may even be able to find who it is registered to, but this is far from helpful. You need a solution with more technical power.

Greater Control Over Phone Usage

Parental safety apps offer tools that help you keep track of your child’s phone usage. This helps avoid inappropriate calls and messages. You can check who they’re talking to and make sure conversations are safe.

Safety tools allow you to locate your loved ones if they turn their GPS off. This saves you stress and keeps them out of danger. These apps run beneath the main phone controls; the main settings can’t turn it off.

4. Last Known Location

Last known location data is your best choice if other methods fail. It works if the phone itself is off. You can combine it with more traditional search methods to help you find your loved one.

The last known location is the last GPS coordinates from the phone. It may lack specificity, but it gives you a rough area. Check the time of the location update, then use your local area knowledge to estimate where your loved one may be.

Parental control apps let you set up geofences that tell you if your loved one has left an approved area. Even if the phone turns off, you will have accurate information about their last location.

Social Media, Photos, and Timelines

You can use tools like Google Photos, Google Timeline, and Find My Phone to help track down your child’s whereabouts. If you have their account on your phone, you can check their Google Photos updates to find out where they are. Check for landmarks, street names, and those they are with; this forms evidence you can use in your search.

Social media timelines work in a similar way. Timelines show historical updates dating back to when they first joined social media. Friends, group memberships, photos, events, and media tags will be there, but some people make their timelines private.

Ask Their Recent Contacts

If your child’s social media is private, you can try contacting their friend’s parents. Ask them if their children will check for you. Check for any timeline updates, new friends, photo postings, group activity, and their own posts.

New friends could give you a clue where they are, and many people have public profiles. You can try sending them a private message asking about your loved one. You may feel uncomfortable doing this, but if you are desperate, you need to try everything in your power.

Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

We hope our guide taught you how to track someone when their location is off. Needing to find your loved ones in an emergency, or when you’re worried, can be one of the most stressful experiences. After reading this, you have some strategies to help you get back in touch.

Family Orbit offers a complete parental control solution to help give you peace of mind. Our app lets you keep track of your child’s location, activities, phone usage, and media content. Our Parental Insights feature uses AI to monitor and detect signs of danger on your child’s phone, like cyberbullying, violence, and inappropriate messaging.

For concerned parents in the modern age, this is the solution for you. Get your free trial!

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