iPhone Tracker – How To Monitor An iPhone Without Jailbreak?

It’s hard to remember the time before mobile phones were a part of everyday life, but for your kids, it’s always been that way. And while phones are great for many reasons, as a parent, you must keep an eye on your child’s activities to make sure they stay safe. Given the compassion young adults have towards the iPhone, parents are always on a lookup for an iPhone tracking app for parents that actually works.

There are several reasons why a parent might want to monitor an iPhone, including:

  • To monitor their location when they’re out of the house
  • To keep track of what they’re looking at online
  • To watch out for signs of cyberbullying
  • To protect them from others
  • To keep personal data private

While we all know that kids are tech-savvy, being able to use a phone doesn’t always go hand in hand with staying safe online. For parents, being able to monitor an iPhone can give you extra peace of mind, helping to make sure your child is safe, wherever they are.

What is Jailbreak?

To ‘jailbreak’ an iPhone is to remove some of the parameters set by Apple that restrict users from downloading unauthorized applications and software. Jailbreaking allows an iPhone to be modified in ways that couldn’t normally be done, making it possible to install all kinds of software on the phone.

But while jailbreaking an iPhone can sound like a great idea, it could affect your warranty, and there’s a risk of your phone running into errors that could render it useless. Not to forget, there has been no jailbreak available for the recent iPhone. In fact, the last fully functional jailbreak was available for iOS 9. That was in 2015! 

Why did spy apps need to be run on jailbreak phones?

Jailbreak iOSMany ‘spy’ apps, or spyware as they’re also known, relied on a jailbroken iPhone to be able to access the data necessary for monitoring. Jailbreaking the phone would compromise the device, meaning data such as message and call information, social media data, and even photos could all be accessed remotely.

As Apple wanted to prevent this from happening, installing spyware in a phone was a difficult process to be able to protect its users.

Why did jailbreak solutions become outdated?

Jailbreak spy solutions have been decreasing in popularity. For parents especially, it’s simply not worth the risk of opening up their child’s phone to other dangers by taking away the safety parameters put in place.

Newer software can help parents monitor their children’s iPhones without having to resort to jailbreaking techniques, including Family Orbit.

What are the new methods to track an iPhone without Jailbreak?

There are some newer, easy-to-use methods to monitor an iPhone without jailbreak. This helps keep the phone secure and stable, while also making it easier for you to get started.

There are two main methods for monitoring an iPhone without jailbreak:

1. The iCloud Method of Monitoring the iPhone

What is iCloud?

iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage system for storing files, photos, apps, music, and more. It makes it easier for a user to operate more than one Apple device and store all data safely and securely.

How iCloud Spy Works?

How do iCloud-based monitoring apps works?

iCloud-based tracking apps work by making all of the data backed up through iCloud available. If something isn’t backed up, then it can’t be monitored. Fortunately, iCloud backs up a lot of phone data, from messages to app data and photos, so you’ll be able to access everything you need.

It’s a one-step process that means once you have the iCloud details of the phone you wish to monitor, you’ll be able to continue to monitor them. This can be handy if you don’t have a home computer or you are only interested in monitoring the phone location.

What features are supported by iCloud-based monitoring apps?

iCloud-based tracking apps have the ability to display a lot of information stored in iCloud via a dashboard. This information can include a calendar, notes, reminders, photos taken/saved/screenshot, provide GPS locations, WIFI history, and more.

iCloud Monitoring Features Banner

Being able to monitor this data can help parents keep a closer eye on their children’s iPhone activities, helping them feel more at ease when their child is online – both at home, at school, or elsewhere. 

What are the requirements for iCloud-based Parental Monitoring Apps?

To be able to use iCloud-based tracker apps, you will need the Apple ID and password for the iCloud account associated with the device. When setting up a phone for their child, many parents will do this for them, or use the same credentials used on their own devices.

If the ‘Two-Factor Authentication’ is enabled on the device you will need to provide the 2FA code to successfully log in to iCloud.

Find the step-by-step guide to setting up the iCloud based monitoring with Family Orbit here:

Step 1: How to configure the iPhone for iCloud-based monitoring?

Step 2: How to Add the iCloud credentials to the Family Orbit Dashboard?

Is the iCloud method getting deprecated now in 2021?

iCloud Method for iOS MonitoringIf you are in the market for an iPhone monitoring app you must have come through multiple products offering the capability to monitor the iPhone upon providing the Apple ID credentials from the child’s phone. Up until recently, that was all that you needed to be able to use the product however slowly but surely Apple began to bring the stringent privacy controls they have over their ecosystem to the iCloud-based monitoring apps as well.

First, Apple deprecated the ability to monitor text messages and other logs from the 2FA-enabled Apple ID. Most of the tracking apps in the market coped with this by asking the users to create a new Apple ID without 2FA enabled. You cannot disable 2FA on an existing Apple ID.

However, most recently Apple has now totally deprecated the ability to access iCloud backup by any third-party service provider. This means you cannot view text messages, iMessage, call history, web history, WhatsApp, and other logs with the iCloud method anymore.

Unfortunately, a lot of vendors continue to market the “iCloud method” as the only available solution and falsely advertise its old capability to monitor text messages, social media, and other logs. To top it all, you would hardly find a vendor that offers a free trial. You would find them asking for the payment upfront with a catchy demo. This is a scam and you should keep yourself away from such vendors.

2. The WiFi Method of Monitoring the iPhone

How do the WiFi/iTunes-based monitoring apps work?

The second method for monitoring an iPhone without a jailbreak is to use iTunes. Once you connect the device to iTunes on a computer, you can enable the automatic sync option, which will be synced regularly, with the data sent over to your control panel.

iTunes-based tracker apps can be useful if your child’s device shares the same wireless network in your home. Now in 2021, it is the only viable option to monitor all the different log types in the iPhone.

What features are supported by the WiFi-based tracking apps?

The WiFi-based monitoring apps allow you to receive different types of data gathered from your child’s phone. You’ll be able to access various items, including call history, iMessages, WhatsApp chats, photos, and more. This can help you keep a closer eye on your child’s phone activities, ready to intervene if necessary. Here is the complete list of log types that can be monitored with the WiFi/iTunes-based monitoring apps:

  • Text Messages
  • iMessages
  • Call History
  • Website Visited
  • Photos / Videos
  • Apps Installed
  • WhatsApp
  • KIK
  • Contacts
  • Calendar

What are the requirements for WiFi-based tracking apps?

For the WiFi-based tracker apps, you will need to have a home computer that can run iTunes. This could be a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop computer. Once the phone has been synced initially and ‘automatic sync’ is applied, you will then be able to receive data from your dashboard, without having to sync it each time. This means you’ll get the latest data whenever your child’s phone syncs. 

Comparison between the iCloud and iTunes methods for iOS monitoring?

When it comes to iPhone monitoring, both the iCloud and iTunes Method for iOS are suitable options for monitoring your child’s device use.

Features iCloud WiFi/iTunes
Need to jailbreak the iPhone?
Need to install any app on the iPhone?
Monitor GPS Location Periodically
View Text Messages and iMessage
View Call History
View Websites Visited on the iPhone
View Address Book and Calendar
View WhatsApp and KIK Messages
View Photos and Videos
View Apps Installed on the iPhone
Monitor up to 3 Device
Free Trial

Benefits of the iCloud Method:

  • Not having to jailbreak the phone to allow monitoring
  • No need to install a special app on the device
  • You can track device location periodically
  • Monitor log types like photos, videos, address book, calendar, and notes.

Drawbacks of the iCloud Method:

  • Text Messages, Call History, and Website History can not be monitored with the iCloud method anymore
  • Temporary locks may happen with the Apple ID
  • iCloud disk space is limited unless you take the paid plan from Apple.

Benefits of the iTunes / WiFi Method:

  • Not having to jailbreak the phone to allow monitoring
  • No need to install a special app on the device
  • The iPhone and the Computer can Sync over the WiFi
  • No disk speed limit as imposed by the iCloud
  • Monitor more log types like WhatsApp, iMessage, Text Messages, Websites Visited, Media, and More.

Drawbacks of the WiFi Method:

  • Location cannot be tracked
    • You can use the iCloud method OR the App to track device location.

Using the iCloud method will mean you need to have access to the Apple ID and password used on the phone, which can lead to temporary locks. With the iTunes method, you will need to connect the phone to the computer first, something that could be difficult if you do not have a Windows or Mac computer.

How to configure Family Orbit for the iCloud solution

Configuring Family Orbit with iCloud is easy. With some simple steps and a fast setup speed, you’ll be able to start using Family Orbit in no time.

How to Configure iPhone Spy using Apple ID with Family Orbit?

Download Family Orbit

  1. Sign up for Family Orbit and create your account. 
  2. You will need to confirm that iCloud is active on the device.

Configure iCloud

  1. To be able to monitor your child’s device via iCloud, you’ll enable iCloud first. If an iCloud account doesn’t exist, you’ll need to set one up. 
  2. Enter the iCloud username (an email address) and password – you may need your child to give you these if you don’t already have them.
  3. You will need to enable Find My iPhone to be able to track GPS location.
  4. Go to ‘Backup’ and then select ‘Backup now’ to create the first backup. The phone will now backup automatically when the phone is plugged in and connected to WIFI, and will usually backup every 24-48 hours.

Connect the iCloud account to Family Orbit

  1. Log in to the Family Orbit dashboard.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to select ‘Add an iCloud device’
  3. You will need to add the iCloud details and link them to the family member you want to track. 
  4. You will then be asked to confirm the device you wish to monitor.
  5. If prompted, you’ll need to add the license for your Family Orbit account.
  6. Your account will be confirmed, and you’ll be all set to go.
  7. Go back to your dashboard, where you’ll be able to see an overview, as well as select more detailed data.

How to configure Family Orbit with WiFi iTunes backup?

Configuring Family Orbit with a local iTunes backup is easy. With some simple steps and a fast setup speed, you’ll be able to start using Family Orbit in no time.

(Watch this video for instructions for macOS)

Download Family Orbit

  1. Sign up for Family Orbit and create your account. 
  2. Download the application for your computer or mobile device.
  3. Once you open the application, you can create a profile for your child/children.

Connect the device to iTunes

  1. Plugin the Apple device into your computer using the relevant connection cable.
  2. Create a local iTunes backup 
  3. Select the option for ‘Automatic Backup Over WIFI’

Connect the iTunes account to Family Orbit

  1. From your Family Orbit dashboard, select ‘iTunes’.
  2. You’ll be presented with a list of devices backed up to your computer. Hit ‘Refresh’ if the device you need isn’t showing. 
  3. Select the device and associate it with the child you wish to monitor. 
  4. Perform a ‘Sync’.
  5. Go back to your dashboard, where you’ll be able to see an overview, as well as select more detailed data.

You can set up multiple devices to monitor with Family Orbit (with an additional license), as well as being able to associate them with different members of your family.

How much does Family Orbit cost?

Family Orbit is available to buy through a monthly subscription of $19.95 a month. Your subscription will auto-renew monthly until you decide to cancel. Alternatively, you can pay an annual payment of $89.95.

If you wish to monitor more than one device through iCloud or iTunes, you will need an additional license to be able to do so. 

You can pay for your monthly subscription with a Credit/Debit card or through PayPal. If you cancel your automatic payment, you will lose the ability to monitor the device.

Try our free trial

If you want to explore the features of Family Orbit before signing up for a subscription, then why not sign up for a free trial? With our free trial, you’ll be able to explore all of the benefits and features of Family Orbit before committing to a plan.

5 other iPhone Tracker apps that don’t require jailbreak

Several other iPhone tracker apps don’t require a jailbreak to be able to monitor an iPhone device. These include:


Teen Orbit is a phone-based application that can be downloaded from the App Store to monitor data accessed from iCloud. It enables users to monitor locations and other data stored in iCloud backups.

  1. PhoneRescue

PhoneRescue enables you to decode and view iTunes backup files locally but doesn’t enable the real-time monitoring that software like Family Orbit provides. This can be a useful tool to recover missing files and data from your phone.


Bark can monitor your child’s child’s text messages, photos for signs of inappropriate behavior, social media activity, YouTube history, and more. It works through local iTunes backup.

  1. mSpy Find My Friends & Family

MSpy is a GPS phone location tracker that can help pinpoint where your family members are on a map. It allows you to set Geofences that will enable you to track when your child strays from a defined radius. You’ll receive detailed location history to keep an eye on your child’s whereabouts.


KidGuard provides a range of monitoring services that can help track your child’s location, interactions, app use, browser history, and more, giving you a clear insight into your child’s recent activities. 

Like Family Orbit, these spy apps provide a range of tools to help you ensure your child’s safety. As one of the leading parental control apps to help you monitor your child’s digital behavior. Not only can you see your child’s phone activities, but you’ll be able to lock their phone if needed, and put a web blocker in place to protect your family from dangerous websites.

Which one is the best app for iOS monitoring?

With several types of monitoring apps available, it can be difficult to choose between them. However, if you want an all-in-one solution to be able to monitor your child’s phone using your preferred method, then Family Orbit is the way to go. Providing a simple setup process and a comprehensive range of features, you’ll be all set up in no time.

Family Orbit Free Trial Sign Up

Family Orbit offers the best solution for iOS monitoring as it offers both the iCloud and iTunes monitoring methods. Using the handy dashboard, you will easily be able to access the data you need, when you need it.

Family Orbit has a range of features that mean it can monitor activity such as:

  • Messages, including WhatsApp and iMessage.
  • Location and GPS data
  • Geofence alerts if your child ventures outside a defined area.
  • Photos (including saved photos and screenshots)
  • Contacts
  • Calendar Events
  • Mobile Data Usage
  • WiFi Logs
  • Battery and Device Status

With Family Orbit, you can feel safer knowing you can keep a closer eye on your child where needed. Thanks to regular updates, you’ll be able to find out the latest on your child’s whereabouts and online activities to help keep them safe, even when they’re out of the house. 

Family Orbit helps make digital parenting easy. With comprehensive features and monitoring capabilities, you’ll be able to keep an eye on what your kid gets up to when you’re not around. In an age where a lot of our lives are spent online, it’s important to monitor your child’s phone and internet use to help protect them from cyberbullying, online predators, and more. With Family Orbit, you’ll get peace of mind that your child is safe, with the option to intervene and talk to your child about their behavior if something is amiss.

While known as ‘spy’ apps, these types of apps are designed with safety in mind, helping you to keep a watchful eye on your kid’s activities. Monitor their location and what they’ve been searching for online to make sure your child stays safe.

Want to try Family Orbit for yourself? Get started with our free trial and see how Family Orbit can help you become a better digital parent.

Alexandria Ingham

Sign Up for Family Orbit Now!