Spying on Text Messages: Is It Possible Without Installing Anything?

Ignoring the moral and legal implications of spying on someone, there are times in people’s lives when the notion has crossed their minds. Now, how a person goes about doing it is big business with both Android and iOS platforms sporting hundreds of apps designed to do just that. But, what if you want to do your investigative work without installing an app on a target phone? Is it actually possible to intercept text messages without installing software on a handset?

What Are Your Options?

The answer to the above question would seem to be ‘Yes,’ you can keep an eye on who your child is speaking too. Or if you think you have an adulterous partner or unruly employee who they send and receive text messages from. In fact, the information that appears to be retrievable is exhaustive and contains details such as the following.


  • SMS & Phone Calls: View text messages and incoming and outgoing calls.
  • Applications: View installed applications on the target device.
  • Notes & Calendar Activities: View notes, appointments, and planned activities.
  • Browser History: View/monitor all browser activity.
  • Photos & Video: View and download all images and video on the target handset.
  • Location: Using GPS technology, always know where the handset is located.

Does it work for iPhones?

If you and your target person–either your child, partner, or employee–both have an iPhone, the spying on text messages part and other data is relatively simple. All you require is access to the iCloud account associated with the device. If you have that, no software is needed to be installed on their handset.

However, there is a downside to this kind of spying. If the target handset is switched off, live data will not be available. Additionally, if iCloud backup and syncing services are not enabled on the device, this monitoring will not work. Companies that offer such access to private data are KidGuard, Spyzie and mSpy.

What about Android?

As for Android, unfortunately, there currently isn’t a solution which does not require access to a user’s device. Additionally, those that offer the kind of data retrieval noted above require you to root the handset, which is something that would not be possible if you don’t want to be caught. Having said that, some spy services do offer a work around for an expensive monthly fee. Our advice would be to do your research before signing up for any service.

Perhaps Consider Another Option

However, if your goal is to keep a child safe by monitoring their activities both online and off, consider KidGuard. Yes, it may not be the non-target installed software, you were looking for, but it is the best in class. This means that should you need to know, where, what, how, or who your child is talking to, all that information is available.

Furthermore, unlike other purely snooping solutions, with KidGuard you can dig deep beyond communication to see what a child is viewing, like images and video, on the phone and on social media platforms so that you can stay in control. It also comes with an emergency feature, in case anything serious actually happens to the person you are tracking.

While there are other options available to remotely view text messages and other data without accessing or installing software, it’s murky. These services may offer things that are not only against Apple’s and Google’s terms of services but also could be illegal. Yes, while a search term such as “intercept text messages without installing software,” does fetch results. The majority will be offering you a service that requires a download, and the answering of questions to gain access. As in everything you do, you should act with extreme caution, as these could be scams intended to extort information or financial details.

About Us

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.