How to Block Mobile Phone Tracking

By Paul Katz

With the widespread growth of GPS technologies, many cell phones now come directly linked to satellite tracking systems. Even if your cell phone is not GPS-enabled, cell phone companies can triangulate your position based on the cell phone towers that process your call. However, you can block most cell phone tracking with minimal effort.

Step 1

Disable your cell phone's location-tracking capabilities by changing your privacy settings from "location-on" to "E991" or "911-only." "E991" allows others to track your phone only when you make an emergency call.

Step 2

Delete any smart phone applications that track your location. Many smart phone applications use your phone's GPS capabilities to determine your location, and some will store your location history and may be required to provide it to law enforcement if asked.

Step 3

Remove your phone's battery or leave the phone at home if you want to be certain that no one can track you on a particular trip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact your mobile service provider to determine the tracking capabilities of your phone, as these technologies can differ according to make and model. Ask how to disable or delete your specific tracking software.
  • Many employer-issued cell phones are equipped to track employees' locations. Consult with your employer to determine if this is true of your work-issued phone. If it is, leave your work phone at home when off-duty.
  • GPS jammers are devices that make your phone impossible to track using GPS technology. Jammers may seem like a sensible way to block cell phone tracking; however, they are illegal to use in the United States. Individuals found operating a jammer may be subject to fines or even jail time.