How to Find a Cell Phone GPS Tracker

By Colleen Collins

By using GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking on cell phones, we're able to get directions when we're lost, monitor our children's activities, locate a friend and more. Some cell phones come with GPS devices already installed within them, while others are GPS-enabled (meaning, a cell phone location is determined through a system called "triangulation" that calculates signals from cell phone towers to cell phones). You can also purchase a GPS tracking service from a vendor. Whichever type of GPS tracking you use, there are additional, free services for tracking your cell phone as well as others'.

Step 1

Purchase GPS tracking on your cell phone. Request this option when you first buy a cell phone, or if you've already bought one, contact your cell phone provider and request to have this feature added. Many providers let you set up this feature through their websites (which provide step-by-step instructions). Typically, there is a one-time initialization fee, with a monthly charge thereafter.

Step 2

Buy a third-party GPS tracking service. If you don't have GPS functionality for your cell phone, you can purchase it through a third-party vendor. For example, AccuTracking is a one-stop shopping website where you register for the service, purchase and download tracking software to your cell phone. Once set up, you can conduct real-time GPS tracking searches on your phone, and you can track your friends' and family members' phones, too.

Step 3

Use a free GPS tracking service. If you already have GPS functionality on your cell phone, you can use a free tracking service, such as Google Latitude or Buddyway. With Google Latitude, your cell phone must be GPS-enabled (meaning GPS tracking is conducted through triangulation). With Buddyway, your cell phone must have a GPS device installed, and you also download free tracking software from their website. Both services offer registration at their websites, and you can select tracking features to view yours and others' phones. Note: Other people must first accept your invitation to track their cell phones.

Step 4

Track only your cell phone location. You can track and share your cell phone location through a free GPS tracking service such as InstaMapper ( After registering at their website and downloading a free application onto your cell phone, you share your location through embedded maps that are viewable on cell phones, websites and blogs. If you wish others to see your GPS location, you forward them a link to your map or a link to your website/blog that shows the embedded map.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never download tracking software onto a cell phone that you do not own unless you have received the owner's authorization. To covertly download such software onto another's cell phone is inviting state and federal felony wiretapping charges.