Can Police Track Your Phone If The Location Is Off?

Can Police Track Your Phone If The Location Is Off?

Can Police Track Your Phone If The Location Is Off?

It’s frightening to consider that your company, the government, or even a stalker could monitor your every move.

Today’s cellphones have built-in location services that can be exploited to divulge location information. But what if you don’t want to give anyone access to your location data? Is it still feasible to track your phone if you turn off location services on it?

If you want to know if your phone can still be tracked after you turn off location services, keep reading.

If location services are disabled, can your phone still be tracked?

It requires technical knowledge to respond to the question, “Can I be traced if location services are off?” after all, disabling location services on your phone is designed to render it untraceable. However, other means by which your device can still be traced are not always the case. So, is it possible to track a phone that is off?

Fair enough, disabling your device’s built-in location service effectively hides your location. Regardless of whether location services are enabled, trackers can still use other tools and methods to determine where your device is.

Four Ways to Track Your Phone Without GPS

To a certain extent, disabling location services on your device is effective in hiding your device’s location. Even with location services off, technologies and methods can still be used to track your phone. Here, we’ll discuss a few of them.

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Cell Carrier Towers

Yeah. They are everywhere. Cellular service providers can locate your phone by identifying the towers linked to it and calculating the time it takes to travel from the building to your device. The phone’s location is then fairly accurately determined by multiplying this delay by a formula that turns it into a specific distance or range.

Because your phone (when on) maintains a continual connection with local cell towers, this works quite effectively.

Public Wi-Fi Networks

Free Wi-Fi networks are prevalent right now. They can be tempting to connect to when you have a slow connection because they are so prevalent. But here’s the thing—even with location services disabled, your device can still be monitored through public Wi-Fi networks.

Most free Wi-Fi providers will request your device’s media access control (MAC) address in return for the connection. Every time you connect to a hotspot from the same provider, the provider can utilize the MAC address of your phone to keep track of the locations you visit.


Similar to cell towers in operation, stingrays (sometimes called cell-site simulators) serve to track your phone as opposed to giving you a genuine network connection.

To entice nearby mobile devices to connect to it, a StingRay imitates a cell tower. Law enforcement mainly uses stingrays to locate gadgets in a particular area. They transmit stronger signals than cell towers, causing mobile devices to switch from using actual cell towers to connecting and pinging them instead.

Your phone’s location may then be determined by measuring and converting the signal’s round-trip time between your phone and the StingRay, much like with cell towers.

Spyware and malware

Even when your GPS is off, pre-installed malware can be used to track your device. The most frequent method this malware uses to access your device is a Trojan horse that infiltrates your system via a backdoor.

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The Sky Free malware is an update to increase the user’s internet speed while tracking the location of the device it is installed on.

Once installed, Skygofree controls Wi-Fi networks, activates audio recording, tracks the location of the device it is installed on and manages apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp.

How to Stop Someone From Tracking Your Phone

You might want to prevent the tracking of your phone for a variety of reasons. It might be done for security or even for purposes of privacy.

After learning the answer to the question, “Can you track a phone if the location is off?” it’s critical to understand how to shield your device from tracking. The four methods are as follows:

Turn Off Wi-Fi In Public Places

Wi-Fi networks are typically preferred for connecting by the majority of cellphones. It’s possible that at one point, your smartphone automatically switched from using mobile data to a Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi is always on, this occurs quite frequently.

When in public settings, please turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi connection to avoid the possibility that it will connect to a Wi-Fi network that logs your location.

Turn off GPS

Even after disabling location services, there are still some ways that your device could be followed, but leaving it turned on is worse. Your phone’s location services can be disabled to add extra protection from the most popular location trackers.

Maintain Current Software on Your Device

Regular software updates are one of the best methods to keep your device secure. Security fixes that address coding flaws are typically included in operating system updates. Therefore, if your software is current, you’re less likely to be impacted if a new exploit is discovered.

Factory Reset

If you consider your device has been compromised, your last resort should be a factory reset. All the information on your phone will be deleted if you do this, so make a backup before you start. Our tips on resetting an iOS or Android device will be helpful if you don’t already know how to do so.

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How to Prevent Your Cell Carrier from Tracking the Location of Your Phone

You’ve undoubtedly already observed that none of the above ideas can stop your service provider from tracking your phone. There is an explanation for that.

The reason for this is that for your phone to operate effectively, it must constantly be in contact with surrounding cell towers. Turning off your device and removing the battery can prevent your mobile carrier from tracking it.

You can only be sure your device isn’t being tracked this way. If someone tries to track your device after it has been turned off, they will only be able to find it where it was just before it was turned off. Which, in ideal circumstances, shouldn’t be your residence.