If I use Find my iPhone to locate my son's phone, does he know I am checking? Does his phone alert him that I'm checking on him?

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    I would strongly recommend that you let your son know that you want to be able to check where he is, and you do so occasionally as part of being a responsible parent. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Mar 30 '14 at 9:14
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    I agree with @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen. I myself am an 18 year old child with an iPhone of my own. My parents respectfully asked if there were a way to track where I am on occasion, genuinely to check up on my safety rather than wether or not I'm going somewhere I shouldn't. In agreeing to this, I'm basically telling them I don't have anything to worry about them tracking me as I don't go anywhere I shouldn't, so there's nothing to hide. My suggestion would be to ask him to install an app by Apple called "Find My Friends". It's sole job is to track people and would be the best approach to this. – SteppingHat Apr 6 '14 at 5:02
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    Expanding on my last comment to link to the question, "Find My Friends" does not notify the person when you are tracking them if you are on each others friend lists. However, same with "Find my iPhone", if your son were to look into location services, the location indicator will appear if that app/service has accessed his location within the past 24 hours. But it requires him to constantly check that settings pane for that indicator. – SteppingHat Apr 6 '14 at 5:04
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    @SteppingHat In Denmark 18 years by default means you are a full adult (unless you are incapable and need a warden or similar). I would personally not consider you a child but an adult. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Apr 7 '14 at 9:38

By default, no, there is no way for them to know the device is being viewed through Find My iPhone.

However, your son could enable System Services status bar icon so that the device shows the location services icon in the status bar when any system service location tracking is active.

  • Settings → Privacy → Location Services → System Services → Status Bar Icon

This shows the normal location services icon (and not a special icon for Find My iPhone) if the device's location is being obtained through Find My iPhone.

Whether your Son has other location services that would cause the icon to already show or if he would notice the times when the server asks for an update is another story, but it's possible for him to get tipped off if he changes one setting.

Furthermore, if the device is jailbroken, there are numerous tweaks which would make detecting Find my iPhone extremely simple, from Firewall iP to network logging.

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    Don't forget that each entry in the list gets a purple or grey icon if it's used location services recently. I frequently use this to figure out what's using location services; if Find My iPhone was using location services, I'd be very suspicious—doubly so if I knew someone else had access to the Find My iPhone iCloud account. – Calrion Mar 29 '14 at 20:51
  • This answer might be technically correct but isn't what mom is asking. The phone only shows the tracking icon for a few seconds during the moment that tracking happens and then turns off. If you go into find my iPhone and locate the phone, all total the icon will show on the phone for about 10 seconds, and only if this settings option is turned on. It does not "alert" him that she's checking and it's highly unlikely that he would notice unless he was staring at the phone the exact moment the location happened. – badweasel Mar 30 '14 at 7:42
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    @badweasel the question was "Does my son know I'm using Find My iPhone" and this answer is saying "he might be able to if he notices that the location services are active and he finds that unusual". It clearly explains that there's no specific alert for the Find my iPhone feature. I can't see how this doesn't answer the question. – Josh Apr 4 '14 at 16:56
  • "will my son know" is not the same as "are there any subtle on screen indicators that he might notice if he happens to look at his phone during an exact 10 second period". I did say that it was technically correct. But the answer suggests that the arrow icon is on the entire time she's tracking him and it is not. So the answer of "will he know" is "maybe but probably not, depending on how much he's paying attention. But there is no way for him to set it to alert him (set off an alarm) if he's tracked. And even if he sees the arrow he might not make that connection. – badweasel Apr 6 '14 at 2:41
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    @Francisco See edit – grg Jan 29 '18 at 14:08

No, he will not notice tracking. Phone will alert only if you press "Play sound on iPhone".

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    i don't know why the down vote so i up voted you. your answer is correct. – badweasel Mar 30 '14 at 7:34

Since the question was "will he know" and not "is there any way to know", I've decided to answer:

Maybe he'll figure it out but probably not. It really depends on how much he's paying attention. @grgarside's answer is technically correct that he can turn on a setting which puts an arrow on the screen whenever the phone it figuring out it's location. But it's subtle and doesn't show on the home screen which app is determining location. Also, if you're tracking someone for an hour, it will only show the icon on their phone about once every other minute for about 5-10 seconds each time. So it's very subtle and the arrow does not stay on. There is no way for him to set the phone to alert him (set off an alarm) if he's being tracked. And even if he sees the arrow on screen he might not make the connection that she's tracking him. Because lots of other apps also use location services.

Will he know that she's tracking him? NO. The most would be that he might suspect it.

  • My answer also makes reference to jailbreaking, in which case it is trivial to detect and alert if Find my iPhone is used. – grg Apr 6 '14 at 7:32
  • That's a good point and should be considered. But I also think that this question can be looked at different ways, one being a technical truth and one being about what she meant - or the question behind the question. I wasn't trying to pick a fight. I just read the question to mean something different. I also doubt that "mom" will ever come back to checkmark an answer. It's not really worth debating. – badweasel Apr 6 '14 at 8:51

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