5 Best Spy Camera Apps for 2023

Keep your home and family safe with these security apps

Spying on others using your phone may sound sneaky and nefarious, but there are legitimate (and non-creepy) reasons you may want to do so, such as ensuring the safety of your kids or pets, keeping an eye on service providers, or nabbing burglars.

If you’re thinking about using a spy camera app, be sure to check local laws to ensure you’re not breaking any.

Once these spy camera apps are installed on your phone, they can capture photos or videos without giving themselves away with sound or visual cues. 

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Alfred Security Camera

Screenshots of the Alfred security camera app

Alfred Labs Inc

What We Like
  • Flashlight and night vision feature for darker scenes

  • Instant movement alerts

  • Easy to set up with Gmail account

What We Don't Like
  • Need to keep the camera device plugged in at all times

This app requires two devices, which is easy if you have an old mobile phone or tablet lying around. Install the app on both, and the old one becomes the “camera” that surveys the area you want to monitor. The other, your regular phone, is the “viewer” through which you can see what’s being picked up by the camera. Passively view what’s happening in the camera area, or record parts of the action. Use the walkie-talkie feature to talk between the two devices or scare away intruders. Alfred is free to download and has in-app purchases.

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Silent Secret Camera HD

Screenshots of the Silent Secret Camera HD app

Christmas Apps

What We Like
  • Simple interface

  • Easily take continuous shots

  • Selective focus

What We Don't Like
  • As "stealth" as it may be, you still have to point your phone's camera at the photo subject

Designed for stealth photo ops, this Android app helps you take silent photos of your sleeping baby, a hushed library, outdoor wildlife, or in any other quiet environment. The silent operation, in conjunction with secret screen settings, is also helpful for taking spontaneous photos without friends or family knowing you’re doing it. Silent Secret Camera HD is free with in-app purchases.

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Background Video Recorder

Screenshots of the Background Video Recorder app


What We Like
  • Record video even when your screen is off

  • One-click video recorder shortcut

  • Supports night mode

What We Don't Like
  • Performance may not be consistent across all devices

One of the best video recording apps for Android, Background Video Recorder (BVR) records video with an option to disable camera sounds so others around you won’t know you’re recording. You can also schedule a recording for a future time. The app has additional features that allow you to use your front or back camera, trim videos after you record them, store videos, and set the maximum video recording time. BVR is free with in-app purchases.

Use the video recorder shortcut or the pink floating button within the app to easily start and stop recordings.

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SP Camera

Screenshots of the SP Camera app

Ratha Sou 

What We Like
  • Capture photos and videos at the same time

  • Record video in slow or fast motion

  • Change video recording resolution

What We Don't Like
  • Not all features are available on older devices

Use this app to capture photo and video images on the sly. It uses fake on-screen images (such as a web browser or a clock) to hide the fact that you’re using it. Leave the camera set up in a particular location (such as a room in your home), and it will record when any motion happens there. Or, set it up to automatically capture photos every few seconds. Your photos and videos remain secure in a password-protected folder. SP Camera costs $9.99.

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Images of the Presence app

People Power Company 

What We Like
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa

  • Supports multiple viewers

  • Many possible uses

What We Don't Like
  • Some users report technical difficulties

This home security solution enables you to use an old device as your in-house camera along with your current one to monitor it. Set it up to monitor activities in your home and get motion alerts in real-time. Unlike some of the others on this list, Presence is compatible with wireless sensors that can detect window and door entry, water leaks, temperature, and more, for an even more advanced security system. You can even set up the app to control other electronic devices in your home. Presence is free for the basic version, or upgrade to Pro for additional features.

Download for:

  • How do I get the Camera app back on an iPhone?

    If you accidentally (or purposefully) delete the stock Camera app from your iPhone, you can reinstall it later. Go to the App Store and search for "Camera," and it should be the top result.

  • How do I prevent app access to my camera?

    Spy-camera apps require access to your phone's camera, but you can revoke this permission for others. On iPhone, go to Settings > [app name] and turn off the switch next to Camera. On an Android, go to Settings > Apps > [app name], and then scroll to Permissions and turn off the Camera switch.

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