How to Detect a Hidden Camera Using Android Phones

Think someone's watching you? Track their hidden camera down

A small wireless camera.

iStock/Getty Images

If you suspect you're being watched via a hidden camera somewhere in your house or private space, your Android phone is a useful tool for detecting certain types of surveillance equipment. Although not fool-proof, it's possible to use your Android phone's camera and magnetometer sensor to detect hidden cameras and microphones, or other listening devices.

How to Detect a Hidden Camera Using Android Camera

Some hidden cameras emit IR (infrared radiation) light, which isn't visible to the naked eye. The camera lens on your Android phone will pick up infrared light if you hold your device close enough. If you find a hidden camera that emits IR, it will appear in your camera's display as bright white.

  1. Launch your phone's camera app.

  2. Go around the room and point your phone's camera in areas you suspect spy equipment is hidden.

    A screenshot showing IR light from a TV remote with Android's stock camera app.
  3. If you spot any small, bright-whitish light, set your phone down and investigate further. It may be a hidden camera.

How to Detect Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices by Scanning Wi-Fi

It's possible for some lower-end spy cameras and listening devices to show up in your list of Wi-Fi connections. Refresh your network list as you walk around the room and look for any odd-looking connections or devices.

Your phone will most likely pick up several wireless devices and networks. Look for specific brand names or the word cam, camera, etc.

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Network & internet.

  2. Tap Wi-Fi.

  3. Move your phone around and watch the list of nearby Wi-Fi networks.

    A screenshot showing a list of available Wi-Fi networks.
  4. That's it!

How to Detect a Hidden Camera Using an Android App

Glint Finder, which supports Android 2.3 and up, is a free, non-intrusive hidden camera detector app that works with your devices' magnetometer sensor, as well as your camera.

Some spy cameras emit small levels of electromagnetic waves that Glint Finder helps pinpoint. The app also automatically adjusts the flash rate and cycle to help locate infrared light.

Glint Finder's magnetometer scanning option requires a magnetometer sensor.

  1. Visit Glint Finder's Play Store page, then tap INSTALL.

  2. Once installed, tap OPEN.

    A screenshot of Glint Finders Google Play page.
  3. Tap Allow to grant the app permission to use your camera.

  4. Tap Allow a second time, granting the app permission to access your device's location.

    A screenshot of Glint Finder's permission requests.
  5. Tap MAGNETOMETER SCANNING.

  6. Move your device around suspected areas. If a potential camera or listening device is close to your phone, it will be displayed on your screen.

    A screenshot showing Glint Finder using magneticometer scanning.
  7. From the app's main screen, tap DETECT INFRARED SCANNING.

  8. Tap I AGREE when the disclaimer dialog appears.

  9. Carefully move your phone's camera around areas and objects likely to house a spy device.

    A screenshot showing Glint finders ifrared scanning.

Good places to check for hidden cameras and listening devices are smoke detectors, mirrors, TVs, computer screens, pictures, lamps, ceiling fans, kitchen appliances, etc.