How to Read Someone's Text Messages Without Their Knowledge

There are text spy apps and other tricks you can use

Mother watching daughter use cell phone

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Digital privacy isn't just about protecting your data, but also respecting boundaries when it comes to dealing with personal devices. Under normal circumstances, it's not okay to read someone's texts, but it can come in handy in rare emergency situations.

Say you have a friend who has expressed a desire to harm themselves, or you think your child may be getting texts from people with bad intentions. Phone carriers don't always allow parents to monitor the content of text messages, so sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

Before looking at anyone's texts, or any other electronic communications, be sure to check and follow applicable laws regarding this action in your area.

The information below should apply to both iPhone and Android devices regardless of who made your phone: Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Read People's Texts With Spy Apps

A spy app that lets you read texts on another person's phone is entirely possible. However, you won't find such an app on your phone's app store because they're not allowed there.

You can, however, download apps outside of official app stores and use them just like a normal app. A Google search for phone spy apps should put you on the right path.

In most cases, in order to monitor someone's phone, you'll need access to it at least once so that you can install the software on it. After that, you can read texts remotely and maybe even completely secretly without the owner's knowledge.

One example of a text spy app is XNSPY. It works on both Android and iOS, you can buy it for a year at once to save some money, and there are two versions to pick from depending on the features you want.

Be careful when downloading apps outside of an official app store. They could contain viruses or copy/view information from your device.

If it's your child's phone that you're wanting to monitor, consider also using a parental control app. You can also block texts on their phone if you're concerned about a particular person.

How to Use the XNSPY Mobile Spy App

  1. Visit the Buy XNSPY Now page of their website, and select Buy Now next to the version you want to order.

    Be sure to read through the list of features for both XNSPY Basic Edition and XNSPY Premium Edition to get a full understand of what you'll get. Some features only work on rooted Android devices or iPhones that have been jailbroken. There are also heavy iOS version restrictions for the edition that works on jailbroken iPhones.

  2. Review the directions you're given to learn how to install the software on the target device.

    xnspy installation instructions

    If you bought the iOS version for non-jailbroken devices, you only need to know the person's iCloud information (you don't need their phone). The jailbroken version requires physical access to the phone.

  3. Log in to your XNSPY dashboard to review text messages, location information, and more.

    XNSPY text monitoring screen

Read Someone Else's Texts With a Web Access Tool

Several texting apps let you view the messages from a web browser, which you can take advantage of to read the texts remotely without the person knowing. Some apps let you do this without needing the phone, but others require access first.

For example, you can read someone's Facebook Messenger texts from a computer if you know their login details. You don't need their phone at all because all the texts are available from any computer or phone that logs in with the person's email and password. If you have access to their computer and they haven't logged out of Messenger, that's just as good as having the app on their phone; all their messages are visible.

However, other apps like WhatsApp require access to the phone first. If you're wanting to view your child's texts without them knowing, you need to use the app on their phone to set up WhatsApp Web access. So long as they're on Wi-Fi, you'll be able to read all their texts instantly from your computer.

Android Messages works similarly but from the Messages for web website, which lets the Android user read and send texts from their computer. Set up Messages for web from their app so that each time they're on that same Wi-Fi network, you'll be able to read their text messages from your computer.

iMessage is another way to read someone else's texts without them knowing. If some of your family members are using the same Apple ID on their iOS devices, all iMessage texts can be set to show up on every device.