How to Read Someone's Text Messages Without Their Knowledge

No, it's not cool. But here's how to do it

man in kitchen reading phone

Privacy in the digital age isn't just about protecting your data online. It's about family members and friends respecting each other's boundaries with personal devices. That means that, under normal circumstances, it's never okay to read someone else's texts.

Why People Spy on Text Messages

There may be exceptions when it comes to reading text messages not sent to you. Say you have a friend who has expressed a desire to harm themselves. Or a child you think may be getting texts from people with bad intentions.

In most cases, in order to monitor someone's phone, you'll need access to it once to install the software on it. After that, you can review their messages, and some apps allow you to do it without their knowledge. Phone carriers don't always allow parents to monitor the content of text messages.

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.

Note that you won't be able to find "spy apps" (that is, apps that allow you to spy on others' phones without their knowledge) on the Google Play Store, and you may not be able to find them on iTunes. Instead you'll need to go directly to the publishers' websites.

One app that allows you to monitor activities on others' mobile devices without their knowledge is XNSPY, which is a paid service at $8.33 per month for the basic level.

On iOS devices you actually have the option to spy with or without installing software. For more advanced features you need to jailbreak the iPhone or iPad, but the less advanced way doesn't. The less advanced way requires you to have the iCloud password of the target phone because the software actually goes though the iOS device's backup to look for the data you want.

On Android it works by making a copy of all text messages and other data viewed on the target device. This allows you to read text messages not send to you.

Here's how to get started using XNSPY.

  1. Go to the XNSPY website.

  2. At the top of the screen, click Products > iPhone Spy or Products > Android Spy.

    xnspy spy app website
  3. Click Buy Now, and complete your purchase.

  4. Review the emailed installation guide to install the software on the target device.

    Yes, this means you will need one-time physical access to the device you want to monitor. In the case of an iOS device, to get the most out of this software, you will need to jailbreak the device. That means you alter iOS to allow any apps to be installed. It's a little like opening Pandora's Box. You might get what you want, but it leaves the system vulnerable to outside attackers.

    xnspy installation instructions
  5. Log onto your XNSPY dashboard to review text messages, as well as messages from other sources, location information, and more.

    xnspy text monitoring screen
  6. You can log in from any device to review text messages on the go.