How to Track a Cellphone With Google Latitude

Written by james t wood Google
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How to Track a Cellphone With Google Latitude
Google Maps includes the Latitude service for location-sharing. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Google's Latitude service will only share your location if you opt in. If you want to track the location of a mobile phone with Latitude, you first must send a request to the owner of the phone and ask that person accept the request. The phone's location cannot be tracked otherwise. Latitude can use location information in cellular networks, global positioning satellites or wireless network information to track the phone's location.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open on the cellphone that you want to track. Follow the instructions on the screen to install Google Latitude. You may be redirected to an application store or market and requested to install Google Maps. Only do this on a phone that you own. If the phone belongs to someone else, ask them to install Google Latitude.

  2. 2

    Launch Google Latitude or Google Maps on the phone and sign in using your Google account. Press the Menu key on your phone, then select Latitude.

  3. 3

    Select the "Add Friends" button that has a "+" sign next to a silhouette of a head. Select the contacts with whom you want to share location information. Only these contacts will be able to track the phone.

  4. 4

    Go to on a computer. Log in to your Google account. On the "Friends" tab, you will see the most recent location for all of the friends who have accepted your Google Latitude request.

  5. 5

    Click on the "History" tab to track the past locations of your phone. You can sort the history by "Most Recent," "Most Frequent" or "Farthest from Home" through the drop-down menu next to "Visited Places."

Tips and warnings

  • If GPS is not enabled on your phone, or the phone doesn't have GPS, Latitude will provide a general location based on the cell tower the phone is using. The size of the blue circle on the Latitude map shows the range of space where the phone may be.

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