How to Tell If Someone Is on Their Phone [8 Quick Ways]

How to Tell If Someone Is on Their Phone [8 Quick Ways]

Knowing if someone is active on their phone has distinct advantages, especially when you’re concerned about your loved ones, especially those who are always out and about. 

For starters, knowing if they’re active on their phones gives you a good chance to find out their whereabouts—but how exactly do you go about it? 

Fortunately for you, the internet leaves its mark. In this post, we’ll discuss in stunning detail how to tell if someone is on their phone using eight proven hacks, allowing you to extract vital information in a quick and orderly manner. 

FIX 1: Check their status on Facebook Messenger

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix15 to 30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
Access to the internet

When you’re online, you leave a digital or electronic footprint, essentially the data you leave behind while making the most of the internet. We can then use this footprint to determine whether a person you want to track is on his phone. 

And there may not be a better way to check the digital footprint of someone than using Facebook. The most extensive social media network with nearly 3 billion users worldwide should be able to give you the information you need quickly.  

That’s because someone on FB is most likely using Facebook Messenger, the platform’s popular instant messaging mobile app with over 1.3 billion users worldwide. Just make sure to turn on your Active Status to do that. 

One catch: The person you’re scouting could choose not to leave a digital footprint. 

So, though you can check if someone is on their phone via FB Messenger, that person has the option to turn off his “Active Now” status. He can also opt for a privacy option, making it harder for you to know whether they’re on their phone. 

But we have a workaround for that, too. 

Step 1: Open the Facebook Messenger app on your phone or PC. 

Step 2: Tap on Active Status

Step 3: Toggle Show when you’re active to on.

Step 4: Check on the green dot to know if a person is on mobile. 


Note: If a person chooses to put his Active Status off, you may not be able to see a Green Dot beside his profile icon even if he’s online. 

Still, there’s a workaround. Facebook and its ingenious developers have allowed us to check if someone is online on Messenger even when turning his Active Status off. 

You can do this by simply messaging the person on Messenger. After which, look closer at the message you sent and check the bubble beside it. 

If the bubble is solid, that shows that the person is online but setting his Active Status off. However, if the bubble is hollow, that tells you the person is offline, as the differences below show. 

Step 1: Send the person a message on Messenger.
Step 2: Check on the bubble beside the message you sent. 

Step 3: However, if the bubble is hollow, that person is offline. 

FIX 2: Check their WhatsApp “last seen” status

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix10 to 20 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
Access to the internet

How can you tell if someone is active on the phone? The answer may lie in the biggest messaging app on the planet today, WhatsApp, with over 2 billion global users and counting. 

Although WhatsApp is another service from Meta (formerly named Facebook Inc.), it outshines FB Messenger in terms of security and functionality. Not only is WhatsApp a simpler, lighter app, but it’s also more secure with end-to-end encryption. 

To check if someone is online, look into Whatsapp’s conversation or chat tab. Simply open that person’s chat, and you should see a timestamp under that person’s name telling you if he’s online and active on his phone. 

The Active Status on WhatsApp helps you know someone’s online activity. The best part is it’s super-easy to find; if the person is not online, the timestamp will tell you when was the last time he was online. 

Step 1: Open WhatsApp on your phone. 
Step 2: Tap on Chats.

Step 3: Tap on the name of the person on your chat. 

Step 4: Check the person’s online status under his profile icon in chats. 





Note: The Active Status should read online if the person is online. If they’re not online, a time stamp of his last activity appears. 

FIX 3: Check their activity on Instagram

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps9
Time to Perform Fix60 to 90 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone Access to the internet

With a platform that has attracted mostly teens, Instagram is another social media app to monitor someone, especially if you’re zeroing in on your child. Research shows a huge chunk of teens ages 15 to 17 (73%) use the mobile app. 

To check if someone is online on Instagram, head to the Direct Message tab and check if a green dot appears on the person’s name. If so, that means the person you monitor is online and is using Instagram. 

Moreover, you can use a story on your Instagram account to bait the person to “see” and reveal his online activity. Post your story on the SM platform, and after some time, check the icons of people who have seen it. 

A note, though: You must turn on your Activity Status first to monitor other people’s statuses via Instagram. Also, if someone has turned off Activity Status, you won’t be able to determine whether they’re online. 

Step 1: Open Instagram. 

Step 2: Tap on the Profile icon.

Step 3: Tap on Settings. 

Step 4: Tap Privacy.

 
Step 5: Tap Activity Status. 

Step 6: Toggle Activity Status. 

Step 7: Tap on the Messages button (top right).

Step 8: Check on the green dot on the person’s icon. 


Note: A green dot appears on someone’s icon when using Instagram. 
Step 9: Check on the timestamp to know the last active status. 


Note: If a person chooses to put his Active Status off, you may not be able to see a Green Dot beside his profile icon even if he’s online. 

FIX 4: Use the Find My Friends feature on iPhone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededAny iPhone

How to tell if someone is active on their iPhone? It’s easy; just use the Find My built-in feature with iOS devices. 

If you’re using an iPhone and the person you’re monitoring also uses one, then the Find My Friend feature is spot on. This feature tells you the location of the person you’re looking for and is extremely useful. 

Just one catch: Both of you have an iOS device; plus, the person you’re checking on has to share his location for you to be able to find him. Note that this feature is available on all iOS devices, the Apple Watch including. 

Also, you need to share your location first with the person you want to monitor before locating the person. 

A cellular-capable Apple Watch will give you even more flexibility. When you’re not using your iPhone, Find My Friends will locate you using your Apple Watch instead of your smartphone, which is handy when exercising outdoors. 

Step 1: Open the Find My app on your iPhone. 

Step 2: Tap on the name of the person you want to find under People. 


Step 3: Scroll down, then tap on Choose to Follow Location

Note that the Find My app doesn’t use the internet to track Apple devices. Rather, it uses Bluetooth and the extensive network of millions of Apple devices, so you can still track someone even if he’s not online. 

FIX 5: Check their Activity on Snapchat

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix15 to 30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
Access to the internet

Another social media platform popular with teens is Snapchat. As the app relies on gamification, it shells out a Snapchat score, virtually a count of online activity when using the app. 

A high Snapchat score means the person has sent and received a lot of snaps, while a low score means low activity. Knowing one’s score, therefore, can help determine if the person spends an enormous amount of time on their device. 

Step 1: Open Snapchat on your phone. 
Step 2: Tap on your profile icon (upper left corner).

Step 3: Slide to the right to see your Snapchat Friend list

Step 4: Tap on a friend’s bitmoji to view the Snapchat score. 


Note: Bitmoji is a distinctly Snapchat term that denotes the cartoon version of someone’s profile picture. 
Step 5: Check the Snapchat score beneath the user name. 

Note that Snapchat scores differ from Likes on social media platforms like Facebook. It’s not based on your content’s increasing popularity; it’s a measure of a user’s activity level and how much he interacts with others. 

FIX 6: Check when they last read a text message

A quick way to find out if someone is on their phone is to check their last text message. Checking will show you how someone has been spending time on their device. 

Go to your text messaging app and zero in on your conversation with the person. To view the timestamp, simply tap on the convo, and the timestamp should be visible beside each message. 

The steps are fairly straightforward for an Android user, but they may not be as clear-cut for iPhone buffs. Individual iPhone iMessage timestamps are hidden by default; follow the steps below to reveal them. 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 to 30 seconds
Things NeededAny iPhone
Step 1: Go to Messages app. 

Step 2: Open a message (of the person you want to check). 

Step 3: To check the timestamp, drag a particular message to the left

Step 4: See the timestamps on the right side of the text. 

FIX 7: Use Find My iPhone on iCloud.com

Another unique way to know if someone is on their phone is to use the Find My iPhone feature. Remember that iPhones must register to iCloud to use this feature. 

To do that, head to iCloud.com and sign up using your Apple ID. Click on “Find My iPhone” to reveal a map showing the location of the devices linked to your Apple ID.

If you want to check on a person, just click on the device of the person you want to monitor. The details of his activity, whether online or not, will be shown in the lower portion of the screen. 

Note that the person has to be in your network for you to be able to track him. A timestamp of the person’s last time active online should appear if not online, telling you the last time he was on his phone. 

FIX 8: Check TrueCaller Live Status

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 to 30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet

TrueCaller is an ingenious app that helps protect you from scammers and robot callers with its iconic Caller ID feature that helps you identify a caller. This way, you have advanced knowledge and avoid fraudulent schemes. 

You can download it free from Google Play Store, as over half a billion people on the planet have done. But the app is also available on iTunes. 

The good news is that TrueCaller allows you to track someone’s online activity so long as the person you’re looking up is also on TrueCaller. Know that the app is set to on by default, but a user can also choose to turn the app off. 

Monitoring someone is easy; just find the person’s profile in the TrueCaller app. What’s more, you can do this by entering their contact details; you can even track someone who’s not an immediate friend so long as he’s on TrueCaller. 

Someone on his phone would display a red phone icon beside their phone number in the app. On Do Not Disturb or Silent mode, an unavailable person will have a red bell on display instead. 

Step 1: Open the TrueCaller app. 

Step 2: Tap on the Search Bar and type the number of the person. 

Step 3: Alternatively, tap on a friend’s icon on the list.  
Step 4: Check the status and timestamp under the profile contact icon. 

Someone on his phone would display a red phone icon beside their phone number in the app. If he’s on Do Not Disturb or Silent mode, an unavailable person will have a red bell on display instead. 


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