learn to track

So you want to spy on WhatsApp messages? Here’s how you can easily do it!

You may suspect that your partner is cheating on you with their ex. Your kid may have gotten distant all of a sudden and you think that they are having trouble at school. In those cases and more, one of the things you may want to use to get some solid answers is reading their WhatsApp messages.

In this article, we will explain exactly how WhatsApp spying works and what you can do with simple tools at your disposal. If you have any specific questions or concerns, head over to our Q&A section or ask away in the comments below.

WhatsApp cannot be hacked – don’t trust YouTube videos

Want to spy on someone’s Viber instead? Head over to our Viber spying guide here.

If you do a simple search on Google or on YouTube, you may find hundreds of people claiming that they can help you hack into any WhatsApp account. Moreover, they claim that such methods are extremely easy and work very effectively without issue.

We are here to tell you that you shouldn’t trust almost any of these sites. The only method that works has been outlined in our article.

Some popular videos on YouTube showcase this method in detail, though they might present it a bit differently. This is not really hacking, you are just using a trick to read messages.

Here is one example:

But other videos, like the one below, are simply deceitful:

Some of the most popular methods that don’t actually work:

  • Changing your MAC address.
  • Using a website to enter the person’s phone and then retrieve their WhatsApp messages.
  • Entering another person’s iCloud credentials so you can read WhatsApp messages sent from iPhone.
  • Using a spy app without having a rooted or jailbroken phone.

Apps like mSpy and FlexiSpy can work but only under very specific circumstances. For more on that, head over to this section.

The reason why these things don’t work is simple. In 2014, WhatsApp and Open Whisper Systems partnered up to make the messaging app a lot more secure by using a technique called end-to-end encryption, which basically “locks” incoming and outgoing messages so that only you and your recipient can see them.

Don’t be deceived: anyone that claims they can “hack” WhatsApp wants something from you

There is a lot of information on the web about spying on WhatsApp messages including a variety of apps and methods that claim to be able to “hack” into the messaging service.

There are three main reasons why most of those apps and methods are still online:

  • They are old, which means that they may have worked at some point but not anymore.
  • They force you to enter your email address and then spam you with irrelevant information.
  • They are designed to make you pay but do not actually deliver.

With all that said, there is a method directly connected to WhatsApp that does work, as we will see in the section right below.

BEWARE of the laws regarding tracking covertly

Always consider your country’s or state’s law before attempting any type of spying on someone without their knowledge (unless it’s your underaged children). Do it at your own risk.

Exploiting WhatsApp Web is really the only way to read other people’s messages

While WhatsApp itself cannot be hacked, it doesn’t mean that you cannot read other people’s messages. In fact, you can exploit WhatsApp’s own Web service to suit this exact purpose!

As some of you may know, WhatsApp can be used on your phones as well as your laptops, PCs, and other similar devices. The reason for that is the WhatsApp Web service, which is meant to make it easier for you to keep up with messages regardless of the device you are using at any given time.

With a little work, WhatsApp Web can be exploited to suit our needs. To accomplish this, you will need to have physical access to (the target phone) whose WhatsApp you want to spy on. If the person’s phone is protected by a PIN or a pattern, you will also need to know those.

The way this method works is quite simple. WhatsApp Web requires you to scan a QR code displayed on a web page from your app.

There are three main ways to complete this process and we will go through all of them in detail:

  • Reading their messages on your computer.
  • Reading their messages on your phone.
  • Reading their messages via another app.

Be aware: On Android 7.1.2 and iOS 10, the latest versions of these operating systems, WhatsApp Web activates a persistent notification on the target phone, like the one seen in the screenshot below.

WhatsApp message that indicates that the is active on web
WhatsApp notifications that indicates that the app is active on web

How to read their WhatsApp messages on YOUR computer

The first way to use this method is the way WhatsApp itself intended. While on your computer, go to https://web.whatsap.com.

Once there, you should see a QR code like the one above. That webpage also has instructions for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone.

  1. Open WhatsApp on the target phone.
  2. Go to Menu/Settings.
  3. Select the WhatsApp Web option.
  4. Place your smartphone’s camera on the QR code and let it scan.

When the scan is successful, WhatsApp Web will connect automatically. Then, you will be able to read messages from the target phone as if it was your own account!

WhatsApp messages on desktop
WhatsApp messages on desktop

How to read their WhatsApp messages on YOUR phone

This method is more or less the same as above, only you can use your own phone instead of a computer. This is very useful if you are out and about and do not have access to a laptop or a PC.

  1. Open Google Chrome on your phone. If you don’t have it, install it.
  2. Go to the https://web.whatsapp.com page.
  3. Open the Settings menu from the top right corner.
  4. Check the Request Desktop version box.

You will now be able to see a QR code exactly like you would if you were on a computer. Follow the exact same steps as above to read the messages.

How to use another app to read their WhatsApp messages

If you don’t want to do those steps by yourself, some people have
created apps that leverage WhatsApp Web to do all the work for you.

These apps all operate in the exact same way. Instead of having
you go through the steps yourself, they open a version of WhatsApp web, display
a QR code, and have you scan it with the target phone.

These apps all share similar characteristics:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Low chance of getting caught, unless they see you using them.
  • Free but full of ads.
  • Can be set up in 5 minutes or less.

Some example apps include:

Now that we have covered this simple method (and hopefully given you a way to read those WhatsApp messages), it’s time to touch upon some other topics as well.

I can’t get my hands on the target’s phone. Can I still spy on their WhatsApp messages?

The answer to that burning question is a definite no. Unless you can actually access their phone, you will not be able to spy on their WhatsApp messages. All the methods we have outlined here need you to have physical access to the phone!

A creative way to read messages: spy on the entire phone

Throughout this article, we have mentioned that WhatsApp itself cannot easily be hacked because its messages are encrypted. For everyday users, this means that there are very few ways to circumvent these protections.

One thing you could try is spying on their entire phone. HOWEVER: this method only works in rooted Android phones and jailbroken iPhones. If you happen to be tech savvy enough to know what these terms mean, and you are willing to pay for a spy app, here’s what you can do:

Install a spy app to read their messages

There are two main apps that you should consider installing: mSpy and FlexiSpy. Look at the table for a quick look at their features and requirements.

 mSpyFlexiSpy
Works without root/jailbreak?NoNo
Can view texts, pictures, and videos from WhatsApp?YesYes
Can view WhatsApp logs on an online control panel?YesYes
Can it be accidentally discovered?Yes (only on the iPhone)No
Price$ 69.99 / month OR $ 199.99 / year *$ 68 / month OR $ 149 / year

*Renews automatically if paying by credit card or PayPal

As you can see, the only real difference is that mSpy is easier to detect than FlexiSpy. The reason is that on iPhone, mSpy appears on the Settings whereas FlexiSpy doesn’t. Even so, both apps are quite good and we will go through them individually.

mSpy – The best option for simple monitoring with a modern control panel

In jailbroken iPhones and rooted Android phones, monitoring WhatsApp messages via mSpy is the same:

  • Level of difficulty: High (jailbreak/root is required).
  • Chance of getting caught: Low (but higher on iPhone).
  • Price: $69.99/month or $199.99/year (Premium tier required, both renew automatically).
  • Time required: ~1 hour to root or jailbreak, 20 minutes to set up mSpy.

Here’s what you NEED to do before installing mSpy

Before proceeding, you will need to ensure that the target phone is jailbroken if it’s an iPhone or rooted if it’s an Android phone. For more information on these two, read our guide here (link to jailbreak/root article).

If you don’t want to do this on your own because it looks very technical and difficult, you can always pay mSpy to do it for you. Go to the mSpy website and chat with the live support team which will direct you mAssistance, a service that will let them jailbreak or root the target phone.

Keep in mind that in order to use that service, you will need to have the target phone in your hands and a computer close by as you will have to connect it to the computer so that they can do their thing.

If you are still interested, then you should know that this additional service will cost you a one-time fee of $43.99.

  1. The next step is to go to the mSpy website and purchase the Premium plan. Make sure to give them a valid email address because you will need it in the next step.
  2. mSpy will send you an email which will contain the login information for the Control Panel. That panel is where you will find the WhatsApp logs later on, and where you will find the application now.
  3. Go to the link provided in the email address, log in with your credentials, and follow the Set Up Wizard.

Now read on below to see how you can install the app on iPhone and Android.

This is how you install mSpy on an ALREADY JAILBROKEN iPhone

  1. Open the Cydia app.
  2. Go to the Manage tab.
  3. Tap on Sources.
  4. Tap on Edit and then Add.
  5. Enter http://repo.mspyonline.com as the source.
  6. Tap on Return to Cydia.
  7. Select the Mtechnology LTD repository.
  8. Select the iPhoneInternalService and install it.
  9. Tap on Restart Spring Board.
  10. Open the app you just installed and enter the registration code from mSpy.
  11. Your iPhone will restart, and that app will disappear.
  12. Go to the mSpy Control Panel again and confirm that the phone appears there.

If all of this sounds confusing, just watch this video from mSpy instead:

This is how you install mSpy on an ALREADY ROOTED Android phone

  1. Open the Settings.
  2. Go to the Security menu.
  3. Turn on the Enable Unknown Sources option and confirm the warning.
  4. Go to the mSpy Control Panel, follow the steps, and download the app.
  5. Install the file you just downloaded.
  6. Launch the app and tap on Activate.
  7. Confirm the root permission request.
  8. Choose if you want to hide the icon or not.
  9. Enter the registration code.
  10. Go to the mSpy Control Panel again and confirm that the phone appears there.

mSpy also has an installation video for Android too:

View all WhatsApp chats from the target phone right in the mSpy control panel
View all WhatsApp chats from the target phone right in the mSpy control panel

Note: In the video, mSpy tells you to go to the http://kypler.com website which no longer works. Instead, you will find a working link in the Control Panel as I said before.

FlexiSpy – Undetectable monitoring on both iPhone and Android

The one major advantage that FlexiSpy has over mSpy on the iPhone is that it’s practically undetectable. Here’s everything else you need to know:

  • Level of difficulty: High (jailbreak/root is required).
  • Chance of getting caught: Low.
  • Price: $68/month or $149/year (Premium tier required, does not renew automatically).
  • Time required: ~ 1 hour to root or jailbreak, 20 minutes to set up FlexiSpy.

What you need to do before installing FlexiSpy

As we have mentioned before, you will need a jailbroken iPhone or a rooted Android phone to read WhatsApp messages with FlexiSpy. In case you missed it before, take a look at our information guide on jailbreaking and rooting (link here).

Like mSpy, FlexiSpy also offers a remote assistance service that lets them jailbreak or root the target phone for you. FlexiSpy’s service costs $39.99 and you can get it by visiting the Remote Installation page and clicking on the BUY NOW button.

Just keep in mind that you will need to have physical access to the phone and to a computer at the same time.

  1. Now that you are aware of the requirements, you can go to the FlexiSpy site and click on the Buy now button to purchase the Premium package. You will need a valid email address here too.
  2. After completing the purchase, you should receive two emails from FlexiSpy, one with a confirmation of your purchase and another with your login credentials and a link to the control panel, the FlexiSpy Portal.
  3. Go to the portal, log in with your information, and you will find the Installation Wizard.

If you want more hep, check out our own step-by-step guide below.

Here’s how to install FlexiSpy on an ALREADY JAILBROKEN iPhone

  1. After logging to the Portal, select iPhone as the target device.
  2. Choose the My device is already jailbroken option and click on Next.
  3. Take the target jailbroken iPhone and open the Cydia app.
  4. Go to the Manage tab.
  5. Tap on Sources.
  6. Tap on Edit and Add.
  7. Enter http://ios.mflx.biz as the source and tap on Add Source.
  8. Tap on Return to Cydia.
  9. Select the ios.mflx.biz repository.
  10. Tap on System Core and install it.
  11. Tap on Restart Springboard.
  12. Open the System Core app and enter your registration code.
  13. Choose if you want it to be visible or not.
  14. Go to the Portal once again and you should see the iPhone there with logs appearing soon after.
  15. To launch the app on the iPhone again, open the Dialer app and dial # and your registration code.

For your convenience, you can also watch a YouTube video on the installation:

Here’s how you can install FlexiSpy on an ALREADY ROOTED Android phone

  1. After logging to the Portal, select Android as the target device and click on Next.
  2. FlexiSpy will give you a unique link to download an app in the target Android phone. Don’t click on it now, just make a note of it.
  3. Take the target phone and open the Settings.
  4. Go to the Security menu.
  5. Turn on the setting that says Enable Unknown Sources and tap on OK.
  6. Now, open Chrome on the same target phone.
  7. Enter the link you got above. A download should begin automatically. If not, just tap on the download link again.
  8. Once the file has been downloaded, tap on it and go through with the installation.
  9. FlexiSpy disguises itself as “SystemUpdate”. Find that app and open it.
  10. You will be asked if you want to give root permission. Say yes.
  11. Choose to run in Full mode. This will restart the phone so keep that in mind.
  12. Once the phone is restarted, open the app again. You will now be required to enter the license activation code which you should have received in the FlexiSpy email.
  13. You will be asked if you want to keep the application visible. My guess is that you don’t, so choose No.
  14. You can now go back to the FlexiSpy Portal and you should start seeing logs coming in soon.

If you want to watch a video of the installation process instead, we’ve got you covered:

FlexiSpy’s control panel makes WhatsApp chats easy to read

The Q&A section

Since many of you will probably have a lot more questions, we have dedicated an entire section to some of the most burning questions based on our research.

Remember, if you want to ask anything more, drop a comment down below and we will get back to you! In fact, if your question is good, you might even be featured here!

Is it true that there is no app that can hack WhatsApp?

Yes, this is true. While a hacker with access to the target phone will be able to do anything they want to it, including decrypting the backups and getting access to every WhatsApp message on that phone, there is no app that can do the same.

As we have shown above, the apps that promise such things are not trustworthy, or they simply use a method that you can do yourself as well.

My ex hacked my WhatsApp a few years ago. How did they do it?
This is a topic that comes up very often. While we believe that we answered this in the first section, we are going to explain it once more here.

A few years ago, WhatsApp was a very basic messaging service. It had little to no protections, which meant that spying on messages was far easier.

Now, WhatsApp has vastly improved its security. It recognizes when you try to enter the app from another phone. It automatically encrypts messages so that no one else can read them. It does everything to ensure that your messages will stay private and secure.

Why does the cloud backup method no longer work?
If you are not new to WhatsApp spying, you may recall that one way to remotely spy on WhatsApp messages was to get your hands on the cloud backups provided by WhatsApp.

The reason why this method used to work is that WhatsApp did not use to encrypt those backups. So if you could enter into someone’s iCloud or Google Drive account, you could theoretically have access to their messages as well.

However, WhatsApp recently decided to automatically encrypt all backups, both local and cloud-based. So this method is no longer valid.

How can I protect my WhatsApp?
Since anyone who wants to spy on WhatsApp needs physical access to your phone, the best way to protect yourself is to secure your phone.

Put a complicated pattern lock, set up a PIN, and enable two-step verification on your WhatsApp.

To do the latter, go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification and enable it from there. That way, any process that requires you to verify your number on WhatsApp will also require a six-digit PIN code (which you will set up there).

How do I know if someone is reading my WhatsApp messages?
If you suspect that someone is spying on your WhatsApp, then you should also know that the most likely method they are using is the QR scan method we outlined above.

The easiest way to check this is to see if you are currently logged in WhatsApp Web. If you haven’t done this yourself, then you will know that you are actually being tracked.

To check this, open WhatsApp, head to the menu, and select the WhatsApp Web option. If you are currently logged in, your screen will look something like the one below.

To kick the person spying on you out, select the Log out from all computers option. Then, try to think who has used your phone except you. And if you do not have any sort of protective lock on your phone, such as a PIN code or a pattern-lock, consider putting one on immediately.

Adam Pothitos

Adam Pothitos

Technology writer and psychology major.

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