Can You Track a Phone on Airplane Mode?

Nowadays, you can track any person using simple services and apps. And this thought is frightening: every step you take can be seen by law enforcement agencies, employers, and the government. For these organizations, the importance of your location is at least somehow understandable – security and all that.

Obligatory security tips to ensure privacy.

But some people do not need to know your location. These include all sorts of scammers, hackers, and advertisers.

The place where you are revealed by an object that is always at hand – your mobile phone. All smartphones produced today are equipped with built-in location services. 

What if you don’t want to share this purely personal data with anyone? Is it possible to simply disable geolocation and no longer worry that someone will find out which city or street you are in? Can you track a phone on airplane mode, for example?

Today, you can find out the answers to these questions.

The best smartphones to protect yourself.

Your smartphone threats

Mobile phones are everywhere. They have become our main means of communication, and now we use these devices to make phone calls, access the internet, and send messages and photos.

Smartphone threats

Unfortunately, mobile phones have never been designed to ensure the privacy and security of their owners. They are not able to protect your communications from third parties, and they expose you to more and more new types of surveillance – for example, location tracking.

As a rule, mobile devices give the user much less control than a laptop or PC: you cannot change the operating system; it is more difficult for you to understand how an attack was carried out with the help of a malicious program; and it is difficult to remove or replace unwanted software that was pre-installed. 

Moreover, the mobile operator can monitor you and how you use your phone. The device manufacturer can also declare that your device is already outdated and stop providing you with software updates, including new updates regarding system security. If this happens, you will be left without protection in a world where there is a lot of malware.

However, the worst thing is that almost any user can track your geolocation, even if your phone is turned off. But can the “Airplane Mode” save the situation?

Why is it better to turn on airplane mode?

We are used to using airplane mode (or flight mode) to reduce the risk of navigation problems during air travel. But there are other, everyday ways of using this function.

No radiation

The harm of electromagnetic radiation coming from smartphones with SIM cards has not been proven. And yet, it is better to protect yourself from potential danger, for instance, when you go to bed. Many phone owners prefer to put their smartphones at their heads or even under the pillow to hear the alarm in the morning. This habit can lead to frequent headaches, and some sources warn about the possibility of getting cancer.

So, if you want to be 100% free of electromagnetic radiation, you will have to turn off the phone and not connect it to the charger.

No one bothers you

Spam has also reached our phones. A person may be unexpectedly woken up with offers to install plastic windows, check the meter, or get free legal assistance. The problem of all day and night calls is especially relevant when changing time zones.

Saving battery power

Even when a person is not talking on the phone, a certain percentage of the charge is spent on pairing with the operator’s phone towers. Depending on the smartphone and the selected operator, it can take from one to three percent of battery power to communicate. You can save this power by turning on the flight mode.

Of course, such a small saving at home, where there is access to a charger, will not be useful. But if you take the phone with you on a trip, where it will not be possible to recharge it for a long time, it is really worth turning on the flight mode periodically, for example, on a train at night when communication is absolutely not necessary.

Can you track a phone on Airplane Mode?

In general, airplane mode is not guaranteed to disable the built-in GPS sensor in the phone. The fact is, on some phones airplane mode disables GPS and on some phones it does not. First, this is necessary for security purposes: so that you can quickly find a missing person or a thief who may have stolen a smartphone.

Flight mode on phone

Therefore, if you have an application that displays the GPS location and/or time in text form or against the background of a saved map or simply captures and records locations, it will still work in airplane mode.

In addition, you need to understand that GPS is not the only source of user location data. GPS provides an accurate location, but the signal transmission time between several cell towers is regularly used to triangulate a less accurate location. Therefore, simply disabling GPS will not prevent all tracking of your location.

Airplane mode will prevent the transmission of tracking information to an external receiver. However, the app can still record the phone’s movements with the likelihood that it will eventually be able to transfer this data in some way, including someone stealing the phone or removing the micro-USB card.

However, here is a small example that will help you better understand this issue.

Suppose you turned off the GPS and did not switch the phone to airplane mode. Then your location will not be certain. However, if you have any application enabled that tracks your location, this may also become known to third parties.

Let’s assume the same situation, but the phone is switched to airplane mode and cannot receive incoming calls. In that case, it will not be able to transmit GPS data, even if this function is enabled.

But it is worth remembering that security services and law enforcement agencies may have special ways to circumvent any restrictions if the phone is turned on or even turned off in order to recognize the location of any user. And, if you believe conspiracy theories or movies, Big Brother is always watching us.

The best way to hide from online surveillance and hacker attacks is to use Utopia P2P ecosystem. Read more here.


For the most part, airplane mode disables the transmission of your location. You can listen to music, take notes, take photos and even use GPS. However, your phone cannot transmit data to the network. It can’t be tracked.


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