Did you know – removing your phone's battery is the only sure way to prevent it from being tracked


If you ever envisioned your life as that of an outlaw on the run from government sentinels, putting your smartphone in 'Airplane mode' to prevent it from being tracked will be the first and last mistake you'll make in your short-lived career. Listen to the following advice from a seasoned criminal sought by nine law enforcement agencies across several global regions – all that's accomplished by tapping that jolly airplane toggle is pulling the switch on Wi-Fi and cellular service. You thought that's enough? Nonsense!

Did it occur to you that your handy has not one, but two operating systems running at all times? Android, iOS, Windows, or whatever else you're stuck with is the mediator between you and thе little location-giving computer in your pocket. Working behind the stage is the modem's firmware, which tells it what cellular networks to connect to so your device can pull off the important, but often overlooked part of being... a phone. Airplane mode doesn't turn the firmware off, so your phone still gets to connect with cellular networks and snitch behind your back.

No big deal, then – just throw away the SIM card, or power the darn thing off until you cover up, right? Wrong, and wrong again! Getting rid of the SIM card won't do any good, because Stingray phone trackers and fake cell towers will prey on your device's identifiers in no time, exposing your general location to the authorities. 

Likewise, turning off your phone might actually do the trick, unless you're among the 10,000 or so unlucky ones that have their devices infected by a fun specimen of Android malware called 'PowerOffHijack'. It spoofs an authentic shutdown animation and makes your phone appear wide asleep. In reality, it's still very much on and easily traceable.

Thus, ditching your phone's battery remains the only surefire way of hiding your tracks. No electricity source means no way of powering any of its components, and that's simple, reliable physics! But if you want to be one of those posh outlaws that rock a new Galaxy or iPhone, you ought to know how this goes. The non-removable back makes disposing the battery impossible! The solution? Get the LG G5 – it has the premium looks and the removable battery, making it a suitable choice for your ambitions. Just don't tell anybody about your future plans, rookie!

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30 Comments

1. Proxy.from.Deep

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

Hah . ok theoretically this all is possible , but come on ... if you want to be totally untraceable - just dont use cellphones , computers etc and dont go outside . anyway few golden rules for paranoids : 1. dont give your phone to other persons 2. do not install various crap apps 3. use your brain - learn how the phone , os , network works 4. be a better social hacker than your enemy . 5. and leave yoyr phone alone - just use it

21. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

So is my phone tracked when its turned off? What about if I put it on air plane mode? LOL

2. Unordinary unregistered

PowerOffHijack Lololol

3. choata15

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This is bullsh!t trust me removing your phone battery is not going to do anything different then switching off your phone... sometimes i think phonearena just clickbait only

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Nah removing the battery is the only sure way, trust me. You can remotely access some phones when they are turned off.

15. sachouba

Posts: 266; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

What makes you think that there is no other small battery in your smartphone that enables the authorities to access your location anyway? You know, like that small battery in your laptop that keeps the clock running while it is off.

30. StuiWooi

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

Are you not aware how much power location services require? Look how battery life plummets on wearables that feature GPS. Compare this a cheap digital watch that lasts for years on a battery and that has a screen to change unlike the one keeping time in a computer. Plus, you know, device teardowns are a thing

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Turned off all the phone model we sales. Used a tester to test if there is any signal at all comming out of them. Not a signal at all. So maybe some older phone could be accesses when turned off no newer model!

20. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Signals might not be coming out but the phone can still receive signals, use the right ones and you can communicate with certain components of the phone and gain remote access, once you have done that then you simply have to download spyware onto the device over the air.

22. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

This sounds like tin foil hat stuff HAHA

27. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yeah because someone spying on you though your phone has a lot in common with a tin foil hat.

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Neh, you're just naive in this case. Here's some insight, take the iPhone for example, even when it has been turned off or the battery dies, the Micro Processor is still able to collect motion activity data from low-power sensors such as the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope (cellular and wireless communication is handled by a separate power-hungry Qualcomm chip): http://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/03/05/iphone-5s-m7-tracking-dead-battery/ You could easily use a compass to determine location (http://www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fbit+ly%2F1g0q5HY ). If a point of origin is known before the device powers down (that's similar to pinpointing a landmark on your map), you could just use the compass data (and the step counting data of course) to track the device's entire movement on planet Earth. Based on all the background location services all Smartphones have, it's not hard to believe that my Smartphone has my most recent co-ordinates before it powered down. The cellular capabilities while powered down opens the ability to send this tracked location data to some remote location.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

You are right part of the phone stay active but there is no power to the modem itself so no way to send those info. We tested with rf signal analyzer we use to help setup big business wifi network. Its also detect cellphone signal for cellphone booster ect. No signal come out of any of the phone we tested when its turned off. So when its turned off its off! But yeah you cant stop it from sending those info next time its turn on :)

4. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 729; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

This is more of an advertisement so that the users would buy an lg G5 phone. Do you think of us as an idiot? Even if you remove the battery. That tracker would still be able to identity and known your location once you turn your unit on.

6. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

The point is that the tracker wouldn't know where you were between the time you turned it off and the time you turned it on. No matter, as the tech behind license plate readers, facial recognition and the GPS that's embedded in newer vehicles matures things could get to the point where they don't need your cell signal to find you.

8. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

"Did you know – removing your phone's battery is the only sure way to prevent it from being tracked" You can also throw it in a pool of lava, smash it to pieces, slice it with a ninja sword, drop it in acid. There are many ways to prevent it from being tracked.

9. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

Well, i can make the phone die with 0 battery. That sure will do the trick

13. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Not really a solution, see post 12. above...

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

so... whats the down side of being tracked? did some special agents will chase me and kill me?

14. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

It's basically the same old story; values change, the data doesn't. Less than a century ago, a registration list turned into a jew victims list for Adolf Hitler...that situation comes into concern when you're being governed by some criminal, which sure isn't news in the US (e.g. 9/11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes&index=4 ), and Drumpf looks like he'll be Adolf Hitler the 2nd.

11. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

so does that mean the CIA paid Apple designer to make their phone battery non removable because the CIA knows others would follow or copy Apple designs? Just asking?

16. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Such "conspiracies" aren't impossible in the US, given what the laws of physics and nature paint about 9/11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes&index=4

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Lol so right :)

23. albertvolko

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 07, 2016

I highly recommend you SpyToMobile app (find it on google). I got access to my girlfriend's phone using this service. Now I know all her texts, calls, WhatsApp and Viber info, location.

24. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

Since when was stalking and stealing personal information legal?

25. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

I remember that a teacher of mine at school would take all of our phones and would turn them on and try to unlock them and use them, for some reason. So my friend would take the battery out of his Galaxy S2 and she couldn't turn it on. Good times.

26. gsv619

Posts: 54; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Great advertisement for the LG G5! Now make a TV advertisement for this, and G5 sales just might go up by 1%

28. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

For phones without a removable battery you could lodge a thumb tack in the phones reset hole which should momentarily disconnect the battery and then tape it in place for semi-permanent use. You could also just use a hammer on the phone as most phones without a removable battery should probably be fully dismembered in the first place...

29. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Isn't it also a good decoy for you, Mr.average Joe? SMH

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