Google Location History. All Options to Activate, Deactivate, and Clear

If you own an Android smartphone, you probably know that Google can recognize your current location. Accordingly, Google can keep track of your movements on the ground, compiling a history of places visited and a tracking map. Some people will find this feature very convenient and interesting, but others will find it too intrusive and dangerous.


Today I will tell you how to compile the Google location history and how to disable this “dangerous” service. I will share my own experience. Not so long ago I accidentally discovered that Google Maps keeps a history of my movements in the city. At that moment the only thing that shocked me was that I was completely unaware of it. On the other hand, I found it interesting that Google had saved my travel data from a week, a month, and a year ago. At the time, I hadn’t yet planned to turn off Google’s location history. The famous Internet company constantly states that the map of movements remains confidential and available only to the account owner.


Only a little later I wondered if it is possible to clear my location history completely or partially, as well as how to disable the Google location history service forever. Which I am ready to share with you!


How do I know if Google location history is turned on?


It all depends on the correct setting of your Google account on Android. To find out if your location history is turned on, open the Google service called Chronology (Google Maps Timeline). In the lower left corner under the map you will find a section with the inscription “Location history is disabled” and a blue button suggesting to enable it “Enable history”. If the history is already enabled – the inscriptions will be corresponding.


There is also an alternative way to manage the Google service with the timeline of your locations. Open your Google account, find the “View Activity” subsection under “Privacy”, and in it the item “Chronology in Google Maps”. Once clicked, you’ll be taken to the Chronology service map with a similar choice of enabling/disabling the service.


It’s worth noting right away here that disabling Google location history will not erase your past location history. That is, all old data will remain. If you want to delete absolutely everything in your history, then there is nothing easier – in the lower right corner, find the service settings icon in the form of a gear, click on it and select “delete location history” in the context menu. In the English version, this sounds like “Delete all Location History”.


Perhaps you need to delete your location for one day or a specific address you visited? That’s very easy, too! Open “Chronology.” In the upper left corner, you’ll find a calendar of three sections, “Year-to-Date,” “Month-to-Date,” and “Day-to-Day.” Depending on your tasks, choose the period or date you want. Now on the map itself you will see all your movements for that period or day. Then you will have two scenarios available to you:

  • Delete one day, month, or year. To do this, use the urn icon in the lower right corner of the map with the caption “Delete data for the day”.
  • Delete a specific address or location. To do this, select the desired location in the left panel with the list of addresses, open the context menu through the icon with three dots, and select the item “Delete record”.

Checking the tracking settings on your smartphone


Let’s start with users of the iOS operating system. In order to disable the record of Google location history on the iPhone, you will need to log into either the Google search app or another application of this company, such as Google Maps.


In the Google search app, tap on your profile image in the upper left corner and open the app’s settings. Next, go to the menu item:
“Privacy” –> “Location” –> “Location Reporting” and activate the “Do not report” option. In this way you will disable the fixation of your current location.


If you want to know where you are with your iPhone, but don’t want to save your travel route, you will have to do something else. Again, go to:
“Privacy” –> “Location”, but in the list select another item “Location History”. Here you should select “Do not store”, and confirm your choice by clicking “Done”.


Let’s stop at the next option to manage the history of Google location. Tap in Google Maps on the icon in the form of a stack of three pancakes, located in the upper left corner of the mobile application. Then successively tap on “Your timeline”, the graph icon at the top left, and tap on “Settings” in a new menu.
Under Location Settings you can see if “Location Reporting” and “Location History” are currently enabled or disabled. Here, without leaving the maps, you can delete all or part of your location history.


I should also note that relatively recently in the main panel of the mobile version of Google Maps there is a new feature called “Share location”. This function allows you to temporarily share information about your location with one of your contacts.


In order to determine which of your applications on the iPhone use information about your position on the map, select this subsection:
“Settings” –> “Privacy” –> “Location Services”

For Android smartphone users, the process of managing location history is similar. Open in the smartphone settings:
“Settings” –> “Location” –> “Google Location Reporting”
In the last window, use the slider to select the mode of operation – with Google Location History enabled or disabled.

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