I had location history enabled for Google Maps and didn’t know it. I found it interesting to see which spots Google logged for me over the past week or month or year, and I don’t plan on disabling the service. Google states that your location history map is private and visible only to you, but it’s nice to know that I can delete portions of my location history or all of it, as well as disable the feature from tracking me in the future.
Am I being tracked?
To see if you have location history enabled, head to your Google Maps Timeline. In the belt below the map Google will tell you whether location history is on or off and let you enable or pause it. (You can also find this setting in the Personal info and privacy section on your Google account page. Scroll down to the Places you go area click the toggle switch to turn it off.)
Disabling location history, however, does not remove your past history. If you’d like to erase the locations Google has stored for you, click the gear icon in the lower-right corner of your Timeline map and choose Delete all Location History.
You can also delete your whereabouts for a single day or even a single stop of a single day. Choose a day from the menu in the upper-left corner of your Timeline map. You’ll then see to the left of the map a list of your stops for that day. Click the trashcan icon at the top of the list to delete the location information for the entire day, or click the triple-dot button next to a stop and select Remove stop from day to delete just that location.
Check your phone’s location settings
For iOS users who want to disable Google’s location reporting from your iPhone, you will need to disable Location Reporting from the Google search app or another Google app on your iPhone, such as Google Maps.
For the Google search app, tap on your profile pic in the upper-left corner to open Settings. Next, tap on Privacy, tap Location and Location Reporting and then choose Do not report. You could leave Location Reporting enabled but prevent Google from storing your history by tapping Location History from the Location screen and then choosing Do not store before tapping Done.
On Google Maps, tap the hamburger button in the top left, tap Your timeline, tap the triple-dot button in the top right and tap Settings. Under Location settings, you can see if Location Services and Location History are turned on or off. From this page in settings, you can also delete all or a portion of your location history.
There is also a new item on the main Google Maps panel called Share location. It lets you temporarily share your location with specific contacts.
You can also see which apps are using location services on your iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
For Android users, the process is streamlined. Go to Settings > Location > Google Location Reporting. For Location Reporting, tap the slider to turn it off.
For more information, check out the Google support pages for location reporting for Android and for iOS.
Editors’ note: This story was originally published on November 5, 2015, and has been updated to include new information.