How to Check Your iPhone Location History

Use Google Maps or Apple's location services

What to Know

  • On the iPhone, turn location services on, or the phone won't track your location.
  • View Google Maps history: In the app, tap your profile image > Your data in Maps > See & delete activity.
  • To view iOS history: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations.

This article explains how to view your location history using data collected by the Google Maps app on your iPhone or data from your iPhone's location services. iPhone instructions cover iOS 12 and later.

Activate Location Services for Google Maps

Before Google Maps can track your location, you must turn on Location Services on the iPhone. The Google Maps app doesn't have to be launched on the iPhone to track your location, but it can't work without location services being turned on and then activated for Google Maps.

  1. On the iPhone, tap Settings.

  2. Tap Privacy, then turn on Location Services.

    iPhone Settings app showing path to Location Services
  3. Scroll down and select Google Maps, then tap Always.

    iPhone Location Services screen with Google Maps selected

    You don't have to keep the Google Maps app open. Just keep your iPhone with you, and it will start tracking your location.

View Tracking History in Google Maps

After turning on Location Services, here's how to view your tracking history in the Google Maps app:

  1. Open Google Maps and tap your profile photo.

  2. Tap Your data in Maps. In the Google-wide controls section, select See & delete activity.

  3. A map opens for the most recent location history, showing your travel route and local landmarks or stops. The map is zoomable, so you can enlarge it for details. Use the menu directly under the map to switch to other dates. The details of the history also appear under the map.

    Google Maps screens showing path to location timeline

    You may delete history from the timeline or delete your entire history from the database.

    You can also view your Google Maps app location history on a desktop or laptop computer by going to www.google.com/maps/timeline.

Apple iOS & iPhone Location History How-To

Apple also collects location data if you allow it to, but it provides less historical data and less detail. However, you can see some history. Here's how you set it up on your iPhone:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Scroll down and tap Privacy > Location Services.

    iPhone Settings path to Location Services
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the Location Services screen and tap System Services.

  4. Tap Significant Locations (called Frequent Locations in some versions of iOS). You can turn this feature off with the toggle switch at the top of the Significant Locations screen.

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find your location history with location names and dates. You can now see everything that Apple sees.

    iOS path to Significant Locations

Apple stores a limited number of locations and doesn't provide precise travel tracks and timelines like Google. It provides a place, a date, and an approximate position circle on a non-interactive (you can't pinch-to-zoom it) map. If you don't want Apple to track you, toggle off Significant Locations in your iPhone's Settings app.

How Location Services Work

Not many people know that the location awareness of their portable devices and software extends to tracking and recording their location history, as well. In the case of Google, if you opt-in, your location history consists of a detailed and searchable data file with a visible trail, organized by date and time. Apple provides less information but keeps, and displays at your request, a record of your recently visited places, without the detailed trail feature that Google offers.

Both Google and Apple provide these history files with assurances about privacy, and you can opt-out or, in the case of Google, erase your location history.

These are valuable services that help you as long as you have opted into them. In some situations, location history could play an important role in legal or rescue situations.

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