How to Turn Off Google Location Tracking

How to stop Google from tracking your physical location

What to Know

  • Go to Google's My Activity page and select Location History > Turn Off or Choose an auto-delete option.
  • To delete your location history, go to Google Maps' Timeline page and select Settings > Delete all Location History.
  • To delete visits to a specific location in the Google Maps app, tap profile icon > Your Timeline > Places > three-dot menu > Remove all visits.

This article explains how to turn off Google location tracking. The information applies to services like Google Maps and apps for Google's Android platform.

If you don't want Google tracking your activities online, there are several ways to prevent Google from tracking your internet history.

Does Google Track My Location?

Google Maps keeps a history of places you go on your Google Maps Timeline, even when the app isn't open. Your Timeline syncs with Google Photos and other apps, which can help you remember when and where you took pictures and videos. However, if someone gets access to your Google account, they can find information you might not want them to know.

If you have an Android or iOS device, Google tracks your whereabouts to help certain apps (like Google Maps) determine your location. You can disable location services, but some apps may not work correctly.

To protect your privacy, Google recommends turning on two-factor authentication for your account.

How Do I Stop Google From Tracking My Location?

If you don't want Google Maps, Google Photos, and other apps tracking your location, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google's My Activity page and, if prompted, log in to your Google account.

  2. Select Location History.

    Location of My Google Activity page
  3. Under Location History, select Turn Off.

    To automatically delete your location history after a designated amount of time, select Choose an auto-delete option.

    Turn Off on Google Location History page
  4. Select Pause to confirm.

    Pause on Google Location History page
  5. Select Delete old activity if you want to delete your location history, or select Got it to close the window.

    Return to this page any time you want to turn Google location tracking back on.

    Delete Old Activity on Google Location History page
  6. If you later decide to delete your location history, go to Google Maps' Timeline page. Select the Settings gear at the bottom of the map, then choose Delete all Location History.

    Delete all Location History on Google Timeline

How Do I Get Rid of Tracking on My Google Timeline?

If you want to delete visits to a specific location on Google Maps, use the mobile app:

  1. In the Google Maps app, tap your profile icon.

  2. Tap Your Timeline.

  3. Tap Places at the top.

    Profile icon, Your Timeline, and Places in Google Maps app
  4. Choose a category to find the location, tap the three dots next to the place, then tap Remove all visits.

    Categories, Three dot menu, an Remove all visits in Google Maps app

How to Manage Google Location Settings

On Android, you can disable location tracking for individual apps by managing your app permissions. You can choose what information each app can access from the Permission Manager. On iPhone and iPad, you can choose to enable location services only when an app is open by going to Settings > app > Location. Remember that turning off location tracking can prevent certain apps from functioning.

Hide Your Location With a VPN

If you disable Google location tracking, your internet provider and other websites can still determine your general location. Consider getting a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your location entirely. By masking your location, VPNs allow you to bypass regional restrictions on websites, so you can watch movies on Netflix that aren't available in your country.

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