When you turn off “location history” Google still tracks your location when you use several of its key services including Maps, search and the weather. Here’s how to really turn all of it off.
A report from the Associated Press has highlighted that the feature called location history is just one of the systems that Google uses to track your location for personalised services, local search and other purposes such as advertising.
When you turn off location history, Google stops automatically recording your location for features such as the Maps timeline, but it warns you that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps”. When you perform a search, access Google Maps, or get the weather, either manually or automatically through a smartphone widget, Google will still log your location.
To prevent it from doing so you need to turn off another setting called “Web & App Activity”.
To do so on an Android device follow these steps:
- Head to settings.
- Tap on Google then Google Account
- Tap on the data & personalisation tab and then on web & app Activity
- Toggle Web & App Activity off
To turn off location history:
- Head to the Data & personalisation tab as above
- Tap on location history and toggle the setting off for each phone or device connected to your Google account
To do so for iPhones, iPads and computers:
- Click on this link to take you directly to the activity controls page (you may have to sign into your Google account to access the page)
- Toggle the web & app Activity setting off
- The toggle for location history is directly below the web & app Activity setting, which you can also toggle off
Alternatively you can navigate to the setting by following these steps:
- Open Google in your browser and sign in to your account
- Click on your profile picture in the top right corner and on the Google account button
- Click on Personal info & privacy then my activity
- Click on activity controls
- Toggle off web & app activity
To review and delete your recorded activity, including location data, Google’s My Activity panel allows you how to delete individual and group events.
You can also delete your location history in your Google Maps timeline by clicking on the bin icon.