How to Manage Your Location History

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 22 Aug 2014

Google really is tracking your every move. By default, an Android device records your location. It compiles it into a personalized map with timestamps animation to detail all your activities throughout the day. As creepy as it sounds, it is straightforward to turn this off. And delete the entire location history from the Google servers. The company even offers a help page for doing so, with the obligatory caveats about differences for specific devices and versions of Android.

Looking Through Your Location History

Before you panic and rush to erase it all, take some time to sift through the data. The location history website is fun for retrospecting past vacations or day-to-day errands.

Your location draws a trail of the movements as recorded by your Android device.

The site includes a line graph at the bottom that breaks down to the minute. And where it thinks you were that day. Or, you can hit a play button and watch it retrace your steps throughout the day. Looking back at vacations for a retrospective of where you traveled is fascinating. The bottom of the page shows a timeline. Hit the play button to see where it thinks you progressed throughout that day. Or click on a specific time to get a pinpoint location.
It stumbles if you have multiple Android devices. Such as a tablet kept at home and a phone that travels with you. Like, my history recently said I kept going back and forth to my residence. From another location six times within two hours. Even though I stayed at my appointment. You can also download data from 30 days or smaller increments into a KM file. Which displays geographic data on Earth. Such personal data could reveal exciting insights about travel patterns when plugged into Google’s services.

Still Want to Delete Your Data? Here’s How

If, after sifting through everything and knowing about your locations. You may still want to erase your tracks or even turn this capability off. Note that this data is essential to many Androids services, especially Now. It uses your location history to tune its recommendations to you. The fastest way to delete your information is by following a few steps on your Android device. Head to your settings, and find the section labeled Location; getting there may vary depending on your device.

Android’s  settings compiles all the apps that have access to location data.

Then select Location Reporting. It will take you to another screen with two options: Location Reporting and Location History.

You can turn off location reporting delete history in the location settings.

To delete your history, select the latter and touch Delete location history at the bottom. From this screen, you can also switch location history off, permanently disabling androids’ ability to track you.

Turn off location tracking delete the history right on your Android device.

Location Reporting isn’t just for Maps. It authorizes other products to use your location, such as Now or Wallet. To stay incognito, turn this off so you won’t get push notices from Wallet about nearby retailers. Or other shopping suggestions.