Location tracking can be very useful; It is convenient when an application can tell you, for example, where nearby restaurants or service stations are, but it is also a privacy issue. Do you want all your vagrants registered by Google? Do you feel comfortable knowing that Mark Zuckerberg's henchmen know where you are at all times? (Well, it's not that Mark Zuckerberg has minions, but you know what I mean.)
In this article, we'll see how to stop tracking the location on your Android phone and how to remove your location history from your OS and of some of the most popular applications. As always, keep in mind that Android versions may be different, and many manufacturers also use overlays, which can change the location of several commands, but they should be similar enough so you can find your way. For these instructions, I used a Pixel 3 XL with Android 9.
Prevent Google from tracking you, period.
You probably know that Google can track your location and movements through your Google Maps app. But you may not realize that your Android phone is also tracking your movements and activities through other integrated applications.
If you really do not want your phone to be tracking any of your movements and activities, there is a way to deactivate tracking for all (well, most) of them. Just keep in mind that you're probably going to make many of your applications (such as travel-sharing apps, weather apps and, of course, map apps) less usable. Or in some cases, completely unusable.
Stop Google tracking using a browser
- Go to https://myactivity.google.com/.[19659008◆Select"Activitycontrols"foundintheleftmenu19659008Scrolldownthroughthevariousactivitiesandchoosetheonesyouwantdeactivate
This may take a while, especially if you want to do a little research on what you're going to be affecting. The listed activities that would reveal your location include the "Application and Web Activity" (which covers everything you have done in Google applications and services) and the "Location History" (where you went with your device). You can also delete the "Device information" (information about contacts, calendars, etc.), "Voice and audio activity", "YouTube search history" and "YouTube watch history".
being reunited But now you may want to delete all or part of the information that has already been collected.
- Return to the My Activity page and click on "Delete Activity by" in the menu on the left.
- You can filter your information to delete the activity by application, keyword or date.
Stop Google tracking on an Android device
- Go to Settings. Search for "Accounts" and tap on Google.
- If there is more than one account in the list, touch the one you want to change.
- Tap "Google Account."
- Scroll down to "Manage your data and personalization" and select it.
- Look in "Activity controls". Here, as with the browser version, you can deactivate or pause the monitoring of various activities.
- If you want more detailed control of your activities, you can scroll down and select "Manage your activity controls".
- To delete your past activity records, look under "My activity" on that same page. Touch to view your saved data.
- In each category, touch the three points on the right side to delete some or all of the data.
Stop tracking location on Android devices
If you do not feel the need to prevent Google from recording all your activities, and you simply do not want the phone to record its location, it's easy to do so, as long as you pay attention to details:
- Go to Settings> Security and location
- Look for the Privacy subtitle, where you'll see Location. Click on that.
- Find the "Use location" function at the top and deactivate it.
You would think that would be that, right? But you would be wrong. What is meant by "Use location" in Android depends on which sensors are following the location of the device: in addition to GPS, it could be Wi-Fi, mobile networks or other sensors. So before leaving this page, look a little lower on the "Advanced" button, touch it and look for "Location Services". You will have four categories that you can activate or deactivate:
- Google Emergency Location Service. This tells the emergency services where you are if there is a problem; For example, if your car leaves the road and the ambulance needs to find it. You can disable this option if you wish, but read the fine print: "If ELS is disabled, your mobile operator can still send the location of the device during an emergency call."
- Accuracy of Google's location. This uses Wi-Fi and other services to help identify your location. If you want to disable "Use location", you must ensure that it is also disabled.
- Google location history. This takes you to a page where you can pause the collection of your device from the location history. That does not eliminate what has already been saved; There are instructions for that a little later in this article.
- Google Location Sharing. If you share your location with family or friends, you can manage it here.
But wait, there's more! On the Location page, tap the Scan link. The two options allow you to determine whether your phone's applications and services can search for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks, even when those features are turned off. Therefore, you may also want to deactivate them.
Activate and deactivate location tracking from the Quick Setup tray
If you want to be able to change the location Tracking on or off as needed, also can do it. One way to fix this is to use the Quick Setup tray (which is what you see when you run your finger from the top of the screen). The tray contains a variety of icons for the most used Android functions; There is a "Location" icon that allows you to activate and deactivate the location feature.
- Swipe down from the top of the screen. You should see a line of icons for items such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flashlight, etc. That's your Quick Setup tray. Look for the Location icon (usually, it looks like a drop of water upside down).
- Is not it? Swipe down from the bottom of that line of icons. You will see a little more.
- Still missing? Look for a pencil icon; in one pixel, it will be at the bottom of the tray, but some Android interfaces will have it at the top. Tap the pencil, and the menu will open more. Now you can see all the icons that are available. What you want to do is make sure that the Location icon is in the easily visible part of the tray.
- If your Location icon is in the lower section, hold and drag it to the visible group.
Now you can quickly slide down from the top of the screen and activate and deactivate the location; For example, if you want to use Google Maps for instructions, you can activate the location and then activate it again. off when finished.
Disable location tracking for any specific application
Having to remember activating and deactivating location tracking can be exhausting. An alternative is to find out which applications use location tracking and simply disable them for those you think do not need them.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap "Applications and notifications." Open the Advanced heading and look for "Application Permissions."
- Tap Location. Here you will find a list of all your current applications with a switch that shows if location tracking is activated. You can go through the list and deactivate whichever you want (or re-activate them if it turns out to be a problem).
Sometimes, when you disable the permissions in the Android Settings, the application itself will continuously try to reset that permission. It is irritating, but unless the application allows you to say: "No, leave me alone", you will have to live with it or get a different application.
Delete your location history
While you can turn off location tracking from your Android phone's settings, once the service has collected the information from its location, getting rid of that history requires a little work. If you want to delete your location history, the first place to go is Google; After that, the applications that collect this information include Facebook and Twitter.
Delete your Google location history on Android
While you can delete the location history collected for your Google timeline in the My activity area (see above), you can also easily dispose of it in Google Maps
- Go to your Google Maps application.
- Tap the three parallel lines in the upper left corner.
- Tap "Your timeline."
- Select the three Points in the upper right corner. Tap Settings.
- Scroll down to "Delete all location history." A pop-up window will appear asking you to check a box indicating that you understand that some of your applications may not work correctly. Check the box and select "Delete."
Delete your Google location history in a browser
- Go to https://www.google.com/maps.
- Touch the three parallel lines in the upper left corner of the side panel. (If you do not see the panel, look for the small arrow in the upper left corner and click on it). Select "Your timeline."
- Look for the gear icon in the lower right part of the screen. Click on it and then on "Delete all location history."
- As with the mobile application, a pop-up window will appear asking you to check a box indicating that you understand that some of your applications can not work correctly. Check the box and select "Delete location history".
Delete your location history on Facebook
Facebook keeps a separate history of your locations, and if you wish to delete that history, you can do so through the mobile application or the browser.
Using the Android application
- In the Facebook application, touch the hamburger (three parallel lines) in the upper right corner.
- Scroll down and tap "Settings and privacy".
- Tap "Settings".
- Scroll down and tap "Location" (found under the subtitle "Privacy").
- You can activate and deactivate the "Location History" here; You can also click on "Location Services", which will take you to the "Access to location" page of Android, where you can completely disable access to the location.
- But you want to delete your location history. Tap "View your location history." Tap the three points in the upper right corner.
- You can now "Delete this day" or "Delete all location history". Tap on the latter. He will ask you if you are sure; if it is, press "OK".
With a browser
- On Facebook, click on the small arrow next to the Help icon in the upper right corner. Click on "Settings".
- Search for "Location" in the menu on the left and click on it.
- Click on "View your location history." Please note that although you can delete your location history here, you can only deactivate it in your mobile application.
- Click on the three points in the upper right corner. As with the mobile application, you can now "Delete this day" or "Delete all location history".
Delete your location history on Twitter
Twitter makes it relatively easy to disable your location tracking within the Android app.
- Touch the three parallel lines at the top left of the home screen.
- Tap "Settings and privacy."
- Touch "Privacy and security".
- Scroll down until you see "Accurate location" and touch it. Then, you can uncheck the box that gives Twitter permission to collect your GPS and other location information.
You can also delete your Twitter location history, but only from your browser.
- Go to your Twitter account, click on its icon and in "Settings and privacy".
- In the menu on the left, click on "Privacy and security".
- If you have "Tweet with a location" checked, uncheck it.
- Then click on "Delete location information". And if he asks: yes, he's sure.
Vox Media has affiliate associations. These do not influence the editorial content, although Vox Media can earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy .