Location monitoring might be very useful — it’s handy when an app can let you know, say, the place the close by eating places or fuel stations are — however it’s also a privacy issue. Would you like all of your wanderings registered by Google? Are you snug realizing that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions know the place you’re always? (Properly, not that Mark Zuckerberg has minions, however you understand what I imply.)
On this article, we’ll check out tips on how to cease location monitoring in your Android cellphone (and your Google account) and tips on how to delete your location historical past out of your OS and from a few of the extra standard apps. As at all times, word that variations of Android can differ, and lots of producers use overlays as effectively, which may change the places of assorted instructions — however they need to be related sufficient for you to have the ability to discover your method. For these directions, I’ve used a Pixel 6 cellphone operating Android 12, however I’ve included some instructions for these with earlier variations of Android.
Cease Google from monitoring you, interval.
You in all probability know that Google can monitor your location and actions by way of its Google Maps app. However you might not understand that your Android cellphone can also be monitoring your actions and actions by way of a number of different built-in apps.
If you happen to actually don’t need your cellphone to be monitoring any of your actions and actions, there’s a solution to flip monitoring off for all (effectively, most) of them. You simply have to be conscious that you simply’re in all probability going to render lots of your apps (akin to ride-share apps, climate apps, and, in fact, mapping apps) much less usable — or in some instances, fully unusable.
Cease Google monitoring utilizing a browser
First, we’re going to cease Google from saving your knowledge.
- Go to https://myactivity.google.com/.
- Below “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for 3 varieties of exercise: Net & App Exercise, Location Historical past, and YouTube Historical past. You’ll be able to go to every individually by choosing the suitable button.
- A extra environment friendly method, although, could also be to go to Exercise Controls, discovered within the left-hand menu. This web page will present you all three controls on the identical web page; as well as, you’ll be able to management advert personalization.
- “Web & App Activity” covers something you’ve achieved on Google apps and providers. You’ll be able to flip monitoring off fully, or select to maintain it on however cease it from saving your historical past or exercise if you use your Chrome browser. You can even flip off “Include audio recordings,” which determines if all of your audio interactions with Google and / or Google Assistant are saved.
- The opposite related class is, in fact, “Location History,” which saves details about the place you’ve gone along with your system. Additionally, search for “Devices on this account” and click on the down icon to the best; you’ll get an inventory of all of the gadgets that you’ve got which are at present following your location — since which will embrace outdated telephones that you’re now not utilizing, this can be a good factor to verify.
- We’d as effectively point out that you may additionally disable your “YouTube History,” which incorporates each your search and watch historical past, and “Ad personalization,” which makes use of your historical past to decide on which adverts you’ll see.
Okay — you’ve now prevented any extra knowledge from being gathered. However you might need to delete all or a few of the data that’s already been collected.
- Return to the My Exercise web page and click on on “Delete activity by” within the left-hand menu.
- You’ll get a pop-up window that allows you to delete your exercise primarily based on time interval: the final hour, final day, “All time” (in different phrases, all dates), or “Custom range” for a selected date vary.
- If you happen to select “Custom range,” you’ll be capable to select a date vary. If you happen to select “All time,” you’ll be able to then filter that data relying on providers (akin to adverts, Chrome, Google Play Retailer, and so forth.). If you’re prepared, click on on “Next.”
- You’ll then get a preview of a few of the actions that will probably be deleted. If you happen to’re okay with that, choose “Delete.”
By the way, if you wish to be sure that no one however you’ll be able to delete your histories, then choose the “Manage activity” hyperlink underneath every class in Exercise Controls, and search for “Manage My Activity verification.” If you happen to allow that characteristic, Google will ask for a password any time you need to have a look at or delete any historical past in your account.
And should you don’t need to fear about manually deleting your stuff, you’ll be able to allow auto-delete in every class (you’ll see the choice inside every class on the Exercise Controls web page). You’ll have the choice to routinely delete your exercise after both three, 18, or 36 months.
Cease Google monitoring on an Android system
- Go to Settings. Within the search field on high, sort in “Activity controls” and faucet it when it comes up.
- When you’ve got a couple of Google account, choose the one you need to handle.
- Right here, as with the browser model, you’ll be able to flip off or pause the monitoring of assorted actions, together with setting auto-delete and managing a timeline of your exercise.
Flip location monitoring on and off from the Fast Settings tray
If you need to have the ability to flip location monitoring on or off as you want it, you are able to do that, too. One solution to organize that is to make use of the Fast Settings tray (which is what you see if you swipe down from the highest of your display screen). The tray holds quite a lot of icons for essentially the most often-used Android options; there’s a “Location” icon that allows you to toggle the situation characteristic on and off.
- Swipe down from the highest of the display screen. If you happen to’re utilizing Android 12, you’ll see a collection of bubbles for issues like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flashlight, and so forth. If you happen to’re utilizing Android 11 or earlier, will probably be a line of icons. Both method, that’s your Fast Settings tray. Search for the Location icon (normally, it seems to be like an upside-down drop of water).
- Not there? With Android 12, swipe throughout to see extra bubbles; in any other case, swipe down.
- Nonetheless lacking? Search for a pencil icon; on a Pixel, will probably be on the underside of the tray, however some Android interfaces may have it on high. Faucet on the pencil, and the menu will open additional. Now you can see all of the icons which are obtainable. What you need to do is make sure that the Location icon is within the simply seen a part of the tray.
- In case your Location icon is within the backside part, maintain and drag it as much as the seen group.
You’ll now be capable to rapidly swipe down from the highest of your display screen and toggle Location on and off — for instance, if you wish to use Google Maps for instructions, you’ll be able to toggle Location on, after which flip it again off if you’re completed.
Cease location monitoring on Android gadgets
If you happen to don’t really feel the necessity to block Google from recording all of your actions, and easily need to cease the cellphone from recording your location, it’s straightforward to do — so long as you take note of the small print:
- Swipe down from the highest of the display screen so that you simply see your Fast Settings menu, and long-press on the Location icon — or swipe down, faucet the Settings icon, and select “Location.”
- You’re now on the Location web page. Discover the “Use location” characteristic on the high and toggle it off.
You’d assume that will be it, wouldn’t you? However you’d be unsuitable. What is supposed by “Use location” in Android depends upon which sensors are following the situation of the system: moreover GPS, it might be Wi-Fi, cellular networks, or different sensors. So earlier than you permit this web page, look just a little additional down. If you happen to’re utilizing Android 12, search for the “Location services” button, in any other case, search for the “Advanced” button and faucet on that.
Both method, you’ll have a number of classes that you may toggle on or off. These might be (relying in your Android model and your cellphone’s producer):
- Google Emergency Location Service. This tells emergency providers the place you’re if there’s an issue; for instance, in case your automobile goes off the street and the ambulance wants to search out you. You’ll be able to flip this off if you need, however learn the tremendous print: “If ELS is off, your mobile carrier may still send device location during an emergency call.”
- Google Location Accuracy. This makes use of Wi-Fi and different providers to assist pinpoint your location. If you wish to flip off “Use location,” it’s worthwhile to make sure that that is turned off as effectively. Any app that requires “precise location” (which I’ll clarify in a bit) wants this to be turned on.
- Google Location Historical past. This leads you to a web page the place you’ll be able to pause your system’s assortment of your location historical past. That doesn’t do away with what’s already been saved; there are directions for that just a little later on this article.
- Google Location Sharing. If you happen to’re sharing your location with members of the family or associates, you’ll be able to handle it right here.
- Wi-Fi scanning. This lets apps and providers scan for native Wi-Fi networks, even you probably have Wi-Fi turned off.
- Bluetooth scanning. This lets apps and providers seek for Bluetooth gadgets even when Bluetooth is off. Each this and the Wi-Fi scanning are supposed to enhance location options.
If you happen to can’t see these final two, return to the Location web page and search for a “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning” hyperlink.
Disable location monitoring for any particular app
Yow will discover out which apps truly use location monitoring and simply disable it for those who you’re feeling don’t want it.
- Go to the Location web page (by long-pressing the Location icon in your Fast Settings tray).
- Faucet on “App permission” (or, should you’re utilizing Android 12, search for “App location permissions”).
- You’ll discover right here an inventory of all of your present apps which have permission to entry your location both the entire time or solely whereas in use. Faucet on any to alter the permission to both enable the entire time, enable solely whereas in use, ask each time, or deny. You can even determine whether or not the app will probably be allowed to make use of “precise location” — in different phrases, use greater than GPS to find out the place you’re. For that, “Google Location Accuracy,” additionally discovered on the Location web page.
Typically if you flip off permissions within the Android Settings, the app itself will regularly attempt to get you to revive that permission. It’s irritating, however until the app permits you to say, “No, leave me alone,” you’ll both should reside with it or get a unique app.
Delete your location historical past
Whilst you can flip off location monitoring out of your Android cellphone’s settings, as soon as a service has collected your location data, eliminating that historical past takes just a little work. If you wish to delete your location historical past, the primary place it’s worthwhile to go is Google; after that, apps that gather this data embrace Fb and Twitter.
Delete your Google location historical past on Android
Whilst you can delete location historical past collected in your Google timeline within the My Exercise space (see above), you too can do away with it simply in Google Maps.
- Go to your Google Maps app.
- Faucet in your profile icon within the higher left nook.
- Faucet on “Your Timeline.”
- Choose the three dots within the higher proper nook. Faucet on “Settings and Privacy.”
- Scroll all the way down to “Delete all Location History.” You’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to verify a field saying that you simply perceive that a few of your apps could not work correctly. Examine the field and choose “Delete.”
- You even have the choice of deleting your location historical past inside a date vary or setting the app to routinely delete your location historical past after three, 18, or 36 months.
Delete your Google location historical past on a browser
- Go to https://www.google.com/maps.
- Faucet on the three parallel strains within the higher left nook of the facet panel. (If you happen to don’t see the panel, search for the small arrow within the higher left nook and click on on it.) Choose “Your timeline.”
- Search for the gear icon on the decrease proper facet of the display screen. Click on on it, after which on “Delete all Location History.” You can even set the automated deletion characteristic right here.
- As with the cellular app, you’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to verify a field saying that you simply perceive that a few of your apps could not work correctly. Examine the field and choose “Delete Location History.”
Delete your location historical past on Fb
Fb does maintain a separate historical past of your places, and if you wish to delete that historical past, you are able to do it by way of the cellular app or the browser.
Utilizing the Android app
- Within the Fb app, faucet the hamburger (three parallel strains) within the high proper nook.
- Scroll down and faucet on “Settings & Privacy.”
- Faucet on “Settings.”
- Scroll down and faucet on “Location” (which is underneath the “Permissions” subhead). This can take you to the “Location Services” web page.
- Now you can select to let Fb entry your cellphone’s location on a regular basis, whereas utilizing the app, or by no means.
- If you wish to enable Fb to save lots of a historical past of your places (or cease it from doing so), faucet on “Location History” to toggle it on or off. It’s right here that you may additionally delete your current location historical past.
Utilizing a browser
- In Fb, click on on the small arrow subsequent to the Notifications icon within the higher proper nook. Click on on “Settings & Privacy” > “Privacy Shortcuts.”
- Click on on “Manage your location settings.”
- On the “Location Settings” web page, click on on the “View your Location History” button.
- Then click on on the gear within the higher left nook. As with the cellular app, now you can both delete that particular day or delete your total location historical past.
- On the “Location Settings” web page, you too can flip your location historical past on or off in your cellular gadgets.
Delete your location historical past on Twitter
Twitter makes it comparatively easy to show off its location monitoring inside the Android app.
- Faucet in your private icon within the higher left of the homescreen.
- Faucet on “Settings and privacy.”
- Faucet on “Privacy and safety.”
- Scroll down till you see “Location information” and faucet on it. You’ll be able to then toggle off the bins that give Twitter permission to gather your GPS and different location data. And don’t overlook to faucet on “Explore settings,” which provides Twitter the choice to point out close by content material.
You’ll be able to delete your Twitter location historical past as effectively, however solely out of your browser.
- Go to your Twitter account, click on on “More” within the left column and on “Settings and privacy.”
- Within the left-hand menu, click on on “Privacy and safety.” Scroll down and choose “Location information.”
- Uncheck “Personalize based on places you’ve been.” Then click on on “Add location information to your Tweets.”
Uncheck “Add location information to your Tweets.” Then click on on “Delete all location information.” And if it asks: sure, you’re certain.
Replace August twenty fifth, 2020, 2:37PM ET: This text was initially printed on April twelfth, 2019; it has been up to date to incorporate the replace from Android 9 to Android 10, together with modifications to varied web-based purposes.
Replace November thirtieth, 2021, 3:55PM ET: Up to date to replicate modifications within the Android working system and in Google, Fb, and Twitter apps.