How to see, delete and deactivate the location history in Google Maps that records all our movements from the smartphone
If you use an Android smartphone or iPhone with Google Maps running in the background and if you have not made any changes to the settings, then tracking of Google positions is also active.
The history of Google Maps, in fact, is not only that which lists the searches made of places and addresses, but also that of the places where we actually go every day, for work, for leisure or on vacation. If the Google Maps localization service is active, every move you make is recorded by Google which then creates a chronology of positions that if it has never been seen before, can be really surprising (and even disturbing) for its accuracy.
The Google Maps history can be checked on the PC from the Google Maps history page.
This displays a calendar and a map in which the places where you were yesterday or in the last few months are marked with red dots.
Location History is a timeline with daily and monthly data from Google Maps, when the smartphone’s location service is active.
From the calendar at the top right you can check and review all the movements made day by day, look at the places where you have been in the past so you can see where we were, for example, March 18, 2013 or another specific day.
In a sense this Google Maps chronology can be interesting and useful to remember places where we have been like in a travel registry, which remains absolutely private and not shared with other people.
If you do not want to use this history and if you want to keep more privacy of the places you go, without disabling mobile geolocation and without giving up Google Maps as a satellite navigator, you can always disable the functionality by going to the Google website https://myactivity.google.com.
Here you can delete specific references from the history for a day or a period by going to the “Delete activities for” menu on the right menu.
Then choose the period for which you want to remove all the tracks, and then select, in the drop-down menu “All products” and select Maps.
If you select Always in the Delete by date field, the Google Maps history is completely emptied.
To completely disable the recording that Google Maps does in its history with places where we go and all our travels, go instead, always from MyActivity page, to Task Manager to find the section dedicated to the position history and turn off the switch.
In addition, and this was recently discovered, it is also necessary to turn off the switch on the Web and App Activity page, on the activity control page.
The Google Maps history can also be viewed from your Android smartphone or iPhone.
On Android, open the Google Maps app, tap the menu and then click on History to find all the places we’ve been to.
Then tap on More to find the settings that allow you to deactivate the position history.
This does not prevent the smartphone from taking advantage of geolocation services, but tells Google not to register locations.
On the iPhone, open Google Maps and tap on History to see all the places recorded by Google Maps during our travels.
To deactivate the history, tap the Menu and then Settings, go to Personal content, scroll down to “Location settings” and check if the location is active.
Allowing Google or other companies to know our position may seem a bit ‘invasive, but I also think it is very useful in certain situations, for example to know what interesting places you have around, for tell a friend where we are with Google Maps or to have an active anti-theft service like Find my Phone.