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How to stop Google tracking

May 08, 2020

how to stop Google tracking

Google knows where you live, what route you take to work, and how much time did you spend jogging this morning. While it claims that tracking your location brings benefits such as recommendations on places you’ve visited and updated traffic information, there is no reason for Google to know so much about you. Fortunately, there are ways to stop Google location tracking and redeem our privacy.

How to turn off Google location tracking

While Location History is turned off on your devices by default, it’s better to check if you haven’t enabled it at some point. If you use multiple Google accounts, you’ll have to opt out Location History on each one of them.

However, it’s not enough to only disable Location History — you need to turn off another feature called Web & App Activity. Disabling Location History only prevents Google from adding your movement to Google Maps Timeline. But it can still track your location in the background when you use your browser, maps, or other apps.

Here’s how to stop Google from tracking your location:

On Apple iOS

  1. Go to http://myactivity.google.com/ and sign in to your Google account.
  2. In the main menu, select Activity controls.
  3. Turn off Web & App Activity.
  4. Turn off Location History.

On Android

  1. Go to Settings > Google.
  2. Tap Manage your Google Account.
  3. Select the Data & personalization tab.
  4. Tap on Web & App Activity and toggle it off.
  5. Tap on Location History and toggle it off as well.

What happens after you disable location tracking?

After you turn off your Location History and Web & App Activity, Google won’t track your location anymore. However, all the previous records will remain on Google Maps Timeline — you will have to delete them manually. You can turn Location History on and off any time you want or delete certain locations or time ranges.

Location History can be set to clear automatically once in 3 or 18 months — however, we recommend to turn off Google location tracking indefinitely. There’s never too much privacy.

John Sears

John Sears

Verified author

John believes that the best things in life are simple. He uses the same approach when he’s writing about online security. John says that his #1 pet peeve is phishing scams. Ironically, his favorite non-work related activity is fishing.