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How to delete and manage Google location history

Your Google location history tells the story of your life. It knows where you’ve been and where you’re going, and in many cases, it helps Google Maps and other Google apps suggest destinations you may be interested in visiting. However, not everyone may be comfortable with Google knowing so much about them. Every once in awhile, you might want to delete your Google location history. You may even want to manage your Google location history so that it deletes automatically, or you might even pause your location history so no new data is recorded.

In this article, we will show you how to delete and manage your Google location history. We show how to delete all of your location history and how to delete data only for a selected range or a single day. In most cases, it’s as simple as opening the Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android and going to settings — but really, it shouldn’t take more than a few clicks. Here’s how to delete and manage your Google location history.

How to delete Google location history

If you’re using an iPhone, you can delete all your Google location history by doing the following:

Step 1: Open the Google Maps app. Once the app has opened, tap your Account Circle in the top right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Tap Your Timeline. Then, tap More (in the top right corner), followed by Settings.

Step 3: Scroll down and tap Delete All Location History. Tap the “I understand and want to delete” box, and then tap Delete.

If you’re using an Android device, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Open Google Maps. Again, tap your Account Circle in the top right corner.

Step 2: Go to Your Timeline > More.

Step 3: Next, tap Settings and Privacy. From there, scroll to Location Settings and tap Delete All Location History. Follow the on-screen instructions to execute the delete.

Of course, if you don’t like doing this kind of thing on a smartphone, you can delete all your Google location history on a web browser.

Step 1: Type or paste into your browser’s address bar.

Step 2: Once on your Google Maps timeline, click the Settings icon (it looks like a cogwheel).

Step 3: Click Delete All Location History. Check the “I understand and want to delete all Location History” box, and then click Delete Location History.

How to automatically delete Google location history

A spring cleaning of location data every now and again is fine, but you may prefer to automatically delete your Google location history. Luckily, you can do this easily. Regardless of whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android, all you have to do is go to Google Maps > Account Circle > Your Timeline > More > Settings (Settings and Privacy for Android> Automatically Delete Location History.

Having clicked Automatically Delete Location History, you should then choose either Keep for 18 Months or Keep for 3 Months. After choosing one of these options, click Next. Then tap the “I understand that my data will be deleted” box before tapping Confirm.

After you’ve done this, your Google location history data will be deleted periodically, either every three or 18 months. You can also go back to Automatically Delete Location History in Google Maps’ settings and choose the Keep Until I Delete Manually setting.

How to delete a day or range of Google location history

Instead of deleting all of your Google location history, you may only want to delete a range of your history or perhaps specific dates or locations. This can all be done with a minimum of fuss.

Here’s how you delete a range. For either iPhone or Android, go to Google Maps > Account Circle > Your Timeline > More > Settings (Settings and Privacy for Android> Delete Location History Range. After tapping Delete Location History Range, you then select the start and end dates of the range, then tap Delete.

To delete a specific date from your Google location history, you simply follow the same path. However, after tapping Your Timeline, you need to tap the Calendar icon in the top right of the timeline screen. Next, tap the date you’d like to delete, then tap the More button, followed by Delete the Day.

Alternatively, you can delete a specific location from your location history by doing the same as above. You pick a particular date from the Your Timeline Calendar, then you tap on one of the locations you visited on this date. Once you’ve done that, tap the Trash icon in the top right corner of the screen.

How to switch off Google location history

Finally, if you don’t want Google Maps to ever record your location, you can pause Google location history so that it stops saving your data.

Here’s how you do this on iPhone and Android. First, go to Google Maps > Account Circle > Your Timeline > More > Settings (Settings and Privacy for Android> Location History Settings. You then need to tap Location History so that the blue slider switches off.

This stops Google Maps from saving visited locations to your timeline. However, it doesn’t stop Google Maps from tracking your movements. To do this, you’ll need to turn Location Services off. You can do this by going to Google Maps > Account Circle > Your Timeline > More > Settings (Settings and Privacy for Android) > Location Services is On. This will bring you to your smartphone’s location settings, where you can switch off the permission for Google Maps.

Managing location history with Google Maps Timeline

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google Maps Timeline is a newer feature made available on Google Maps. You can access it from the Maps app or by visiting this link and selecting Manage Your Timeline on any computer.

The Maps Timeline is an easy way to see your location data through the passage of time as it tracks your devices with Maps and shows where you were, also allowing you to pick specific days in the past see where you were.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

That makes Timeline a useful method to delete location history for a specific span of time in the past, especially if you’re not worried about the location data before or after that span of time. In the Google Maps app, you can go to your profile, choose Your Timeline, and select Show Calendar. Pick a day, see your location data, and then select More (also the three-dot menu icon, depending on your platform), then choose Delete Day to remove it. You can also edit your Timeline to change the places you visit and the activities/photos Google has listed based on the data it’s collected from your devices.

Timeline directly taps into your location history, so if you turn location data off, Timeline will stop working for that period.

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Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
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