Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Android 101: How to stop location tracking

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Location tracking will be very helpful — it’s handy when an app can inform you, say, the place the close by eating places or fuel stations are — however it’s additionally a privateness concern. Do you need all of your wanderings registered by Google? Are you snug figuring out that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions know the place you’re always? (Well, not that Mark Zuckerberg has minions, however what I imply.)

In this text, we’ll check out how to stop location tracking in your Android telephone (and your Google account) and the way to delete your location historical past out of your OS and from a number of the extra common apps. As at all times, notice that variations of Android can differ, and plenty of producers use overlays as effectively, which might change the areas of varied instructions — however they need to be related sufficient for you to give you the chance to discover your method. For these directions, I’ve used a Pixel 6 telephone operating Android 12, however I’ve included some instructions for these with earlier variations of Android.

Stop Google from tracking you, interval.

You most likely know that Google can observe your location and actions by means of its Google Maps app. But chances are you’ll not understand that your Android telephone is additionally tracking your actions and actions by means of a number of different built-in apps.

If you actually don’t need your telephone to be tracking any of your actions and actions, there’s a method to flip tracking off for all (effectively, most) of them. You simply want to remember that you just’re most likely going to render a lot of your apps (reminiscent of ride-share apps, climate apps, and, after all, mapping apps) much less usable — or in some circumstances, utterly unusable.

Stop Google tracking utilizing a browser

First, we’re going to stop Google from saving your knowledge.

  • Go to https://myactivity.google.com/.
  • Under “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for 3 sorts of exercise: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. You can go to every individually by choosing the suitable button.

Under “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for 3 sorts of exercise: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

  • A extra environment friendly method, although, could also be to go to Activity 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.

Google’s activity controls lets you turn off tracking.

Google’s exercise controls allow you to flip off tracking.

  • “Web & App Activity” covers something you’ve carried out on Google apps and companies. You can flip tracking off utterly, or select to hold it on however stop it from saving your historical past or exercise if you use your Chrome browser. You also can flip off “Include audio recordings,” which determines if all of your audio interactions with Google and / or Google Assistant are saved.
  • The different related class is, after all, “Location History,” which saves details about the place you’ve gone along with your machine. Also, search for “Devices on this account” and click on the down icon to the appropriate; you’ll get an inventory of all of the gadgets that you’ve got which are at present following your location — since which will embody outdated telephones that you’re now not utilizing, it is a good factor to examine.
  • We would possibly 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 select which adverts you’ll see.

Okay — you’ve now prevented any extra knowledge from being gathered. But you might have considered trying to delete all or a number of the info that’s already been collected.

  • Go again to the My Activity web page and click on on “Delete activity by” within the left-hand menu.
  • You’ll get a pop-up window that permits 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 particular date vary.

A pop-up window that lets you delete your activity based on time period.

A pop-up window enables you to delete your exercise primarily based on time interval.

  • If you select “Custom range,” you’ll give you the chance to select a date vary. If you select “All time,” you’ll be able to then filter that data relying on companies (reminiscent of adverts, Chrome, Google Play Store, and so on.). When you’re prepared, click on on “Next.”

you can then filter that info depending on services

You can filter your data relying on companies.

  • You’ll then get a preview of a number of the actions that will probably be deleted. If you’re okay with that, choose “Delete.”

The last step before you delete your activity.

The final step earlier than you delete your exercise.

Incidentally, if you’d like to make it possible for no one however you’ll be able to delete your histories, then choose the “Manage activity” hyperlink below every class in Activity Controls, and search for “Manage My Activity verification.” If you 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 for those who 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 Activity Controls web page). You’ll have the choice to mechanically delete your exercise after both three, 18, or 36 months.

You can now auto-delete your location history.

You can now auto-delete your location historical past.

Stop Google tracking on an Android machine

  • Go to Settings. In the search field on prime, sort in “Activity controls” and faucet it when it comes up.
  • If you’ve got a couple of Google account, choose the one you need to handle.
  • Here, as with the browser model, you’ll be able to flip off or pause the monitoring of varied actions, together with setting auto-delete and managing a timeline of your exercise.

Android’s Activity Controls are very similar to those on the web.

Android’s Activity Controls are very related to these on the internet.

You can select an auto-delete option on your mobile device.

You can choose an auto-delete possibility in your cell machine.

Turn location tracking on and off from the Quick Settings tray

If you need to give you the chance to flip location tracking on or off as you want it, you are able to do that, too. One method to prepare that is to use the Quick Settings tray (which is what you see if you swipe down from the highest of your display). The tray holds a wide range of icons for probably the most often-used Android options; there’s a “Location” icon that permits you to toggle the location characteristic on and off.

  • Swipe down from the highest of the display. If you’re utilizing Android 12, you’ll see a sequence of bubbles for issues like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flashlight, and so on. If you’re utilizing Android 11 or earlier, it will likely be a line of icons. Either method, that’s your Quick Settings tray. Look for the Location icon (normally, it seems like an upside-down drop of water).
  • Not there? With Android 12, swipe throughout to see extra bubbles; in any other case, swipe down.
  • Still lacking? Look for a pencil icon; on a Pixel, it will likely be on the underside of the tray, however some Android interfaces may have it on prime. Tap on the pencil, and the menu will open additional. You can now see all of the icons which are accessible. What you need to do is be certain that the Location icon is within the simply seen a part of the tray.
  • If your Location icon is within the backside part, maintain and drag it up to the seen group.

You’ll now give you the chance to shortly swipe down from the highest of your display and toggle Location on and off — for instance, if you’d like to use Google Maps for instructions, you’ll be able to toggle Location on, after which flip it again off if you’re completed.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

If the Location button isn’t instantly seen, you’ll be able to transfer it up.

Stop location tracking on Android gadgets

If you don’t really feel the necessity to block Google from recording all of your actions, and easily need to stop the telephone from recording your location, it’s simple to do — so long as you concentrate to the small print:

  • Swipe down from the highest of the display so that you just see your Quick 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. Find the “Use location” characteristic on the prime and toggle it off.

You’d suppose that may be it, wouldn’t you? But you’d be improper. What is supposed by “Use location” in Android depends upon which sensors are following the location of the machine: moreover GPS, it might be Wi-Fi, cell networks, or different sensors. So earlier than you permit this web page, look just a little additional down. If you’re utilizing Android 12, search for the “Location services” button, in any other case, search for the “Advanced” button and faucet on that.

Either method, you’ll have a number of classes that you may toggle on or off. These will be (relying in your Android model and your telephone’s producer):

  • Google Emergency Location Service. This tells emergency companies the place you’re if there’s an issue; for instance, in case your automobile goes off the street and the ambulance wants to discover you. You can flip this off if you’d like, however learn the high-quality 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 companies to assist pinpoint your location. If you need to flip off “Use location,” you want to be certain 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 History. This leads you to a web page the place you’ll be able to pause your machine’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’re sharing your location with members of the family or buddies, you’ll be able to handle it right here.
  • Wi-Fi scanning. This lets apps and companies scan for native Wi-Fi networks, even when you’ve got Wi-Fi turned off.
  • Bluetooth scanning. This lets apps and companies seek for Bluetooth gadgets even when Bluetooth is off. Both this and the Wi-Fi scanning are meant to enhance location options.

If you’ll be able to’t see these final two, return to the Location web page and search for a “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning” hyperlink.

On your Location page, select “Location services” to see additional options.

On your Location web page, choose “Location services” to see extra choices.

It’s a good idea to keep your Emergency Location Service turned on.

It’s a good suggestion to hold your Emergency Location Service turned on.

Disable location tracking for any particular app

You can discover out which apps really use location tracking and simply disable it for those who you are feeling don’t want it.

  • Go to the Location web page (by long-pressing the Location icon in your Quick Settings tray).
  • Tap on “App permission” (or, for those who’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 all the time or solely whereas in use. Tap on any to change the permission to both permit all the time, permit solely whereas in use, ask each time, or deny. You also can resolve whether or not the app will probably be allowed to use “precise location” — in different phrases, use greater than GPS to decide the place you’re. For that, “Google Location Accuracy,” additionally discovered on the Location web page.

Sometimes if you flip off permissions within the Android Settings, the app itself will regularly attempt to get you to restore that permission. It’s irritating, however except the app enables you to say, “No, leave me alone,” you’ll both have to dwell with it or get a distinct app.

App permissions classifies apps by which permissions you allow them to have.

App permissions classify apps by which permissions you permit them to have.

When you click on a specific app, you can change its permission level.

When you click on on a particular app, you’ll be able to change its permission stage.

Delete your location historical past

While you’ll be able to flip off location tracking out of your Android telephone’s settings, as soon as a service has collected your location data, eliminating that historical past takes just a little work. If you need to delete your location historical past, the primary place you want to go is Google; after that, apps that gather this info embody Facebook and Twitter.

Delete your Google location historical past on Android

While you’ll be able to delete location historical past collected to your Google timeline within the My Activity space (see above), you too can do away with it simply in Google Maps.

  • Go to your Google Maps app.
  • Tap in your profile icon within the higher left nook.
  • Tap on “Your Timeline.”
  • Select the three dots within the higher proper nook. Tap on “Settings and Privacy.”
  • Scroll down to “Delete all Location History.” You’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to examine a field saying that you just perceive that a few of your apps might not work correctly. Check 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 mechanically delete your location historical past after three, 18, or 36 months.

You can delete your entire location history, or just within a range of dates.

You can delete your total location historical past or simply inside a spread of dates.

Google will always give you a last chance to back out.

Google will at all times provide you with a final probability to again out.

Delete your Google location historical past on a browser

  • Go to https://www.google.com/maps.
  • Tap on the three parallel strains within the higher left nook of the facet panel. (If you don’t see the panel, search for the small arrow within the higher left nook and click on on it.) Select “Your timeline.”
  • Look for the gear icon on the decrease proper facet of the display. Click on it, after which on “Delete all Location History.” You also can set the automated deletion characteristic right here.

Look for the gear in your Timeline to delete your location history.

Look for the gear in your Timeline to delete your location historical past.

  • As with the cell app, you’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to examine a field saying that you just perceive that a few of your apps might not work correctly. Check the field and choose “Delete Location History.”

You’ll be asked to confirm the history deletion.

You’ll be requested to affirm the historical past deletion.

Delete your location historical past on Facebook

Facebook does hold a separate historical past of your areas, and if you’d like to delete that historical past, you are able to do it by means of the cell app or the browser.

Using the Android app

  • In the Facebook app, faucet the hamburger (three parallel strains) within the prime proper nook.
  • Scroll down and faucet on “Settings & Privacy.”
  • Tap on “Settings.”
  • Scroll down and faucet on “Location” (which is below the “Permissions” subhead). This will take you to the “Location Services” web page.
  • You can now select to let Facebook entry your telephone’s location on a regular basis, whereas utilizing the app, or by no means.
  • If you need to permit Facebook to save a historical past of your areas (or stop it from doing so), faucet on “Location History” to toggle it on or off. It’s right here that you may additionally delete your present location historical past.

In Facebook “Settings & Privacy,” select “Settings.”

In Facebook “Settings & Privacy,” choose “Settings.”

Location Services lets you choose when Facebook can receive your location data.

Location Services enables you to select when Facebook can obtain your location knowledge.

Using a browser

  • In Facebook, click on on the small arrow subsequent to the Notifications icon within the higher proper nook. Click on “Settings & Privacy” > “Privacy Shortcuts.”
  • Click on “Manage your location settings.”

Select “Manage your location settings” under the “Privacy” category.

Select “Manage your location settings” below the “Privacy” class.

  • On the “Location Settings” web page, click on on the “View your Location History” button.

The “Location Settings” page lets you view your history, delete it, and stop recording it.

The “Location Settings” web page enables you to view your historical past, delete it, and stop recording it.

  • Then click on on the gear within the higher left nook. As with the cell app, now you can both delete that particular day or delete your total location historical past.

You can delete that day’s history, or all your history.

You can delete that day’s historical past or all of your historical past.

  • On the “Location Settings” web page, you too can flip your location historical past on or off to your cell gadgets.

Delete your location historical past on Twitter

Twitter makes it comparatively easy to flip off its location tracking throughout the Android app.

  • Tap in your private icon within the higher left of the homescreen.
  • Tap on “Settings and privacy.”
  • Tap on “Privacy and safety.”
  • Scroll down till you see “Location information” and faucet on it. You can then toggle off the containers that give Twitter permission to gather your GPS and different location info. And don’t overlook to faucet on “Explore settings,” which provides Twitter the choice to present close by content material.

Scroll down until you see “Location information.”

Scroll down till you see “Location information.”

There are two location settings to toggle off.

There are two location settings to toggle off right here, and one to faucet on.

You can 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.”
  • In 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.

Update August twenty fifth, 2020, 2:37PM ET: This article was initially revealed on April twelfth, 2019; it has been up to date to embody the replace from Android 9 to Android 10, together with adjustments to varied web-based purposes.

Update November thirtieth, 2021, 3:55PM ET: Updated to mirror adjustments within the Android working system and in Google, Facebook, and Twitter apps.



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