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How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

Location tracking can be very useful — it’s convenient when an app can tell you where the nearest restaurants or gas stations are — but it can also be a privacy concern. Do you want Google to track your every move? Are you at ease knowing that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions always know where you are? (Of course, Mark Zuckerberg does not have minions, but you get the idea.) In this article, we’ll look at how to stop location tracking on your Android phone and your Google account, as well as how to delete location history from your operating system and some popular apps. As always, keep in mind that Android versions can differ, and many manufacturers use overlays, which can change the locations of various commands — but they should be similar enough for you to find your way.

Stop Google from tracking you

You’re probably aware that Google Maps can track your location and movements. However, you may be unaware that your Android phone is also tracking your movements and activities via a number of other built-in apps. If you don’t want your phone to track any of your movements or activities, you can disable tracking for all (or at least most) of them. You just need to be aware that many of your apps (such as ride-sharing apps, weather apps, and, of course, mapping apps) will become less usable — or, in some cases, completely unusable.

How to stop Google tracking using a browser?

First, we’ll prevent Google from saving your data.

  • Navigate to https://myactivity.google.com/.
  • Under “My Google Activity,” you’ll see three types of activity buttons: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. You can go to each one individually by clicking on the appropriate button.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • However, going to Activity Controls in the left-hand menu may be a more efficient way. This page displays all three controls on the same page; you can also control ad personalization.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

 

  • “Web & App Activity” includes all of your activity on Google apps and services. You can turn off tracking entirely, or you can keep it on but prevent it from saving your history or activity when you use your Chrome browser. You can also disable “Include audio recordings,” which determines whether or not all of your audio interactions with Google and/or Google Assistant are saved.
  • The other relevant category is “Location History,” which saves information about where you’ve been with your device. Also, look for “Devices on this account” and click the down arrow to the right; you’ll get a list of all the devices that are currently following your location — this is a good thing to check because it may include old phones that you no longer use.

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Okay, you’ve now stopped any further data collection. However, you may wish to delete all or some of the data that has already been collected.

  • Return to the My Activity page and select “Delete activity by” from the left-hand menu.
  • You’ll see a pop-up window that allows you to delete your activity based on time period: the last hour, the last day, “All time” (all dates), or “Custom range” for a specific date range.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • If you select “Custom range,” you will be able to specify a date range. If you select “All Time,” you can then filter the information based on services (such as ads, Chrome, Google Play Store, etc.). When you’re finished, click “Next.”

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • After that, you’ll see a preview of some of the activities that will be deleted. If that’s okay with you, click “Delete.”

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

In addition, if you want to ensure that only you can delete your histories, go to Activity Controls and look for the “Manage My Activity verification” link under each category. If you enable this feature, Google will prompt you for a password whenever you want to view or delete any history in your account.

And, if you don’t want to worry about manually deleting your items, you can enable auto-delete in each category (you’ll see the option on the Activity Controls page for each category). You’ll be able to choose whether your activity is automatically deleted after three, 18, or 36 months.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

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How to stop location tracking on android?

  • Navigate to the Settings menu. Enter “Activity controls” in the top search box and tap it when it appears.
  • Select the Google account you want to manage if you have more than one.
  • As with the browser version, you can disable or pause monitoring of various activities, as well as set auto-delete and manage a timeline of your activity.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

Use the quick settings tray to turn location tracking on and off

If you want to be able to turn location tracking on and off as needed, you can. Using the Quick Settings tray is one way to accomplish this (which is what you see when you swipe down from the top of your screen). The tray contains a variety of icons for the most frequently used Android features, including a “Location” icon that toggles the location feature on and off.

  • Swipe down from the screen’s top. If you’re using Android 12, you’ll notice a series of bubbles for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flashlight, and so on. It will be a line of icons if you are using Android 11 or earlier. That’s your Quick Settings tray, either way. Locate the Location icon (usually, it looks like an upside-down drop of water).
  • Is it not there? To see more bubbles on Android 12, swipe across; otherwise, swipe down.
  • Is something still missing? Look for a pencil icon; on a Pixel, it will be at the bottom of the tray, but it may be on top in some Android interfaces. The menu will expand further if you tap on the pencil. You can now see all of the available icons. What you want to do is move the Location icon to a more visible part of the tray.
  • Hold and drag your Location icon up to the visible group if it is in the bottom section.

You can now quickly swipe down from the top of your screen to toggle Location on and off — for example, if you want to use Google Maps for directions, you can toggle Location on and then turn it off when you’re done.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

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How to stop location tracking on android?

If you don’t want Google to record all of your activities and just want to stop location tracking from the phone that is recording your location, it’s simple — as long as you pay attention to the details:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal your Quick Settings menu, then long-press the Location icon — or swipe down, tap the Settings icon, and select “Location.”
  • You’ve arrived at the Location page. Toggle off the “Use location” feature at the top.

You’d think that’d be the end of it, wouldn’t you? But you’d be mistaken. What is meant by “Use location” in Android depends on which sensors are tracking the device’s location: it could be Wi-Fi, mobile networks, or other sensors in addition to GPS. So, before you leave this page, take a look down. If you’re using Android 12, look for the “Location services” button; otherwise, look for and tap on the “Advanced” button.

In either case, you’ll have a number of categories that you can toggle on and off to stop location tracking. These can be (depending on your Android version and the manufacturer of your phone):

  • Google Maps Emergency Location Service If there’s a problem, this tells emergency services where you are; for example, if your car goes off the road and the ambulance needs to find you. You can disable it if you want, but read the fine print: “Even if ELS is turned off, your mobile carrier may send device location during an emergency call.”
  • Google’s Accuracy in Location. This uses Wi-Fi and other services to assist in determining your location. If you want to disable “Use location,” you must also disable this option. This must be enabled for any app that requires “precise location” (which I’ll explain in a moment).
  • Google Maps Location History This will take you to a page where you can pause the collection of your location history by your device. That does not delete what has already been saved; instructions for that can be found a little further down in this article.
  • Google Location Sharing. If you want to share your location with family or friends, you can do so here.
  • Scan for Wi-Fi. This enables apps and services to search for local Wi-Fi networks even when Wi-Fi is turned off.
  • Bluetooth scanning is performed. This enables apps and services to look for Bluetooth devices even when Bluetooth is turned off. This, along with Wi-Fi scanning, are intended to improve location features.

If you don’t see these last two, go back to the Location page and look for a link that says “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning.”

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

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How to turn off location tracking for any app?

You can determine which apps use location tracking and simply disable it for those that you believe do not require it to stop location tracking.

  • Navigate to the Location page (by long-pressing the Location icon in your Quick Settings tray).
  • Tap “App permission” (or “App location permissions” if you’re using Android 12).
  • You’ll find a list of all your current apps that have permission to access your location at all times or only when you’re using them here. Tap on any to change the permission to allow all the time, allow only when in use, ask every time, or deny. You can also specify whether the app is allowed to use “precise location” — that is, to use more than GPS to determine your location. For this, see “Google Location Accuracy,” which can also be found on the Location page.

When you turn off permissions in Android Settings, the app will frequently try to convince you to restore that permission. It’s annoying, but unless the app allows you to say, “No, leave me alone,” you’ll have to live with it or find another app.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

How to delete location history?

While you can stop location tracking in your Android phone’s settings, once a service has collected your location data, removing that history requires some effort. The first place you should go if you want to stop location tracking and delete your location history is Google; after that, apps that collect this information include Facebook and Twitter.

How to delete Google location history on Android?

While you can delete location history collected for your Google timeline in the My Activity section (see above), you can also easily remove it from Google Maps.

  • Navigate to your Google Maps app.
  • In the upper left corner, tap on your profile icon.
  • Select “Your Timeline.”
  • In the upper right corner, click the three dots. “Settings and Privacy” will appear.
  • Scroll all the way down to “Delete all Location History.” You’ll see a pop-up window asking you to check a box indicating that you understand that some of your apps may no longer function properly. Select “Delete” after checking the box.
  • You can also delete your location history within a date range or set the app to delete your location history automatically after three, 18, or 36 months.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

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How to delete Google location history on a browser?

  • Visit Google Maps at https://www.google.com/maps.
  • In the upper left corner of the side panel, tap on the three parallel lines. (If you don’t see the panel, look for and click on the small arrow in the upper left corner.) Choose “Your timeline.”
  • Find the gear icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Click it, then select “Delete all Location History.” You can also enable or disable the automatic deletion feature from this page.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • As with the mobile app, a pop-up window will appear asking you to check a box indicating that you understand that some of your apps may not function properly. Select “Delete Location History” by checking the box.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

How to remove location history on Facebook?

Facebook does keep a separate history of your locations, and you can delete that history via the mobile app or the browser.

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  • Tap the hamburger (three parallel lines) in the top right corner of the Facebook app.
  • Scroll to the bottom and select “Settings & Privacy.”
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Scroll down and select “Location” (under the “Permissions” subheading). This will take you to the page “Location Services.”
  • You can now choose whether Facebook can access your phone’s location all the time, only when you use the app, or never.
  • To allow Facebook to save a history of your locations (or prevent it from doing so), toggle the “Location History” switch on or off. You can also delete your existing location history from this screen.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

How to use a browser?

  • Click the small arrow next to the Notifications icon in the upper right corner of Facebook. Go to “Settings & Privacy” and then “Privacy Shortcuts.”
  • Select “Manage your location settings” from the drop-down menu.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • Click the “View your Location History” button on the “Location Settings” page.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • Then, in the upper left corner, click the gear. You can now delete either that specific day or your entire location history, just like in the mobile app.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • You can also turn off or on your mobile devices’ location history on the “Location Settings” page.

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How to remove location history from twitter?

Within the Android app, Twitter makes it relatively simple to stop location tracking.

  • Tap the personal icon in the upper left corner of the home screen.
  • Select “Privacy and settings.”
  • Select “Privacy and security.”
  • Tap on “Location information” after scrolling down. You can then uncheck the boxes that allow Twitter to collect your GPS and other location data. Don’t forget to tap “Explore settings,” which allows Twitter to show nearby content.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

You can also remove your Twitter location history, but only from your browser.

  • Go to your Twitter account and select “More” in the left column, followed by “Settings and privacy.”
  • Select “Privacy and security” from the left-hand menu. Select “Location information” from the drop-down menu.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • Uncheck the box next to “Personalize based on where you’ve been.” Then select “Add location data to your Tweets.”

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

  • Uncheck the box next to “Include location information in your Tweets.” Then select “Delete all location data.” And if it asks, you are certain.

How to Stop Location Tracking on Android Phones?

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