Google is following you. Change these settings to stop it
If you are using a Google app, it is likely . Even though you’ve turned off location history on your Google account, you’re still not entirely clear. Although disabling this setting sounds like a one-stop-shop, some Google apps are . Just open the Google Maps app or use Google search on any platform to save your approximate location with a timestamp.
However, following a 2018 investigation by The Associated Press, Google made it easier to control location and other data saved and deleted with features like Your data in maps and search, which give you quick access to your locate commands. You just have to know where to look.
Turning off location history only removes where you’ve been from the Google Maps Timeline feature, which records your location along with certain data at a specific time. Google’s support page on this subject states that even when disabled, “some location data may still be saved in other settings,” such as your web and app activity. Google has told us that it uses this data to make features more personalized and useful, and that this information is never shared with third parties or advertisers. But if you’re still not comfortable with it, with a few extra steps you can usually prevent Google from knowing where you are 24/7.
Just note that disabling this default setting has some drawbacks. While Google’s settings may seem intrusive to some, they also help cultivate a super-personalized online experience, like helping people find businesses nearby rather than in another city, or seeing personalized ads. They help give users more relevant information instead of random information, according to Google.
here’s how really turn off Google tracking and what the results would be.
How to turn off Google’s location tracking
To completely turn off Google’s ability to save your location, here’s what to do:
1. Open Google.com on your desktop or mobile browser.
2. At the top right, sign in to your Google account if you aren’t already.
3. To select Manage your Google account.
4. In the Privacy and Personalization area, select Manage your data & personalization.
5. Scroll down to activity controls and select Manage your activity checks.
6. There you will see a box called Web and app activity. From here you can slide the toggle switch to disabled.
7. There will be a disclosure to make sure you understand what disabling this setting will do before selecting Pause.
What is this preventing Google from storing?
Disabling this setting prevents Google from storing location markers associated with specific actions. and stops storing information collected from searches or other activities. If you turn it off, your approximate location remains private and other places you go, such as your home address.
Note that in order to effectively use some features, like the Maps app, Google will still need to access your location. However, following the steps above prevents it from storing your future activities. When Google time stamps your activity in a general area, it spans over 1 square mile with typically over 1,000 users to protect privacy. Google’s help page on this topic says it helps them detect unusual activity, such as logging in from another city, while keeping personal information private.
However, you can allow Google to use your precise location – your exact location, such as a specific address – to get the best search results specific to where you are.
What are the pros and cons of disabling Google tracking?
Turning off tracking means you’ll see less relevant ads, less useful search recommendations, and overall a less personalized experience using the search engine and its apps and services. For those who like personalized ads, turning off tracking will prevent Google from predicting what might be of interest to you. However, for those who prioritize privacy over everything, disabling this setting may mean the loss of specificity.
The bottom line: You can keep your privacy and lose the personalized internet experience, or continue to see relevant ads and search suggestions instead of more random, unfiltered information.
Will I lose saved data if I turn off this Google setting?
No – your saved data will remain intact. Disabling tracking will prevent Google from storing future information with a location attachment, but will not delete any previous data it has collected. To delete this location history information, follow these steps:
1. In a browser, go to the main Google page and make sure you’re signed in. Click on the profile icon in the upper right corner and select Manage your Google account.
2. To select Data and personalization in the left toolbar Where to select Manage your data & personalization in the box on the page. Both options will bring you to the same place.
3. Under Activity checks, select Position history.
4. To select Manage activity, and it will take you to Google Timeline.
5. In the lower right corner, click the settings icon immediately at the left the Map button and select Delete all location history.
6. Check the box to indicate that you understand and want to delete all location history.
7. Click on Delete location history.
When you create a new Google Account, Google minimizes the amount of data it collects by only keeping 18 months of default web and app activity – anything older is automatically deleted. Google also introduced an automatic deletion feature that allows you to automatically delete your web and app activity data on an ongoing basis without ever having to do it manually.
To manually delete your web and app activity, follow these steps:
1. On your computer, go to myactivity.google.com.
2. Under Find your activity, click Wipe off.
3. Click on All the time.
4. Click on Next, and click Wipe off to confirm.
To learn more, find out how to see, , how much data , and how Cards.