If you turn on Location Services and allow Google Maps to save location history, it records everywhere you go – as long as your phone is with you. It also records the times and photos you took along the way. On an Android phone, you access this stored data by opening the Google Maps app, tapping the 3-line menu in upper left and choosing Timeline. Then select a day from the dropdown lists, and you will see where you went and what you did that day!
Turning it Off
Now, I know that some of you are a little creeped out by this! First of all, you need to know that this is for your eyes only. No one else can see this information unless they can log into your Google Account. I can’t even figure out a way to share this screen with anyone when I want to – you just can’t. To get that picture above, I took a screenshot – it is just a static image.
If you still want to turn it off, just turn off location services for Google Maps.
- Android: Open Google Maps App, 3-line menu in top left, Settings, Google Location Settings, Google Location History – turn off
- iPhone: Open Google Maps App, 3-line menu in top left, Settings, Location History – turn off
You can also delete the existing location history that has already been recorded. See detailed instructions from Google Help.
Seeing Your Location History
There are slightly different techniques depending on what device you’re using:
On a Computer:
- Go to Maps.google.com and make sure you’re logged in with your Google account
- Click the 3-line menu in upper left
- Click Your Timeline
- Open Google Maps App and make sure you’re logged in with your Google account
- Tap the 3-line menu in upper left
- Tap Your Timeline
On an iPhone/iPad – the Google Maps App doesn’t have Timeline yet on iOS
- Open a Browser, preferable Chrome, but Safari also works
- Go to Maps.google.com/locationhistory
I find this very handy to remember locations and routes. And, I love it for having a picture of maps with my route for putting in my Blog! For lots more info on what your smartphone can do with location information, see Episode 82 of What Does This Button Do? Location Services
What about you? Love it? Hate it? Found any practical use for it? Leave a comment.