Location tracking can be very handy — it’s convenient when an app can tell you, say, where the nearby restaurants or gas stations are — but it’s also a privacy issue (something that at least one of Google’s competitors has used in its sales pitch).
You probably know that Google can track your location and movements through its Google Maps app. But you may not realize that your Android phone is also tracking your movements and activities through several other built-in apps.
If you really don’t want your phone to be tracking any of your movements and activities, there is a way to turn tracking off for all (well, most) of them. You just need to be aware that you’re probably going to render many of your apps (such as rideshare apps, weather apps, and, of course, mapping apps) less usable — or in some cases, completely unusable.
In this article, I’ll take a look at how to stop location tracking and how to delete your location history. I’ll give directions for a desktop (in this case, using Google’s Chrome browser) and an Android phone. As always, note that versions of Android can differ. For these instructions, I’ve used a Pixel 6 phone running Android 14 and a Samsung Galaxy S23 running Android 14 and One UI 6.0.
First, we’re going to stop Google from saving your data.