Even if you’ve turned off Location History, Google often saves your exact location.
Here’s how to remove those markers and some best practices for keeping your location as private as possible.
But there is no silver bullet, because simply connecting to the internet on any device marks an IP address that can be mapped geographically.
Smartphones also connect to cell towers, so your carrier knows your general location at all times.
To disable tracking on any device
Launch your browser and go to myactivity.google.com. You must be signed in to Google.
In the drop-down menu in the top left, go to “Activity management”. Turn off both Web & App Activity and Location History.
That should prevent precise location markers from being saved to your Google account.
Google warns you that some of its services won’t work as well with these settings turned off.
In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful.
If you use Google Maps, please adjust your location setting to ‘While using’ the app. This prevents the app from accessing your location when it’s not running.
Go to Settings Privacy Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.
Consider using a search engine other than Google in the Safari web browser.
Under Safari Search Engine Settings you will find other options such as Bing or DuckDuckGo.
You can disable location while browsing by going to Settings Privacy Location Services Safari Websites and setting it to ‘Never’.
This still doesn’t prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on the IP address on a website.
You can also turn off Location Services almost completely for the device via Settings Privacy Location Services.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps still work, but they don’t know where you are on the map and can’t give you directions.
Emergency services can still find you if needed.
Under the main settings icon, click “Security & location.” Scroll down to the “Privacy” heading. Tap “Location.” You can disable it for the whole device.
Use App-Level Permissions to disable access to various apps.
Unlike the iPhone, there is no “While Using” setting.
You can’t disable Google Play Services, which provide your location to other apps, if you leave that service enabled.
Sign in as a “guest” on your Android device by swiping down from the top and tapping the downward pointing cursor, then tapping the torso icon again.
Pay attention to which services you sign into, such as Chrome. You can also switch search engines, even in Chrome.
To remove previous location tracking on any device
On the page myactivity.google.comlook for a listing with a location pin icon next to the word “details.”
Clicking on that brings up a window with a link that sometimes says “From your current location.”
Clicking it opens Google Maps, showing where you were at the time.
You can remove it from this popup by clicking the navigation icon with the three stacked dots, then “Remove.”
Some items are grouped in unexpected places, such as topic names, google.com, Search, or Maps.
You have to remove them one by one. You can delete all items in date ranges or wholesale by service, but you’ll end up deleting more than just location markers.