Tech and Science

Your phone keeps track of everything you’ve been to – see (and erase) it

Google knows more about you than your best friends. This includes (if you have the right settings enabled) where you are going and even the pictures you take at that location.

You must look at this map. It’s breathtaking to see your story in one place.

Apple users, you are not immune. Your iPhone keeps track of the places you visit most often.

Here’s how to access secret card tracking and how to turn it off.


There are no secrets from an iPhone

At least not in terms of where you’ve been. Ever wondered how your iPhone can automatically get directions to work when you get in the car? Or how does it know you’re driving home when you’re leaving for the day?

It’s part of Location Services – and a separate and more detailed thing called Significant Locations.

An Apple iPhone Pro

According to Apple, an iPhone setting known as Location Services tracks commonly visited locations to provide personalized services like directions to and from work. (BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images)

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According to Apple, this feature is there so that the phone can recognize places that are important to us and thus offer personalized services such as predictive traffic management and improved photo storage.

Still, it appears to be an invasion of privacy and could lead to real problems. If the phone tracks our whereabouts, who else could know about it?

According to Apple, nobody. It means that the data transmitted between your cloud-connected devices is encrypted. Unless someone steals your phone and password, there is nothing they can do to access it.


Find your important locations

Do you want to know how to access it and disable it if necessary? Here are the steps:

  • Open your iPhone’s settings.
  • Beat Privacy & Security.
  • Choose location services.
  • Scroll down and tap system services.
  • Scroll until you see Major Locations and tap on it.

After entering your password or opening your phone with FaceID, you’ll see a list of the places you’ve visited. Some might seem a bit odd to you, but that’s because the location isn’t always accurate.

Tap a location and a page will open with more details, including a map showing where you think you are. It would have you around even if it didn’t place you exactly right.

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Privacy and security settings for iPhone

Apple’s Significant Locations feature on iPhones can be turned off from the Privacy & Security tab on the Settings home page. (

How to protect your privacy

It is possible to clear the history of your important locations. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > location services > system servicesand then tap Major Locations.
  • Beat delete history. This action will erase all important locations on all devices where you are signed in with the same Apple ID.

If you don’t want your iPhone to track your location, you can turn off Significant Locations. Here’s how:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > location services > system servicesand then tap Major Locations.
  • Next to Major Locations, slide the switch to Left to disable the setting.

How about if you have a Google account?

If you’ve been using Google Maps for years, there’s probably an amazing amount of information about everything you’ve visited. Listen:

  • Once logged in, click your Profile picturethen select Manage your Google account. Or go to yours Here you will find the Google account page.
  • Click on the left data privacy.
  • Under History Settings, click location history.
  • Click below manage history.

You’ll see a map with details like your saved home, work locations, and trips. You can search by year or to a specific day in the timeline panel in the upper-left corner.

Person looking at maps in Google

The Google Maps app collects details of your routes, however the location tracking feature can be turned off under “Data & Privacy” on the Google Account page (Fox News)

Just pick a date from a few years ago, just for fun. When a ride has been recorded, a blue bar is displayed. Click on a day to see where you went, including time and mileage.

Maybe you enjoyed the walk into the past. Or maybe it gave you goosebumps. You can adjust your settings to prevent Google from tracking all of your trips.

  • Go back to your Google Account page..
  • Click on the left data privacy.
  • Select under “History Settings”. location history. Click Switch off.

Maintain your technical knowledge

My favorite podcast is called Kim Komando Today. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and tech callers like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.

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Also, Reggie needs a marketing solution to get his small business off the ground. I give him my advice. A woman’s wedding dress is accidentally donated to Goodwill – so internet detectives got it back. The reason your phone can track your steps and how to find out which side of the car your gas tank is on.


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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name “Komando”.

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