If you grant Google access to your location, it may be recorded by the company depending on the Location history preference. What this means is that Google may track past locations that you have used the company's services if the feature is enabled.
You can check out if that is the case by opening the Location History page on Google Maps. It displays Google Maps on the page, and a calendar that you can use to browse the history of a particular day, or up to 30 days combined.
If there is no location history, you receive the message that "you have no location history" followed by the date or date range that you have selected.
While the map view can be interesting for users who use the location history feature regularly, it is of no use to users who just want to find out if something has been recorded.
The easiest way to find out about that is to click on the dashboard button in the interface. Here you see how many miles you have traveled according to the feature. If you see 0 miles traveled, it means that Google does not have any information about your past locations stored in its databases.
Note: Google notes that it may take up to 2 weeks after enabling then Location history feature before enough data has been accumulated to display the information in the dashboard.
You can disable the Location history feature on this Google Maps page. Here you see whether it is enabled or disabled, and can switch to the other value easily. Make sure you click on save afterwards to save the new information.
The location history itself is only visible to you and no one else. It needs to be noted that disabling the feature won't delete past records. To do so, you need to open the Location history service page on Google Maps that we have linked above (the one with the calendar and maps view).
Instead of disabling the Location history feature globally, you can also disable it for individual devices. How you do so depends largely on the device. On my Galaxy Note 2, the preference is found under Settings > Location Services.
Allowing Google and other companies to look up your location can be useful in certain situations, for instance if you need directions from your current location to another one. While that is convenient, it is also possible to add your location manually instead to get the same information. While not as convenient, it ensures that Google won't record your location information regardless of how the Location history feature is configured.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.