If privacy is important to you, you’ll want to know how to disable location tracking on Android. After all, with the recent news about selling location data in mind, how safe do you really feel that data connecting you to specific places at specific times is handled safely and responsibly?
To be fair to both your phone and Google, location services can not only be useful, but they can also be a life saver. Everyday apps like Google Maps obviously access your location to give you directions, but there are also functions like emergency location services — which transmit your location to emergency services when calling or messaging — which can provide you with the service that need to.
Still, for peace of mind, it’s best to learn how to turn off location tracking and services entirely if you want to, even if you don’t turn them off all the time or prefer to mix and match with ones you leave enabled. This way, you are in control.
Here’s how to disable location tracking on Android devices.
Noticeable: These screenshots were taken on a Google device, but the steps are identical on a Samsung Galaxy phone.
If you are looking to increase your privacy online, be sure to check out our guides to the best VPN services, the most secure VPN services and the best ad blockers.
How to completely disable location tracking on Android
The easiest way to prevent your phone from tracking you is to completely turn off location services. However, this will result in you losing access to any applications and functions that require location services. You can also select which specific location services you want to disable (as there are a few of them), which apps use your location and when, and whether or not your location history is stored. We broke them all.
How to disable location services on Android
1. Go to SettingsThen Scroll down to the site.
2. Toggle Location Usage Off To turn off location services completely.
How to disable specific location services and location history on Android
1. in the site list, Click Location Services.
2. Click on the location service you want to disable.
3. For Emergency Location Service, Google Location Accuracy, Wi-Fi Scan and Bluetooth Scan, you will be presented on the next page with a toggle to disable the setting. Press the switch to OFF.
4. To turn off Location History, you will be taken to the Google Accounts Activity Controls page. Move the mouse down to the site log and hit stop.
Move the mouse down down the next page and Select Pause. Then hit you understand it On the next page or simply X off the page.
If you leave, you can Set a time frame for automatic deletion So that your stored locations are erased after a specified period of time. Click Auto DeleteThen Select the time frame. hit next and then Faucet Sure.
5. To delete any previously saved sites, Select Manage Archives And Go through your Google account Sign in. You will be shown a map and some filters to select specific days.
6. To delete all your history, Click on the trash can icon At the bottom left of the map. Click on the checkbox and then Click Delete Location History.
To delete one day’s location history, Filter to the day you want to delete And hit trash icon. In the message that pops up, Click delete today.
7. To turn off location sharing, Click on Google Location Sharing. On the next page, press X next to the name of the person you want to stop sharing your location with. Note that you will need to manually share your location with this person in the first place.
How to change individual app permissions on Android
1. in the site list, Click on App site permissions (or App permissions on a Samsung device).
2. Select the app for which you want to change site permissions. Then Select one of the following options:
- let all the timeThis allows the app to constantly track your location
- Allow only while using the appwhich restricts location tracking for app use
- ask every timewhich forces the app to ask you if it wants to track your location
- do not allowwhich prevents app tracking completely
3. Toggle the use of precise location To ensure that the app does not track your exact location.
On a Samsung device, you can alternatively toggle the exact location globally by to choose Google Site AccuracyThen Turn off the “Improve location accuracy” button.
Now you know how to disable location tracking on Android, so why not check out our other privacy-related tutorials, including how to remove contact details from Google search, how to fix your router’s security and how to install a VPN on your router.