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How to Disable Location Tracking on Android

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How to Disable Location Tracking on Android

Introduction

It is important to feel in control of your location data, and you must realize what all of these apps are doing with it. But if you don’t want any app tracking your location at all, we’ve got some tips on completely disabling the feature below.

Tap the Cog icon in your App Drawer

  • Open your app drawer. There are several ways to do this, depending on your device and Android version. For these instructions, we need to get into the Settings portion of your phone, so anywhere that you can access that is good enough. Swipe up from your home screen and find the cog icon (this will also work on a lot of devices if you swipe down).
  • Tap See all apps, scroll down, and tap Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap Apps & notifications.
  • If necessary, tap Advanced at the end of this list.
  • Tap App permission > Location > App permission again. This will bring up a list of every app installed on your device that can access your location information.

Tap on Location Under the Personal Tab

Now, according to the version of Android you have and the type of phone you own, these menus may look a little different, but don’t worry. Follow the screenshots below to guide you through the process.

  • Tap on Personal in Settings.
  • Tap Location at the very top of this menu, just under Location Services.

Tap on Use Location

You can disable location tracking for your entire phone, or you can choose to enable or disable location tracking for certain apps. For example, if you don’t want Google Assistant to track where you are, you might decide to turn off location tracking for that app. Be sure to keep in mind, though, that some apps won’t work at all without location services enabled. A navigation app won’t be able to give you directions if it doesn’t know where you are!

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Tap the Toggle at the Top of the Screen to Disable Location Tracking

Now location tracking is disabled. To turn it back on, tap the same toggle at the top of the screen. If you find that location tracking still isn’t working after enabling the correct setting, try restarting your phone or updating any apps that may be causing trouble.

Tap Advanced

Tap the cog icon in your app drawer. Find Location under the Personal tab, and then tap on it. Tap on Use Location again. Turn off location tracking by tapping the toggle at the top of the screen to disable it.

After disabling this option, you’ll need to change three more settings to make sure that location tracking is fully turned off:

Tap Google Location Accuracy

To disable Google Location Accuracy, first, open the Settings app by pulling it down from the top of your phone and tapping the cog icon. Then select Location under Personal.

On the next screen, you’ll see three options: Mode, Scanning, and Google Location Accuracy. Tap Google Location Accuracy to access its settings page.

The page you’re directed to will show an explanation of how location services work on Android devices and how they are used by different apps on your device. You can read more about that here if you’d like, but tap the blue toggle at the top of the screen to turn it off when you’re ready.

That’s all there is to it! This setting affects only your device’s location data—if you want to disable location tracking for all of your other Google accounts (like Gmail or Drive), head over here for step-by-step instructions.

Disabling location tracking is pretty easy, but if it’s still not working, you may need to restart your phone or update your apps.

If you’re still confused about what underlies the location tracking settings, or if you need a better understanding of how your phone gathers location data, you can check out Google’s official explanations on the support pages on their website. They address all your questions and concerns. If none of these tips are working for you, you can also try troubleshooting via a phone call with Google support. You can find the number to reach them here. If they’re unable to help after trying out some of their troubleshooting methods, they may be able to refer you to a local repair shop or point you toward an online discussion forum where others may be able to offer more helpful advice.

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Conclusion

Once you’ve finished making the above changes, your phone should no longer be tracking your location. If after following these steps you notice that your location is still being tracked, there are a few things you can try to fix it:

  • Restart your phone. Sometimes an app’s data can become corrupted or get “stuck,” and a restart helps clear up any kinks.
  • Update your apps to make sure that they have the latest version of the software. Many updates introduce new features and security patches, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest versions of your apps. If possible, enable automatic updates so that you won’t have to worry about forgetting.
  • Turn location tracking back on in case something went wrong during this process, then remove it once more as described above (see step 1).

If all else fails, you can always delete all of the information Google has collected about where you’ve been by going into Timeline settings and clicking Pause Location History at the top right corner. This will help ensure that even if Google is tracking your location data for other purposes, they won’t have access to all of it at once (though they may still ask for it in certain cases listed here). Location tracking isn’t always used maliciously—sometimes advertisers use this kind of information to better target ads toward consumers who might be interested in their products—but having control over how much data personal apps may be collecting can help give us peace of mind knowing how much of our lives we’re sharing with them.

Unyime Anthony is a gaming enthusiast specializing in first-in-class gaming content, including PS4, Xbox, Nintendo, and Movies, to educate and inform readers.

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