How to Disable Google from Tracking You

Whereever you go, Goggle is tracking you, especially Google Maps, and archives that activity in your Google Timeline. It is both a blessing and a curse. It can take you down memory lane, but as a curse, it leaves the door wide open to your privacy.

With Timeline, Google Maps can show where you are going and where you have been. Even photos taken and uploaded to Google Photos can reveal your location. You can also share your location in realtime on your smartphone.

If you prefer to keep your location private, you can remove your location history and stop Google from following you.

This feature is for your iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android device, Windows 10 or whatever smart device supports Google

Stop Activity and Location Tracking

  • Open your Google browser
  • Log into your account at myaccount.google.com
  • Select Data & personalization
  • You can disable what Google can tract and collect from you by managing your Activity controls. To stop tracking, click on the Title and toggle the switch to off. See below image:
Google Tracking 1
Google Activity controls

Warning! Turning off these Activity controls will effect the use of their features.

Delete your Activities

Your activities are kept until you manually delete them (the default). You have the option of deleting all data for the past 18 months or past 3 months.

  • Navigate to your Google account at myaccount.google.com
  • Select Data & personalization>Web & App Activity>Manage Activity>Choose to delete automatically. See below image:
Google Tracking 2
Google Deletion process
  • Select the 18 or 3 month option
  • Tap Next. See below image:
Google Tracking 3
Google selection of how long to keep your activity
  • Google will show you what is about to be deleted
  • Tap Confirm at the bottom of your screen. See below image:
Google Tracking 9
Google confirmation of your activity deletion
  • Also, you can delete a particular day’s browsing activity by taping the Trash icon next to the day. Refer to second image above.

To select a custom range, an hour or a date:

  • Tap the Menu icon located next to My Activity
  • Select Delete activity by. See below image:
Google Tracking 4
Google custom deletion
  • Choose one of the following options. See below image:
Goo5le Tracking 6
Google selecting your custom deletion
  • There are other privacy settings you can explore such as Location Services under Settings>Privacy and Security>Location>Location. A set of apps that use Location Services can be toggled on or off. See the following screen:
Google Tracking 8
Google Location Services to turn on or off

Warning! Turning off these Apps Location Services will effect the use of their features.

Go Incognito

The best and easist way to “hide” your browsing is to set the Incognito Mode. This feature allows you to browse without Google compiling history, cookies, site data or form information. Google has extended the feature to Maps and YouTube. Maps will stop tracking your location history; YouTube will no longer track your search and view history.

  • Launch Google
  • Tap the More icon in bottom right hand corner (the 3 dots)
  • Tap Turn on incognito. See below image:
Google Tracking 10
Google setting for Incognito Mode

You will see the following screen:

Google Tracking 7
Google Incognito Mode turned on

To turn off Incognito Mode:

  • Launch Google
  • Tap the More icon in the bottom right hand corner (the 3 dots)
  • Tap In incognito mode
  • Tap Turn off incognito. Refer to following image:
Google Tracking 7
Google Incognito Mode turned off

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

How to Locate a Lost iPhone

Did you recently obtain a new iPhone? Are you concerned about losing the device? Apple owners can find the device with the Find My app for iOS 13 and above or Find My iPhone for older iOS. We are going to use iCloud to tract down your device.

Before your iPhone goes missing, there are a few options to turn on. For iOS 13+, do the following:

  • Tap on Settings
  • Tap on <Your Name>
  • Tap on Find My
  • Tap on Find My iPhone
  • Enable all three slider controls by tap and hold, then slide until the option is lit (highlighted in green)

For older iOS, tap on Settings, <Your Name>, iCloud, Find My iPhone and enable all three slider controls

Your screen should look like the image below:

Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone Screenshot

First, using another device, try calling your number. If that doesn’t work, lets try using your browser to locate your device.

Once again, the following is for iOS 13+. The steps are similar for older iOS.

  • Start your browser and go to iCloud.com
  • If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can download iCloud for Windows
  • Signin using your Apple ID and password

Your screen should look like the below image:

Signin to iCloud
Signin to iCloud
  • Click the Find iPhone icon
  • Select the All Devices drop down box at the top of the screen and find your iPhone
  • Select your iPhone on the map, its a green dot

Your results should look like the below image:

iCloud Results
Screenshot of my iPhone location

You now have three options:

  1. Play Sound on your iPhone
  2. Place the iPhone in Lost Mode which locks the iPhone so no one can access it. If someone finds its, the device will display your contact information.
  3. Erase iPhone. Please do not do this unless all hope is gone of recovering the device. Once the iPhone is erased, all personal information is gone. Your device can no longer be tracked through the app.

Locate Other Lost Devices

You may want to find any lost device like Airpods, headphones, Fitbit tracker, Apple Pencil, iPad, Apple Watch and others. As of this post, Wunderfind is a free iPhone app from the Apple Store. It is worth a look. Click here for a preview.

Leave a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.