Google Maps 101: How to View & Manage Your Location History on iPhone or Android

How to View & Manage Your Location History on iPhone or Android

With so much stimuli in today's world, it can be hard to keep track of all the places we've visited and events we've attended. Thankfully, a great feature in Google Maps lets you view a detailed log of your phone's location history to help you remember where you were at almost any given point in time.

Checking your location history in Google Maps is simple, and it works the same way on Android and iPhone. As long as you've got the feature enabled, it works like a personal timeline that shows every place you've visited on a custom map that only you can see. So if you'd like to learn more about this feature and start reliving some great memories, keep reading to find out how.

Step 1: Enable Location History

Before you can view your location history, you'll need to make sure the feature is enabled on your device. If it wasn't previously enabled, you won't have any location history data yet, but it will accumulate going forward.

So open Google Maps and tap on the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner to open the side menu, then scroll down and tap on "Settings." From there, tap on "Personal content."

From here, look for "Location History" and check to see if it's on. If it isn't already, simply tap on it, then enable the feature on the following screen. If you're using Android, make sure the switch next to your current device is enabled as well.

In addition to enabling the Location History feature for your device and account, Google Maps requires location access for its Timeline feature to work properly. With Android devices, this permission is granted during initial setup, but with iOS devices, you may have to enable it manually.

So if you're using an iPhone, open your Settings app, then scroll down and select "Google Maps." Once inside, check to see if the location access for the app is set to "Always." If it isn't, tap on "Location" then select "Always" on the next screen.

Step 2: Access Your Timeline

Now that you've made sure that the location history feature in Google Maps is fully enabled, open the app and tap on the hamburger icon in the upper-left corner, then choose "Your timeline." Once opened, tap on the calendar icon near the upper-right corner.

With the calendar open, you'll be greeted with the current month, peppered with dots highlighting the times when Google Maps documented your location history. If you want to view previous months, swipe right to go back in time.

Tapping on any of the highlighted dates will reveal a detailed overview of that day's adventures. You can either tap on a landmark, or swipe up from the bottom of the screen to find out the specific time and length of stay, both of which will also bring up any pertinent photos you took while at that location.

Step 3: Edit Your Location History

Sometimes, Google Maps doesn't get your location history exactly right. But if this happens, no worries — you can manually mark the right place in a few quick taps.

To do so, simply swipe up from the info card at the bottom of the screen to reveal your location log, then tap on an incorrect location and select "Edit." The app will now generate a list of nearby locations for you to choose from, so select the correct place once you find it to fix the error.

For Android users, tapping on the pencil button right next to the calendar on the upper right-hand side lets you add a title and any pertinent notes to instantly remind you of any specific events related to that date.

Step 4: Delete Unwanted History

If you want to delete an uneventful location log you'd rather forget about, start by selecting a day from the calendar view in your Timeline. From there, tap on the three-dot menu button and select "Delete day" to get rid of the whole day. Use this with caution, though, as it cannot be undone.

Alternatively, you can remove a specific location off your chosen timeline to get rid of unimportant pit stops, like that trip to the pharmacy you made.

To do so, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal your timeline's written log, then tap the entry you wish to remove. When the location page opens, tap "Edit," then select "Remove Stop From Day," and finally, tap "Remove" on the confirmation prompt.

What are your thoughts on revisiting your location history with Google Maps? As always, feel free to share your opinions and any other tips or recommendations in the comment section down below.

Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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