If you have a Gmail account or use any of Google’s apps, there’s a good chance Google has some of your location data stored in its systems.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to see exactly what Google knows about where you’ve been, and you can even see a map of past locations you’ve visited.
This all depends on whether you’ve enabled two settings tied to your Google account: location reporting and location history. Of course Google lets you turn these settings off at any time, and even offers step-by-step instructions.
But you’re interested in seeing what’s already been recorded.
First, sign in to whichever Gmail or Google account you use the most.
Then head on over to this little-known Google Maps website, where you’ll be greeted by a screen like this.
You could see some data points pop up immediately or you might see nothing; it all depends on if and when your phone recorded your location for apps such as Google Maps.
The easiest way to thoroughly search your location history is to change the “Show” ticker from 1 Day to 30 Days, which will let you see all of your location data by the month. You can then work backward by the month until you start to see the red data points and lines pop up.
Here, for example, you can see all the places I walked around my college campus this May. Since I used Google Maps during my move to New York, I can see my exact road trip:
You can also toggle between a traditional map and satellite view:
If you still can’t find anything, don’t worry — it just means that you probably haven’t authorised Google or any of its apps to report and record your location.
You’ll notice that Google thankfully offers a quick way to “Delete all history” or to “Delete history from this time period,” so you can eliminate or alter your location history accordingly.
And remember, if you want to turn off location reporting and location history from your Google account and apps, you can follow the official instructions over here.
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