How to backup your location data on Android, iPhone, PC and Mac

Have you ever texted a picture to a friend or someone you’ve just met? Depending on your phone and camera settings, you may have accidentally sent to where you live as well. That’s what someone can see in a photograph.

The good thing about social media is that most platforms delete this data. Yet they expose you in other ways. Here’s how to check everything Facebook collects.

Your devices and apps also know where you are, but you can prevent that.

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Location, location, location

Your GPS app needs to know where you are in order to guide you to your destination. Your social media apps want to know where you are in order to serve you more relevant ads. You can fiddle with these settings if you need to, but you must be thorough.

Let’s say you turn off location tracking on your phone but don’t do the same on your laptop. It defeats the purpose.

Let’s start with your device and account settings.


Your Google Account is linked to various apps and services, so it’s a great place to start.

location history

Location history saves your location no matter where you take your smartphone. It’s disabled by default, but you may have enabled and forgotten it. No problem. How to turn it off:

Sign in to your account at or through the Google app. Go to Data & Privacy > Location History. Click Turn off and confirm your choice. During your stay, make sure you have the auto delete feature turned on.

One last thing, open Devices in that account to see a list of devices that are storing your location. Tap or click Turn Off to turn off these devices.

share location

With location sharing, you can share your location with the people you choose. You might use this setting for your loved ones, but check to make sure.

Sign in to your account at or through the Google app. Go to Data & Privacy > Location Sharing. If you don’t share your location with anyone, there’s nothing you can do here. All the people you share your location with will be listed here. Tap or click Stop next to a name to stop sharing.

Smartphone alert: Check these settings NOW on your iPhone or Android

Location tracking on your iPhone

Location Services consists of two parts: a global setting to stop sharing your location with Apple, and individual settings for each app you have installed on your iPhone.

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services. From here, you have the option to turn off location services entirely. Alternatively, you can turn off location services for individual apps by scrolling down the list and tapping the apps you want to change. share location

With location sharing, you can share your location with family and friends in Messages, Find My, and other services. Make sure you know who’s watching.

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > Share my location. If you share your location with someone, their names will appear here. Turn off “Share my location” if you wish.

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Location tracking on your Android phone

Choose between disabling location tracking entirely or fine-tuning each app’s settings.

Go to Settings > Location and turn off Use Location. If you leave the setting on, scroll down and change the settings for each app by tapping on it. Location sharing on Google Maps

You may have shared your location with friends and family via Google Maps. Here’s how to check that.

Open the Google Maps app and tap on your profile. Tap Location Sharing. If you don’t share your location with anyone, you don’t have to do anything else. If you share your location with someone, their names will appear here. Tap a profile, then tap End for anyone you want to stop sharing with.

Google Maps and Apple Maps: 8 hidden settings you’ll use all the time

Location settings on Windows

You can disable location services on your Windows PC entirely or for individual apps.

Go to Start > Settings > Privacy > Location. Click Change, then turn off Location for this device. This also prevents apps from knowing your location. If “Allow apps to access your location” is turned on, scroll down and turn off the setting for each app. Location Services on macOS

To change location services for your Mac:

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Privacy & Security > Location Services. Turn off location services. If you want some apps to know your location, turn location services on or off for each app in the list.

Maintain your technical knowledge

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