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How to clear search and location history in Google Maps on Android

Google Maps history
Google Maps history

We all search for plenty of wacky and one-off things in Google Maps, and despite what Google thinks we don't always want them sitting in our history forever. There are also plenty of times when we navigated somewhere that we'll never go back to, and there's no reason to have it saved in the app's history. Thankfully you can quickly remove specific searches and locations from Google Maps on your phone. You can even go a step further and turn off history altogether.

How to delete items from your Google Maps history

  1. Open Google Maps, swipe in from the left edge and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Maps history to see a scrolling list of every search you've made and destination.
  3. A box will pop up confirming the item you're about to delete, and you can tap Delete to confirm.
  4. To see more details about the event, tap Details instead.
  5. Going a step further, you can delete history from a date range by tapping the menu button at the very top of the screen and tapping Delete activity by.

If you deleted a search or other general activity, it will no longer show up as a suggested entry when you go to make new searches in Maps. If you deleted a specific route or navigation item, it will no longer show up as a suggestion when getting directions to a location nearby. It's also worth noting that deleting that particular search or route has no bearing on the history items of previous identical searches or routes you may have made.

How to automatically delete Google Maps location history

  1. Open Google Maps, swipe in from the left edge and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Maps history, tap the menu button in the top-right, and tap Keep activity for.
  3. If you choose either of the automatic deletion options, that history will be scrubbed on a daily basis as each activity point reaches those time limits.
  4. Tap Next and you'll receive confirmation that your preference has changed.

How to pause Google Maps location history

You can also pause Google Maps location history entirely, if you would prefer to stop the app from recording anything rather than automatically deleting over time.

  1. Open Google Maps, swipe in from the left edge and tap Your Timeline.
  2. Tap the menu button in the top-right corner, and tap Settings and privacy.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Location History is on.

  1. Tap the toggle switch to turn location history off.

It's important to note that pausing location history does not mean that your phone (and Google) no longer knows where your phone is. Turning off location history does not turn off location services. It simply means that over the long term, Google Maps does not save that history. Whenever your phone allows an app to access your location, that app will hand the current location to the app regardless of whether your settings then let the app save the location in its history.

Be sure to check out our roundup of the best Google Maps tips and tricks for more ways to get the most out of your favorite navigation app.

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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.