Here’s the deal. Let’s say you’re using an Android phone, so the operating system is owned by Google, and its tracking your every move and you’re not happy with that.

So you go into the phones settings and turn off the ‘Location history’ function. “That’s it,” you think. “No more tracking.” Afraid not.

When you turn off “location history” Google still tracks your location when you use several of its services including Maps, search and the weather.

The fact is that “location history” is just one of the systems that Google uses to track your location for personalised services, local search and other purposes such as advertising.

When you carry out a web search, access Google Maps, or get the weather, either manually or automatically through a smartphone widget, Google will still log your location.

To truly turn off tracking on Android follow the steps below:
  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Tap on the data & personalisation tab and then Web & App Activity
  • Toggle Web & App Activity off

And here’s how to turn off location history:
  • Go to settings.
  • Tap on Google then Google Account
  • Tap on the Data & Personalisation tab
  • Tap on location history and toggle the setting off for each phone or device connected to your Google account

Shutting down Apple smartphone tracking

Your iPhone tracks and records places that you visit most often to provide location-based data and relevant suggestions.
Apple calls it Significant Locations tracking.
This is applicable across phones and iPads running iOS 11 and up to the more recent iOS 12.1
If you’re not happy with this, you can turn the feature off.
  • Launch the Settings app from the Home screen.
  • Tap on Privacy.
  • Tap Location Services at the top.
  • Tap System Services, its right at the bottom of the list.
  • Tap Significant Locations.
  • You may be asked to enter your passcode, use Touch ID, or Face ID, to authenticate access.
  • Tap the Significant Locations On/Off Switch.
  • When the switch is gray, the tracking feature has been turned off.

How to turn of location tracking on Windows 10 devices

If you don't want Windows 10 to track your location, you can tell it to stop.
  • Launch the Settings app
  • Go to Privacy
  • Got to Location.
  • Click Change and, on the screen that appears, move the slider from On to Off.
This turns off all location tracking.
You can also turn off location tracking on an app-by-app basis.
If you want your location to be used only for some apps and not others, make sure location tracking is turned on:
  • Scroll to the "Choose apps that can use your precise location" section.
  • You'll see a list of every app that can use your location.
  • Move the slider to On for the apps you want to allow to use your location
When you turn off location tracking, Windows 10 will still keep a record of your past location history.
To clear your location history:
  • Scroll to Location History
  • Click Clear.
Even if you use location tracking, you might want to clear your history regularly as there's no automated way to clear it.