Tech

You can now stop Google Maps from tracking your iPhone's location when you don't want anybody to know where you are

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Key Points
  • Google Maps for iPhone now has an Incognito mode.
  • You can use Incognito mode to temporarily stop Google Maps from logging your location to your saved timeline.
  • It might be useful if you need to drive somewhere and don't want any history of the trip.
Google Maps incognito mode (as shown on an Android phone.)
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Google on Monday began rolling out an "Incognito mode" for Google Maps on iPhone that allows you to temporarily stop the app from tracking your trip.

It's a good privacy feature if you want to drive somewhere and don't want any log of it in Google Maps. You can stop Google Maps from tracking you entirely, but some people find those logs useful for safety (if they want loved ones to follow along with their trip), to remember where they went in the past or to receive recommendations based on places they've been before.

Google Maps tracks a lot of that kind of information, so it's a good idea to automatically delete older data at specific intervals.

But if you want to head somewhere you might not want anyone to know about, and to temporarily stop any logging, Incognito mode is for you.

"While in Incognito mode, the places you search for or navigate to won't be saved to your Google Account and you won't see personalized features within Maps, like restaurant recommendations based on dining spots you've been to previously," Google said in a blog post. The feature rolled out to Android phones earlier this year (pictured above), and it works the same.

Here's how to use it:

  • Open Google Maps on your iPhone.
  • Tap your profile picture on the top-right.
  • Tap "Turn on Incognito mode."
  • Hit "Close."

When you're in Incognito mode, your profile picture will change to a gray icon showing the updated status, which means your trip won't be recorded in Google Maps or appear in your timeline history. The feature is rolling out now, so you might not see it right away, but keep checking over the coming weeks.

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