You can turn on notifications in the Google Maps app and see things that interest you, like train schedules or traffic on routes you travel often.
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app .
- Tap your profile picture or initial SettingsNotifications.
- Tap a category.
- Turn on a notification: Next to the notification, turn on the switch.
- Turn off a notification: Next to the notification, turn off the switch.
Notifications you might see
Here are some types of notifications you might see from Google Maps:
You might get notifications to add a photo you’ve taken in public places that Google thinks are interesting to other people, like restaurants and bars.
You might also get a notification when you are at a place where you can be the first to add a photo .
Before posting a photo, make sure that it follows Google’s user content policy. Your photos should also meet these guidelines:
- Be in focus and not blurry
- Show what most people experience, like the food or the ambience
- Not be a selfie or a group photo
You might get notifications to answer a question about a place or business you visited.
Note: To get these notifications, you need to turn on Location History.
You might get notifications when someone replies to a review you posted of a place or business.
To read the reply, tap the notification. You’ll be taken to the place’s detail page, where your review and its reply appear at the top.
You get notifications about nearby events or road closures when Google Maps thinks it might affect a route that you travel often.
If we know about a scheduled event, you’ll get an alert ahead of time so you can plan an alternate route. For example, if there is a concert on your way home from work, you might get a notification one day before the concert.
Tip: To help you plan around events, tap Get a Reminder and Google Maps will remind you about the event closer to when it starts.
After the introduction of iOS 6 and the Apple Maps debacle (need a hospital? Then a supermarket you shall have!) we had to wait a long time for mapping normality to resume with the introduction of a Google Maps app. It quickly became the most downloaded app in the Store, shifting more than 10 million copies in the first couple of days, and whether you’re using it as a buffer until Apple sorts out its own Maps or intend on using it in the years to come there’s a good chance that you’ll have been making use of it already.
But you may also have noticed that while Google Maps brings with it almost all of the functionality of its current Android sibling (as well as a slightly nicer interface), it’s also brought along one major flaw: the tendency to reduce your phone’s battery to a gibbering wreck within minutes. It can even suck more power than a car charger can provide, causing some serious navigation problems and leaving users stranded.
Some can remedy the situation by installing a phone mount in the car that doubles as a charger, such as the Bezalel Futura X. It’s a wireless charger that is compatible with Qi-enabled devices, and has a handy magnetic alignment feature that guides your phone onto the charging pad so that you won’t have to fumble about with your phone as you drive. With this solution, Google Maps won’t stop draining your battery, but at least you’ll have plenty of power options for those days when you’re really burning through your battery life.
We’re on hand with five handy tips on how to rein in Google Maps’ thirst for electricity; follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to battery-surplus heaven in no time.
1) Turn Off The Layers You Don’t Need
The ‘layers’ system in Google Maps is great for being able to tailor a map to whatever you’re doing at the moment. Going hiking? Use the satellite and terrain layers. Trying to find the quickest way around town on your bike? Get the traffic and cycling layers on. It works very well, and when combined with your saved maps can be a hugely useful addition.
But all that lovely data comes with a price, and that price is especially large when you’re using your 3G connection. Some layers are guiltier than others (we’re looking at you, satellite) but all of them will be almost constantly accessing data from servers that’s only really useful if you specifically need it.
So to save yourself both power and data, keep an eye on which ones you’ve got turned on. Hit the layers button in the bottom right to review your current layers and uncheck the ones you don’t need.
2) You Don’t Always Need To Use GPS
One of the main functions of Maps is to let you know where you are, therefore it makes sense that you need power-sapping GPS on all the time to make your mapping experience more accurate and worthwhile. But not so fast; depending on what you’re doing, it might not be the essential facility that you think it is.
If you’re in the middle of a big city, bombarded on all sides by thousands of competing Wi-Fi signals and you’re only trying to search for a nearby taxpaying coffee shop, GPS is of almost no use to you. All of those wireless networks broadcast their locations even if you aren’t connected to them, so if you’ve got Wi-Fi active on your iPhone it’ll know pretty accurately where it is in the world without having to ask a load of satellites. So if you only vaguely need to know where you are, kill the GPS and rely on Wi-Fi to show you the way…
3) But likewise, you don’t always need to use Wi-Fi
While we spent the last point telling you that GPS isn’t always essential, there are lots of times when it is; you’ll need it on for navigation especially. But Google Maps has an annoying tendency to keep telling you that it’ll be more accurate with Wi-Fi on; something that clearly isn’t true when you’re wearily trudging round the M25 at 8am with not one wireless network in sight.
So if you’re using Maps to get you places, it’s often better to keep GPS on and turn your wireless off; while each of them is pretty battery hungry individually they’re much worse when they’re acting in tandem.
4) Turn Your Screen Brightness Down
Auto screen brightness is a good idea; it tries to make sure that you’re never wasting battery by powering a screen more than is necessary and it also reduces strain on your eyes, especially in the dark. But it doesn’t take into account what the screen’s actually showing, and in certain cases it might set the brightness unnecessarily high, especially during navigation.
Google Maps satnav is designed to allow you to stick your iPhone in a holder and view it from a distance, so it’s all big font sizes and clear lines (when you don’t have the satellite layer on). This means that it’s much easier to see, and so doesn’t need the screen to be as bright to make it useable. It will have more of an effect on long journeys, but turning your screen brightness down is a great way to save some juice.
5) Remember to turn it off
This might sound like an elementary one, but actually shutting down the app after you’ve used it is something that loads of people forget to do and can lead to some very disappointing battery figures later on in the day.
Since the introduction of multi-tasking into iOS we’ve gotten used to closing running apps on the fly, but it’s quite easy to forget if you’re tired after a long journey home. Making sure that one of iOS’s most power hungry apps is closed when you’re not using it has the capacity to save you so much grief that it’s really worth remembering to do.
So those are our five top tips to stop Google Maps killing your battery. If you’ve found any sneaky tricks that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments below, and together we can make sure that nobody gets caught short by Google Maps’ battery hoarding tendencies ever again!
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name “Asian Angel” and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide. Read more.
Being notified about changes or updates to privacy settings on occasion is one thing, but when you are repeatedly bombarded with the same exact message day after day no matter what you do, then something has to give. Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has some helpful suggestions to help a very frustrated reader get rid of an annoying reminder message.
Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.
SuperUser reader Joseph wants to know how to stop the Google privacy reminder message from appearing every time he visits Google:
This is incredibly annoying. When I edit all the options, set them all to Off (although I doubt this makes any difference!), and accept the review, the same privacy reminder message appears yet again the next day. What am I doing wrong?
I am using Windows 7 with Firefox as my primary browser.
How do you stop the Google privacy reminder message from appearing every time you visit Google?
SuperUser contributors gronostaj and Cameron Barden have the answer for us. First up, gronostaj:
Followed by the answer from Cameron Barden:
- Not being signed into your Google account.
- Your browser being set to clear your cache and cookies on exit (or the restart of your program or computer).
- Click on the Menu Button (the button with three horizontal lines on it) located in the upper right corner of the default Firefox setup and select Options (Gear Icon).
- Click on the Privacy Listing on the left side of the freshly opened tab.
- Look for the History Section and select Remember History from the drop-down menu.
- Restart Firefox and test the remedy.
Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.
In my application, I am starting the Google Navigation with the help of following set of code.
I am passing the Source Lat/Lng and Destination Lat/Lng of the respective addresses.
Problem:- Here my problem is when the Navigation Screen opens there is no option to “Start” rather there is another option “Preview”, This problem do not happens at all the places it works fine for some places but not for all. May I know what the whole mess is??
8 Answers 8
This worked for me:
“To anyone who runs across this thread, I discovered the cause and solution to this issue in some cases.
When you search for a location using google.com or the google app, then tap the directions button, the start and end points are passed to the google maps app. When you select the route and only see the preview option, it’s because google.com/app passed a starting set of coordinates to the maps app, so your asking google maps to provide directions between two points, not your current location to a point. Thus no turn-by-turn. Simply tap into the start field and select current location, bam.”
I have done some research on this and it appears that there is no way around it. The preview button will appear wherever navigation is not available for the requested route, the only reliable source I could find (Google was not massively helpful on this) to prove this is here which states (under navigation):
To launch turn-by-turn navigation, touch the Start navigation button represented by a chevron in the bottom right of the screen. When Navigation is not available, the icon will appear as a preview arrow , and you can view the directions step by step.
The only suggestion that I have would be to somehow check whether or not navigation is in fact available for the given route prior to passing to the maps application, and if not then display a prompt to the user, but I do not know the android API’s well enough to be of any help here.
Ever since Microsoft’s new browser emerged, it’s made Google a little uncomfortable. So Google has created a new, slightly irritable message for those who log on to their Gmail accounts via Edge on a new device.
Google, from its very beginning, thought it was so clever. It’s never really stopped thinking that.
- Linus Torvalds: Juggling chainsaws and building Linux
- Hunker down: The chip shortage and higher prices are set to linger for a while
- Everyone needs to buy one of these cheap security tools
- AT&T says it has big problems. A T-Mobile salesman showed me how big
And when it discovers competition — from what it deems an unworthy source — Google can become irritable.
Here is but the latest chapter, for example, in its riveting browser scuffle with Microsoft.
Once upon a time, Google created Chrome, a browser that actually seemed to work for fundamental things like video and opening more than one tab at the same time.
Humans, flocking fools that they are, immediately forsook their old browsers. Why, Chrome’s market share is now said to be almost 50 percent.
But then here came Microsoft with something oddly competent. Yes, it was still called Edge. But this Edge was smooth and sprightly. Which could be something to do with the fact that it’s based on Google’s Chromium platform.
Google seemed miffed that Microsoft had created a functioning browser. It told users Edge isn’t secure. Which is odd coming from a company that’s just been sued for allegedly tracking users’ private browsing activity.
Microsoft — the new soft, but sturdy version — intimated that apps from Google’s Chrome Web store mess up Edge’s inner workings.
But then Redmond realized it didn’t have so many fine Edge extensions, so it started to recommend Chrome Web Store extensions.
A truce. Peace. No more furrowed browsers.
Oh, but now Google just won’t let it go. Techdows has spotted that when users suddenly log on to their Gmail accounts from a new device — via the strange browser that is the new Edge — they get the standard security alert email message.
But a large part of it is now a slightly stroppy suggestion that they should use Chrome instead.
It reads: “Make the most out of Windows 10 with the Chrome browser. Chrome is a fast, simple, and secure browser, built for the modern Web.”
Does this mean that Edge is a slow, complicated and insecure browser, built for Caxton’s paper klaxon?
Yes, you’ll tell me that Google has to advertise whenever and wherever it can. You’ll also tell me Microsoft does something similar when you use Hotmail via, say, Firefox.
But the more Google shows its competitiveness with any — even subtle — reference to Edge, the more it gives Microsoft’s browser credibility.
When you’re the market leader, it’s best not to acknowledge your lesser rivals. True, Google doesn’t specifically mention Edge here. Yet the fact that it feels so needy — this is a security alert, after all — as to remind any GMail-loving Edge users that Chrome exists shows more than a hint of insecurity.
OK Google, so someone logged onto their Gmail account via Edge. Be cool about it. Perhaps even perform a little survey and ask them what they think of Edge.
Or does Google already know that Microsoft’s new browser really is quite good, while Chrome is getting a little tired?
I thought I’d write up a response to this question from well-known 4th Amendment and CFAA lawyer Orin Kerr:
Question for tech people related to “geofence” warrants served on Google: How easy is it for a cell phone user, either of an Android or an iPhone, to stop Google from generating the detailed location info needed to be responsive to a geofence warrant? What do you need to do?
— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) September 15, 2021
(FWIW, I’m seeking info from people who actually know the answer based on their expertise, not from those who are just guessing, or are who are now googling around to figure out what the answer may be,)
— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) September 15, 2021
First, let me address the second part of his tweet, whether I’m technically qualified to answer this. I’m not sure, I have only 80% confidence that I am. Hence, I’m writing this answer as blogpost hoping people will correct me if I’m wrong.
There is a simple answer and it’s this: just disable “Location” tracking in the settings on the phone. Both iPhone and Android have a one-click button to tap that disables everything.
It’s that simple: one click and done, and Google won’t be able to report your location in a geofence request.
I’m pretty confident in this answer, despite what your googling around will tell you about Google’s pernicious ways. But I’m only 80% confident in my answer. Technology is complex and constantly changing.
Note that the answer is very different for mobile phone companies, like AT&T or T-Mobile. They have their own ways of knowing about your phone’s location independent of whatever Google or Apple do on the phone itself. Because of modern 4G/LTE, cell towers must estimate both your direction and distance from the tower. I’ve confirmed that they can know your location to within 50 feet. There are limitations to this, it depends upon whether you are simply in range of the tower or have an active phone call in progress. Thus, I think law enforcement prefers asking Google.
Another example is how my car uses Google Maps all the time, and doesn’t have privacy settings. I don’t know what it reports to Google. So when I rob a bank, my phone won’t betray me, but my car will.
Note that “disabling GPS” isn’t sufficient. I include the screenshot above because of how it mentions the phone relies upon WiFi, BlueTooth, and cell tower info to also confirm your location. Tricking GPS will do little to stop your phone from knowing your location.
I only know about this from the phone side of things and not actual legal cases. I’d love to see the sort of geofence results the FBI gets. There might be some subtle thing that I missed about how Android works with mobile companies, such as this old story where Android phones reported cell tower information to Google (since removed). Or worse, there might be something completely obvious I should’ve known about that everyone seems to know, but for some reason I simply forgot.
Both Apple and Google are upfront about what private information they do and don’t track and how to disable it. Thus, while I think they may do something on accident hidden from view, I don’t think there’s anything going on that isn’t documented. And what’s documented this concern is that simply turning off the “Location” button.
Update: Many comments note that Google does log the IP address of requests, and that IP addresses can sometimes be geolocated.
Well, yes and no. It’s not something companies log in that way. Thus, when given a geofence request for everything within a certain physical location, logs containing only IP addresses wouldn’t be something covered by the request. The log would need a record of the physical location to be covered. Moreover, geolocation by IP address is incredibly inaccurate, often telling you only what city or neighborhood where the IP address is located. Even if Google logged a record of the best-guess about location, I’m still not sure whether it would be an appropriate response to a geofence request.
In any event, this wouldn’t apply to mobile IP addresses. In America, consumer mobile phones don’t have public IP addresses by share the same pool of private addresses. Thus, the IP address from a mobile phone is meaningless for location purposes.
Now you can create a hypothetical situation like the following:
- a Capitol Hill protestor logs onto a nearby WiFi (meaning: it’s not the mobile IP address in question, but the IP address of the WiFi hotspot)
- the geolocation record of that WiFi hotspot is actually accurate
- requests to Google resolves that geolocation when it logs the IP address
- they give such IP/location logs in response to geofence request
Then, yes, my argument is defeated, a hypothetical geofence request might then get you.
Which I actually like. It’s a good demonstration of why I doubt myself at the top of the post. I don’t think this scenario is likely, and hence don’t consider it a reasonable rebuttal, but “unlikely” doesn’t mean “impossible”. I’m still pretty confident that a one-click disabling “Location” is all you need to defeat geofence warrants given to Google.
Note that the discussion of this blogpost is just about the “geofence request to Google”. This “Capital Hill WiFi” hypothetical is unlikely to help with requests by location, but of course would for requests by IP address. Law enforcement could certainly ask Google for a list of users that came in via the Capital Hill WiFi IP address.
Except I bet they started with cell carriers and are being thorough.
Contact Google via public wifi in the Capitol and BOOM.
— Bob (Moderna #3) Kerns (@BobKerns) September 15, 2021
Knowing how to delete a Google review can be useful for brands with negative online reviews on their Google My Business (GMB) listing. With customer reviews data showing 57.5% of all reviews are on Google, even a few negative pieces of feedback on Google can blemish your online reputation, especially if the review stands out in search results. Here’s how to do it.
How to Delete a Google Review as a Brand
Here’s the short answer: brands and organizations can’t just delete a negative review on their GMB page.
Most of the time, businesses that succeed in having Google reviews deleted do so by either asking Google directly to remove it (because it was fake or violated Google review policy) or by asking the reviewer to delete their own review.
How to Delete a Google Review If It’s Fake or Violates Google Guidelines
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a business to receive fake reviews on Google. While Google has measures in place to remove fake and spammy reviews, you can also take steps to delete a Google review if you think it isn’t authentic, relevant, or useful.
If you’re sure that its contents violate the Google review policy, you can try to delete the Google review by flagging it:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- Choose your business location and click Reviews from the menu.
- Find the review you’d like to flag, click the 3-dot menu, then click Flag as inappropriate.
How to Delete a Google Review By Asking the Reviewer to Remove It
Anyone with a Google account can edit or delete a review they have written. But your customers might not know how exactly they can do this. Share these instructions to make it easy for them.
- The customer should open Google Maps on their computer or device.
- In the top left, click Menu (3 horizontal lines).
- Look for Your contributions, click, and then choose Reviews.
- Next to their review of your business, click More (3 dots).
- Choose an option (edit or delete) and follow the instructions.
How to Delete a Google Review (that You Posted)
Anyone with a Google account can write reviews for places they’ve visited. These reviews appear on Google Maps as well as on the business’s Google listing.
As a user, you won’t be able to add an anonymous review on Google. All reviews are public, so anyone can see what you write. If you change your mind about a place you reviewed, you’ll be able to edit or delete the review while signed in to your Google account.
- On your computer, open Google Maps.
- In the top left, click Menu. Then click “Your contributions” and choose “Reviews.”
- Next to the review you want to edit or delete, click “More.” Choose an option and follow the instructions.
Alternatives to Deleting a Google Review
The pressure is mounting on brands with plenty of negative reviews to remove them in a number of ways.
However, there are ways to improve your online reputation without resorting to deleting Google reviews. These tactics not only help consumers see the brand in a new light; they can also be part of a customer acquisition strategy that leads to higher customer retention rates.
Respond to the Review
Proactively addressing unsolicited feedback is the best way to strengthen and protect your online reputation, and the best way to do so is by responding to the consumer’s complaints.
Doing so means you have a better chance of not just resolving the issue, but also retaining them for future purchases.
With any luck, you can also potentially convince them to change or take down their review.
When learning how to respond to negative reviews, you should address specific issues raised in the review and let the review know of your commitment to providing solutions. Be sure to thank the customer for taking the time to share their thoughts. In the eyes of other potential customers, taking time to respond to reviews can also provide reassurance that your organization listens to the voice of the customer and is committed to effective customer experience management.
Here’s an example of how you can respond to a fake Google review:
Hi (Reviewer’s Name), We take comments like yours very seriously. Unfortunately, we have no record of any incident with a customer as described in the review. We are also unable to verify your identity from the names of customers in our records. If you were indeed a customer, we would like to investigate this issue further. Please contact (Team Member’s Name) immediately at (Email Address) so that we can resolve this issue immediately.
Amplify the Positive — Request for More Reviews
A great offense can be your best defense, and another way to combat a plethora of negative reviews is to start asking for reviews from other customers. Hopefully, this helps you amplify positive feedback about your company, while also drowning out the negative.
While some business review sites like Yelp frown upon business owners asking customers for feedback, other sites — including Google — allow you to reach out to customers for reviews. Knowing how to get Google reviews is easy because there are multiple ways to do so.
Request Reviews through Email or SMS
Do you collect customer email addresses or phone numbers at the point of sale or care? If so, then you can use that contact information to reach out to customers after they leave. Just make sure you get their permission to gather the information and tell them how you plan on using it.
Keep the message short and to the point, and add some personalization to it to show that you highly value their specific feedback. Be sure to provide a Google reviews link that will quickly take the customer to your GMB listing. Reducing the number of steps needed to leave a review goes a long way to getting the positive feedback needed to boost your online reputation.
Use the Ask Tool from ReviewTrackers
The Ask Tool is a reputation management software feature that includes an intelligent workflow to help you generate new reviews through email campaigns, SMS, on-site kiosks, and customizable landing pages.
With this feature, you can also automate the follow-up with scheduled reminders and drip campaigns. Meanwhile, Ask Tool’s over-solicitation prevention technology helps you keep your email list clean.
How to Delete a Google Review and Build a 5-Star Reputation
Knowing what to do when you receive a negative review on Google can help you protect your online business reputation.
While there’s no simple or straightforward way to remove a review that could potentially damage your reputation, following the steps outlined above can prepare you for situations where your business will benefit from having a review on Google deleted or edited.
When it comes to getting directions, accuracy is everything. So when your GPS is having a hard time identifying your location, things can get frustrating — fast.
If you use Google Maps, there are ways to improve the accuracy: calibrating the compass so it points in the correct direction, for instance, or turning on high-accuracy mode on your Android phone.
There are several ways to get better directions and results while using the Google Maps app on your Android phone, as we detail below.
If you have an iPhone, however, the below methods won’t work, so you should try restarting your phone or enabling Wi-Fi to improve the accuracy of your Google Maps app.
How to calibrate Google Maps with settings on an Android phone
If you open your Google Maps app and see that the blue dot is pointing in the wrong direction, or is in the wrong location, calibration can help you get a more accurate reading. Here’s how to do it on an Android phone:
1. Go into your Google Maps app, if it’s not already open.
2. While holding your phone, move your hand in a figure eight motion — you should see the beam narrow as you go. Keep in mind it may take a few times for this to work.
Turning on high-accuracy mode
High-accuracy mode is a helpful tool in getting your Google Maps app up to speed. But keep in mind that this method only works if you have an Android:
3. Open your device’s Settings app.
4. Tap “Location.” Depending on your device, it may also be labeled as “Security and Location”
5. Switch on the location setting, if necessary.
6. Tap “Mode.”
7. Select “High Accuracy.”
How to calibrate Google Maps on an iPhone or Android with other basic fixes
There aren’t as many fancy tricks to fix Google Maps on an iPhone.
First, you should turn on Wi-Fi on your phone. You don’t need to connect to a network, you just need to turn on the setting. On both iPhone and Android, turning on Wi-Fi will make Google Maps more accurate, as it scans nearby Wi-Fi signals to locate you.
If that doesn’t work, try restarting your iPhone or Android. Your phone’s GPS sensors may simply need to be rebooted. For more information on how to restart an iPhone, see our article, “How to restart and force-restart any iPhone model.”
Finally, on an iPhone specifically, make sure that location services are turned on. To do this:
1. Open your Settings app and go to the “Privacy” tab.
2. At the top of the Privacy screen, tap “Location Services.”
3. Make sure that the switch at the top of the next screen is flipped to the right, and is colored green. If it’s not, tap it.
4. Scroll down to your list of apps until you find Google Maps, and tap on it.
5. On the next screen, select either “While Using the App” or “Always.” This will allow the Google Maps app to access your precise location faster.
Google will auto-delete data — for some users — but only after a year and a half. You can do better than that. We’ll show you how.
Google may have more data on you than you know, but you can limit how long the company holds onto that information by following these steps.
Google might collect far more personal data about its users than you might even realize. The company records every search you perform and every YouTube video you watch . Whether you have an iPhone ($499 at Apple) or an Android, Google Maps logs everywhere you go , the route you use to get there and how long you stay — even if you never open the app . When you look closer at everything Google knows about you, the results can be eye-opening, and maybe even a little unsettling. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it.
Starting in June, new Google accounts will automatically delete private data for you. But only after 18 months by default. And only if you’re a brand-new Google user. That’s great if you’re just now deciding to create a Gmail address or you just got your first Android phone, but if you’re among the 1.5 billion people on Gmail or the 2.5 billion people using Android already, your account is set to hold onto your private data forever unless you tell Google otherwise.
Get the CNET How To newsletter
We’re going to cut through all the clutter and show you how to access the private data Google has on you, as well as how to delete some or all of it. Then we’re going to help you find the right balance between your privacy and the Google services you rely on by choosing settings that limit Google’s access to your information without impairing your experience.
Find out what private information Google considers ‘public’
Chances are, Google knows your name, your face, your birthday, gender, other email addresses you use, your password and phone number. Some of this is listed as public information (not your password, of course). Here’s how to see what Google shares with the world about you.
1. Open a browser window and navigate to your Google Account page.
2. Type your Google username (with or without “@gmail.com”).
3. From the menu bar, choose Personal info and review the information. You can change or delete your photo, name, birthday, gender, password, other emails and phone number.
4. If you’d like to see what information of yours is available publicly, scroll to the bottom and select Go to About me.
5. On this page, each line is labeled with either a people icon (visible to anyone), office building icon (only visible to your organization) or lock icon (visible only to you). Select an item to choose whether to make it public, semi-public or private. There’s currently no way to make your account totally private.
Google has adapted its privacy-control dashboard for mobile devices as well as desktop browsers.
Take a look at Google’s record of your online activity
If you want to see the motherlode of data Google has on you, follow these steps to find it, review it, delete it or set it to automatically delete after a period of time.
If your goal is to exert more control over your data but you still want Google services like search and maps to personalize your results, we recommend setting your data to auto-delete after three months. Otherwise, feel free to delete all your data and set Google to stop tracking you. For most of the day-to-day things you do with Google you won’t even notice the difference.
1. Sign into your Google Account and choose Data & Personalization from the navigation bar.
2. To see a list of all your activity that Google has logged, scroll to Activity controls and select Web & App Activity. This is where all your Google searches, YouTube viewing history, Google Assistant commands and other interactions with Google apps and services get recorded.
3. To turn it completely off, move the toggle to the off position. But beware — changing this setting will most likely make any Google Assistant devices you use, including Google Home and Google Nest smart speakers and displays, virtually unusable.
4. If you want Google to stop tracking just your Chrome browser history and activity from sites you sign into with your Google account, uncheck the first box. If you don’t want Google to keep audio recordings of your interactions with Google Assistant, uncheck the second box. Otherwise, move on to step 5.
5. To set Google to automatically delete this kind of data either never or every three or 18 months, select Auto-delete and pick the time frame you feel most comfortable with. Google will immediately delete any current data older than the time frame you specify. For example, if you choose three months, any information older than three months will be deleted right away.
6. Once you choose an Auto-delete setting, a popup will appear and ask you to confirm. Select Delete or Confirm.
7. Next, click Manage Activity. This page displays all the information Google has collected on you from the activities mentioned in the previous steps, arranged by date, all the way back to the day you created your account or the last time you purged this list.
8. To delete specific days, select the trash can icon to the right of the day then choose Got it. To get more specific details or to delete individual items, select the three stacked dots icon beside the item then choose either Delete or Details.
9. If you’d rather delete part or all of your history manually, select the three stacked dots icon to the right of the search bar at the top of the page and choose Delete activity by then choose either Last hour, Last day, All time or Custom range.
10. To make sure your new settings took, head back to Manage Activity (step 4) and make sure whatever’s there only goes back the three or 18 months you selected in step 5.