How to stop your iPhone from tracking your location history

The privacy icon of Apple iOS and iPadOS on a gray background

By default, your iPhone keeps track of all the places you go if you have Location Services turned on. Apple says this history is end-to-end encrypted, but you may not want it to be created in the first place. Location history is easy to disable, but it’s hidden under layers of menus. That’s how.

First, open Settings on your iPhone.

Tap on the "Settings" icon on iPhone

In Settings, tap “Privacy.”

In iPhone settings, tap "Privacy."

Under “Privacy”, select “Location Services”.

In iPhone settings, tap "Location services."

Under “Location Services”, scroll down and tap “System Services”.

In "Location services," tap "System services."

In System Services, scroll down and tap “Important Locations”.

In iPhone settings, tap "Important locations."

Under “Important locations,” tap the switch next to “Important locations” to turn it off.

Note: On an iPhone, “important locations” are places you visit frequently, such as your home or workplace. Your iPhone learns where those places are by tracking your movements and making inferences about your daily habits. One benefit of this is that you can ask Siri to “Take me home” or allow reminders to remind you of something when you arrive at a significant location.

In iPhone settings, turn "Important locations" off.

When you tap the switch, you’ll see a scary-looking warning about disabling significant locations. But don’t worry, all the mentioned apps work without it. Tap “Shut Down.”

Tap "To turn off."

Meanwhile, while on the “Important Locations” screen, you can scroll down and review your location history data. To clear it, tap “Clear history”.

Tap "Clear history."

Now you are ready. Just exit Settings and your iPhone will no longer control your every move. Suddenly it looks a lot more like the 1990s!

(Of course, your cell phone operator can still track your location.)

RELATED: How to find your location history on iPhone or iPad

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