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If you have a Gmail account or use any Google apps, it’s likely that Google knows where you’ve been. This depends on whether you have enabled two Google account settings: location reporting and location history.

If you want to see what Google knows about you – and it’s quite scary really, you first need to sign into Gmail or any other Google app you use. Then visit this link:

https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0

Once you’ve clicked on the above link, and depending if your phone has recorded the places you visit and sent the data back to Google Maps, you’ll probably see a cluster of red dots on a map. These show the locations of places you’ve visited.

Below, you can see an example of places I’ve visited since Google started recording my location visits. Even though I’ve chosen to look at my data for “All Time”, it’s not that long since it started recording where I’ve been. That’s why there aren’t that many red dots – either that or I’m a hermit!

Example of Google map showing where you've been

Options to change the viewing period – by the year, month, day etc. are at the top left of the screen. If you zoom in closer on the map you can see more information about the red dots (data points), and if you click on them a marker tells you the name of the location.

The map, below, shows I’ve recently spent the evening in Waitrose (such an exciting life), been to a Tesco Extra and visited Romanzo Greek Taverna. In fact I have never been to Romanzo, but I did go to the charity shop next door to it! Sadly, Google seems to think these visits are “highlights”.

 

Example of Google maps showing where you've been

Sorting data by the day will show you lines that give you a route of your journeys. There is also an option to view all the places you’ve visited, which is quite interesting!

Clicking on the cog icon at the bottom right of the screen, gives you settings that allow you to pause your location data, delete it, manage your personal places and download a copy of all your data.

If you can’t find anything it just means that you probably haven’t authorised Google (or any of its apps) to report and record your location.

If you don’t want Google to know what you’ve been up to, instructions on how to turn off these settings are here.