How can I see all significant location records?

Significant location records are data points that indicate places that a smartphone has visited over time. They are created whenever the phone’s location services are enabled and are designed to help apps determine your location more quickly. Some examples of significant location records could include home, work, frequently visited stores, cafes or restaurants or places you’ve visited while traveling. These records provide an informative history of the device’s locations that users may want to view for various reasons.

Users may want to view their full location history to see trends, get insight into their daily routines, monitor where their children go or even review records for personal security reasons. Significant location data can provide a bigger picture geographical view into your life by showing how much time you spend at certain places versus others. Viewing this information can also help you recall places you visited if you are trying to retrace your steps. Overall, accessing this kind of data allows you to visualize and analyze your physical whereabouts over time.

Check Location History Settings

To see your full location history, you first need to make sure Location History is enabled on your Google Account. Location History is a setting that allows Google to save your location data from devices signed into your Google Account. This data shows the routes and places you’ve visited, which appear on a personalized Google Map called Timeline.

To check your Location History setting, follow these steps for your device:

On Android, open the Google Settings app, go to the Privacy section, and see if “Location History” is turned on [1]. On an iPhone, open Settings, tap Google, choose Google Account, and make sure Location is enabled under “Privacy” [2].

If Location History is off, turn it on to start saving your location data and building your Timeline. With this setting enabled, you’ll be able to access a more complete view of locations you’ve visited.

View Location History on Android

One way to see your complete location history on an Android device is by using Google Timeline. Google keeps track of your location history across Android devices when you have Location History enabled in your Google Account settings. Here’s how to view it:

Open the Google Maps app on your Android device. Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner and select “Your Timeline.” This will show a map and list view of your location history organized by day.

You can scroll back through time to see your past locations on a given day. Google Maps will surface frequently visited places like Home and Work at the top. You can also search for specific locations. This gives you a comprehensive look at your location history on that Android device.

One thing to note is that Location History must be enabled in your Google Account for this to work. You can check it by going to Google Account > Data & Privacy > Location History. If disabled, you won’t see past location data.

View Location History on iPhone

iPhones have a built-in Location Services feature that allows you to see your location history. Here’s how to view it:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Tap on Privacy.

3. Select Location Services.

4. Scroll down and tap on System Services.

5. Tap on Significant Locations.

This will show you a list of significant places where your iPhone has recorded location data. You can tap on each location to see the dates and times you visited.

Location history is recorded by default to improve apps and services. You can turn off Location Services entirely or for specific apps if desired. But leaving it on allows you to view your location history on iPhone.

For more details, visit Apple’s support site: How to view location history on iPhone

Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in location history features on Android and iPhone, there are various third-party apps that can track location history and timelines. Some popular options include:

Life360 – This app allows you to share locations with family and friends in real-time. It creates a private family circle and timeline of everyone’s locations.

Google Maps Timeline – If you use Google Maps on your phone, your location is saved to generate a private timeline and history in the app. You can view daily breakdowns and monthly travel maps.

Footmark – Footmark tracks your real-time location and maps your location history. You can playback your daily routes and search your location history by date.

These third-party apps can provide more customizable options for viewing your location history and timelines. However, it’s important to review the privacy policies and be selective in sharing your location data.

Review Location Permissions

There are a variety of apps that have the ability to track your location on mobile devices if you grant permission to access your location data. Permissions can generally be managed in your device settings. On Android, go to Settings > Location > App permissions to see which apps have access to location data and when (all the time vs only while using the app). On iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

Common apps that may request location access include maps/navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze, social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, weather apps, food delivery apps, ridesharing apps like Uber, and email/messaging apps. These apps typically require location access to provide geo-targeted features and services.

However, some apps request location data when it may not seem necessary, so it’s important to be selective when granting location permissions. For example, flashlight or calculator apps do not need location access. Only allow location access for apps you fully trust and that provide useful location-based features.

Location Data and Privacy

Location tracking on smartphones has raised significant privacy concerns over the years. In 2011, researchers from MacRumors disclosed that iPhones were storing location data locally without users’ knowledge. This sparked a debate around location tracking and user privacy. More recently, COVID-19 contact tracing apps have also triggered discussions around balancing public health benefits with personal privacy.

Location data can reveal sensitive details about a person’s habits, relationships, interests and daily patterns. While this data can be useful for certain apps and services, many feel uncomfortable with the extent of passive location tracking on smartphones today. Users should be informed about location tracking and given clear controls to manage it.

Deleting Location History

If you no longer want Google to store your location data, you can delete your Location History information. Here’s how to delete your location data from Google services and devices:

On Android devices, open the Google Maps Timeline feature and tap the three-dot menu icon in the top left. Select “Settings” then “Delete all Location History” to erase your location data (source).

On iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and tap on Significant Locations. Tap Clear History to delete your logged locations (source).

You can also visit your Google Account, go to Data & Privacy > Location History, and click “Delete all Location History” to erase your data across Google services like Maps and Search (source).

Additionally, review location permissions for other apps and services and turn them off or restrict access if you no longer need them collecting your location data.

Alternatives to Location Tracking

There are ways to reduce location tracking or avoid it altogether for certain situations. Here are some alternatives:

Use offline maps when you don’t need active guidance. Download maps apps like Google Maps or so you have maps available without an internet connection.

Only allow location access when the app is open. Go to your phone’s app permissions and select “Only while using the app” for apps that don’t need constant access.

Turn off location services completely when not needed. Go to your phone’s location settings and toggle location off, then turn it back on when required.

Use a GPS logging app that doesn’t transmit data to a server. Apps like GPSLogger simply log GPS data locally on your device for private location tracking.

Try using public WiFi instead of mobile data so your location isn’t tracked by your mobile provider while still having internet access.

Use burner phones without any accounts or personal info for situations where you want to remain anonymous and untracked.


There are a few key ways to view your full location history across devices and services:

  • On Android devices, go to Settings > Location > Google Location History to see your recent locations.

  • On iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services to see location history.

  • Check your Google account’s Location History page at for a comprehensive log of places you’ve been.

  • Use third-party apps like Life360 to view location history if you have them installed.

  • Review location permissions for apps to see which ones can access your location data.

Managing your location history allows you to balance privacy and functionality. Delete any unnecessary location data for peace of mind.