How to Turn Off Locations on Your iPhone |

April 03, 2019

We’ve all heard that our digital devices have the ability to track our online behavior — from our emails to our shopping history — but did you know they can also record our actual physical movements? If you use Apple products, you’ll want to pay attention.

Unbeknownst to many iPhone users, the tech giant tracks all the places they’ve traveled and stores all of that data. That can lead to a number of privacy concerns, as few people would likely be comfortable with a corporation having a list of their every movement — and, if this data got into the wrong hands, the implications could be wide-ranging. Thankfully, if you’re wondering how to turn off your locations on your iPhone, the process is relatively straightforward — although the company makes the fix a bit tricky to find.

First, access your Settings on your iPhone and click on the Privacy tab. From there, you can navigate to Location Services. This page lists all of the apps on your phone that track your physical location — an eye-opening realization for those concerned about data privacy. While many think that simply toggling off the location tracking on different apps will offer some level of privacy, that’s actually not how to turn off your locations on your iPhone because the device has a treasure trove of all of your past movements.

At the bottom of the Locations tab, you’ll find a Systems Services button and, from there, you can access Significant Locations (make sure to have your phone’s password — which you should certainly use — handy). On this tab, you’ll see a history of the locations you and your iPhone have recently visited. Using locations identified through Maps, Calendar, Photos, and other apps, this section of the device tracks the cities you’ve been to, the places you visited, the dates you were there, how long you spent at each location and even how you got there. This comprehensive location history offers a snapshot of your movements, behaviors, and routines — a worrisome set of data that could put your privacy at risk.

Clear the Significant Locations history at the bottom of the page, and then toggle the button at the top to ensure Apple is no longer tracking and storing this sensitive information. Once you’ve done that, make sure you explore the Location Services page in full to ensure your location isn’t being used unnecessarily by any of your apps.

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