Google can track where you go and at what times you visit. Here's how to delete your Google location history. (Also see: How to turn off Google search history.)

You may or may not be aware that, under certain circumstances, Google can use your smartphone or tablet to track your location and will then keep a record of where you’ve been, along with the times and the dates. This feature can be useful for tasks such as remembering where you live and where you work while warning you of suspected delays along your frequent routes. (Also see: 5 best Android satnav apps.)

While you have to opt into this feature to enable it, it’s easy to do so without realising while you’re tapping through the initial screens on your phone when you first set it up. If you don’t know that you have enabled this feature, it can come as quite a shock to see such a recording of your whereabouts stored by a third party such as Google.

To look at any location history Google may have stored, go to Sign into Google if you haven’t already done so. You will then see a map with red dots depicting your previous locations and red lines showing your journeys between them. You can select different time periods to view and export the data if you wish. If you want to get rid of all this information, click on Delete All History, otherwise you can delete the location history from specific time periods.

If you want to keep using the feature but would rather remove specific location visits from your history, you can click each point on the map and then select the Delete From History option. Deleting your history doesn’t actually turn off the location history feature; it merely erases what has been stored up until that point. To stop Google from gathering any further location information, click on the gear icon at the top right of the page and select History Settings. Now click the Pause button to prevent any further location info being gathered.

Also see: How to use Google Navigation as a free satnav app