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Hide where you are in Google Maps to keep your navigation history secret



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You can now go Incognito when using Google Maps.


Angela Lang / CNET

Google has launched an incognito mode feature that lets you go MIA while using the Maps app . In other words, you can use Maps without letting others see where you are going, which can be useful if you are birthday shopping or planning a surprise meeting. In incognito mode, Maps doesn't save any of the places you've searched for, if you share your device, location, or Google Account with loved ones.

Digital privacy has become a top priority among growing concerns that people's movements are being tracked and recorded on their phones . Now more than ever, companies are responding to user demand by implementing tools for customers to regain control of their privacy.

Google Maps Incognito mode is rolling out to Android phones this month, so you might not see it yet. Google says it's coming to iPhones ($ 699 on Apple) "soon," though we don't have an exact date. Here's how to do incognito in Maps and everything we know about the new feature.


Google

Turn incognito mode on and off

1. Open the Google Maps app on your Android phone.

2nd In the upper right corner, touch your profile icon.

3rd Select Turn on incognito mode .

4th When you are ready to turn off the setting, follow the same instructions as above and select Turn off incognito mode .





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What happens when you are in incognito mode

When you use incognito mode, Google does not save your Maps activity in your Google Account and you will not see a list of personal recommendations. For example, if you search for a cafe or restaurant, it will not save that information when you are incognito. You also should not see information about your commute (such as how long it will take you to come home or work).

When you are incognito, Maps will not update your location history or shared location. So if you share your location with a relative or friends, they will not be able to see where you are when you have the setting enabled.

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Your profile icon will change to the Incognito icon.


Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET

What Incognito Mode Does Not Do

Google notes that enabling Incognito Mode does not "affect how your activity is used or saved by ISPs, other apps, voice search and other Google services." So basically, incognito mode only keeps your location information private from shared users. It does not necessarily keep your browsing history for maps hidden from other sites.

What is not available when Incognito is on

  • Commute
  • For You (personalized recommendations)
  • Location history for the entire unit [19659028] Location sharing
  • Messages and messages
  • Search history
  • Search suggestions [19659028] Google Maps Contributions
  • Google Assistant Microphone in Navigation
  • Offline Maps
  • Your Places
  • Media Integration (music playback like Spotify and Apple Music)

Need more Google Maps tips? Check out these four hidden Google Maps tricks that you need to know and how to avoid speed traps with Google Maps .

Originally published earlier this week.


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