Hide where you're going in Google Maps to keep your navigation history a secret
If you don't want Google to track where you go, turn on the new incognito mode.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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has launched an Incognito Mode feature that lets you go MIA while using the Maps app. In other words, you can use Google Maps without letting others see where you're going, which can be useful if you're birthday shopping or planning a surprise get-together. When in incognito mode, Maps won't save any of the spots you've searched for, in case you share your device, location or Google account with loved ones.
Incognito Mode for
is rolling out to Android
this month, so you may not see it quite yet. Google says it'll come to
"soon," although we don't have an exact date. Here's how to go incognito in Maps and everything we know about the new feature.
Turn Incognito Mode on and off
1. On your Android phone, open the Google Maps app.
2. In the top right corner, tap your profile icon.
3. Select Turn on Incognito Mode.
4. When you're ready to turn the setting off, follow the same instructions as above and select Turn off Incognito Mode.
Watch this: Incognito mode comes to Google Maps
What happens when you're in Incognito Mode
When you're using Incognito Mode, Google won't save your Maps activity to your Google Account and you won't see a list of personalized recommendations. For example, if you search for a coffee shop or restaurant, it won't save that info while you're incognito. You also won't see information about your commute (like how long it will take you to get home or to work).
Also, when you're incognito, Maps won't update your location history or shared location. So if you're sharing your location with a relative or friends, they won't be able to see where you are when you have the setting turned on.
What Incognito Mode doesn't do
Google notes that turning on Incognito Mode doesn't "affect how your activity is used or saved by internet providers, other apps, voice search, and other Google services." So basically, Incognito Mode only keeps your location information private from shared users. It doesn't necessarily keep your Maps browsing history hidden from other websites.