You probably know that your iPhone is tracking your physical movement, but did you know that it keeps a detailed list of your favorite places, knows how often you visit them, and when you’ve been there? It’s all part of “Meaningful Locations”, a location-based system service that runs by default when Apple’s Location Services is enabled.
“Significant Locations” helps your iPhone determine which places are most important to you, in order to “provide personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing, and create better photo memories,” according to Apple. Apple also says that the information in Significant Locations is “end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by anyone at Apple.”
But even with those guarantees, many people aren’t comfortable with the idea of their iPhone tracking and storing their movements, especially considering the recent news that Apple might be storing more information about you than you imagined. If you’d rather not have Apple have detailed information about the places you visit most often, here are instructions on how to find important locations, turn off tracking, and delete previously collected data.
Where to find important locations
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Significant Locations is buried pretty deep in Settings, but if you go through Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations, you’ll find it.
How to disable important locations
If you just want your iPhone to stop tracking and cataloging your locations in Significant Locations, you can disable it on the screen mentioned above.
How to delete old data from important locations
If you also want to make sure that the old data is removed from important locations, you will have to do some more work. You will need to enter your phone password or use Touch ID or Face ID to actually see the data stored in Meaningful Locations. This additional security is presumably to ensure that you have control over who can access this confidential information.
Once you confirm your credentials, you will see a list of all the places you have visited. Click on one and it will show you a map of the location, along with detailed information about the location and the dates you were there.
If you want to delete this data, you have two options:
- Pick and select individually the places you want to delete. To do this, touch the place, select “Edit” at the top right of the screen, and touch “Delete.”
- The process is much easier if you want to delete everything. Scroll down to the bottom of Important Locations and you’ll find the “Clear History” option. Tap that and voila! Your iPhone no longer has a catalog of all the places you like to visit. That’s all about it! We hope these tips have been helpful to you.