iphone location history

Apple’s products offer a perception of security and privacy. However, you’ll be in for a rude shock if you’ve dug into your iPhone history. Apparently, the iPhone has been stepping on the boundary of personal privacy as it’s been recording locational data right under your nose. 

This news may take loyal Apple fans by surprise as the company has long been a stickler for privacy. Nevertheless, it’s good to know what your iPhone is storing, the implication on your privacy, and what you can do about it.

What’s Recorded in Your iPhone History?

If you spend some time digging into your iPhone history, you’ll find a collection of records of where you’ve gone. The iPhone, particularly with the location services activated, has been capturing your whereabouts for the past few months or years. 

The records map the location that you’ve been, the duration spent, and time stamps on each of the entries. The official term given by Apple on these records is “Significant Locations.” It’s accessible on your iPhone, although it takes some navigation before going there.

You’ll be greeted with a password dialog. Key in your passcode, or use biometric scans to access the screen. 

On the Significant Locations screen, you’ll find a list of entries with the cities that you’ve visited and the accompanying dates. Selecting an entry will bring you to a map that pinpoints your whereabouts and the sublocations. You’ll even get the durations of your hangouts when selecting a particular sublocation.

If you’ve been putting your trust in your iPhone, thinking that your activities are private, then getting such detailed locational records can be a shocking revelation.

Why Delete Your Location History?

While these records are not transmitted over the network or stored in Apple’s servers, the presence of these records on the hundreds of millions of iPhones can have serious repercussions for the users. 

For a start, this is valuable data for private investigators or spouses trying to pry into the whereabouts of their other halves. If you’re in a profession where you prefer your movements being a secret, the location history on the iPhone is a potential giveaway.

These records can also be transferred to the computer along with other backups that you’ve done. It isn’t difficult to reconstruct the data and create a detailed outline of your movement throughout the year with software. 

What you need to understand is that this data gathering happened without your consent and Apple is being silent on the purpose of doing so. For many, it’s a blatant breach of privacy when you record users’ movement without their knowing.

There are suggestions that these location histories may be used for advertisement targeting in the future, but still, it doesn’t justify that Apple has resorted to a stealthy tactic. 

If you’re bothered by having your movements stored, or you’re in disagreement on how they have tracked your movements without you knowing, there’s a way to delete the entire record and to totally turn off the function.

If you’re worried about the history that Google has on you, read: How to Completely Clear All Your Search History.

How to Delete Your iPhone Location History

1. Open your iPhone Settings and choose Privacy.

settings iphone

2. Choose Location Services to expand the options.

privacy iphone history

3. Scroll down through the services and select System Services. From the list of services, select Signification Locations. Key in your passcode if prompted. 

iPhone location history

5. On the Significant Locations screen, you’ll have a list of records that point to locations you’ve been. You can choose to delete these records individually. If you prefer to delete all of the records, choose Clear History.

delete iphone history

How To Prevent Your iPhone from Permanently Recording Your Location History?

Now that you’ve got the location history off your iPhone for good, you’ll need to prevent it from recording new entries.

To do so, flip the slider on Signification Locations to the left and the service will be disabled.

significant locations of iPhone


In today’s world where privacy is almost an illusion, you ought to have a say on how your iPhone is monitoring and storing your whereabouts. We’ve given you an option to remove the iPhone location history and prevent misuse that may cost you dearly in the future. To further secure your privacy, consider installing one of these VPN Apps: 5 Best iPhone VPN Apps to Use in 2020 [Updated]

Mark Coulman
About Mark Coulman

Cybersecurity expert with a keen interest in technology and digital privacy. Mark has more than 14 years of experience in creating and managing various reliable WEB applications for IT companies in the EU and the US. Loves 3-4 letter words like PHP, XML, HTML, CSS, DB2, ASP, CRM, ERP, SAP, etc.