Incognito mode on Google Maps is finally rolling out across the world.

The technology firm announced the helpful feature during its annual Google IO developer conference back in May, but has only just started to surface on smartphone owners’ handsets.

Google Maps has often been criticised for storing location data, but this update should help users feel a little less watched when navigating with the hugely-popular app.

Google has updated its support page to confirm the launch of the feature and Android users should begin seeing this option in the coming days.

Incognito mode basically stops all activity within app, such as directions or places you’ve searched, being saved to your Google account. It’s sure to be a popular feature, but those who use Google Maps on iPhone will have to wait a little longer before they can gain access to it.

So far, Google is only mentioning Android in its latest announcement with no word yet on when it will arrive on Apple devices.

If you do own an Android smartphone here’s how to switch on Incognito mode and what it means for your experience once enabled.


• Open the Google Maps app

• Tap on your profile picture

• Tap on “Turn on Incognito mode”


When Incognito mode is on, Maps will not:

• Save your browse or search history, or send you notifications

• Update your Location History or shared location, if any

• Use your personal data to personalise Maps

Google is keen to point out that turning on Incognito mode in Maps does not affect how your activity is used or saved by internet providers, other apps, voice search, and other Google services.

Speaking about Google’s privacy settings Eric Miraglia Director of Product Management, Privacy and Data Protection Office, said: “Our goal has always been to create products that are simple, helpful, and intuitive. It’s no different with privacy and security: managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home.

“Making these controls consistent across our core products will help them become more familiar, and we hope, even easier to use.”