Google Maps allows anyone with a smart device to evade purchasing an often expensive GPS navigation device. And if you think the benefits stop at detailed maps, think twice. Google Assistant is consistently getting better at voice control and providing directions through narration. As a bonus, you save power, time, effort, and space since you don’t need to charge, carry, or mount both devices. As always, the problem arises when something affects the status quo. And, well, data loss is about the most common one reason, one which we’ll help you remedy. So, let’s jump straight into how to recover Google Maps history and timeline.
An important reminder
Before we begin, it’s important to point out that there are times when you can’t see the history or the timeline regardless of what you do. We’re referring to the time when the Incognito Mode was enabled in Google Maps by tapping on the profile picture/icon then selecting Turn on Incognito mode on Android and iPhone. This applies to the Incognito window in the browser open, sometimes even when you’re logged in with your Google account.
1. Check “Maps history” in Google Maps
One of the biggest blunders most of us do is panicking when the list of previously searched locations doesn’t appear when we tap on “Search here”. The truth is, only the recent locations appear there, and they frequently get replaced with the new day’s searches. To roll back time, do the following:
- Tap on your profile picture/account initials next to “Search here”.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap on Maps history at the bottom.
- You’ll now see a list of previous map entries, whether searched, shared, or viewed.
2. Check your Google Maps edits page
Another common source of missing Google Maps history and timeline is editing maps you want to save on your account or share with others. It’s quite easy to edit a location accidentally, especially while driving. Here’s how to find it afterward:
- Mobile app: Tap on Contribute +, then View your profile. Scroll down and tap on See your edits. You’ll see the status: “Pending”, “Approved”, or “Not Applied”.
- Browser: Visit the Google Maps page. Tap on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner. Select Your contributions, then Edits. Check the status in the same fashion.
3. Recover Google Maps history and timeline from the dedicated web page
Maps history is blank and you haven’t edited anything? Tapping on your profile picture or account initials, then going to Your Timeline came up empty too? That’s more common than you think and is the reason Google keeps a cloud backup of your data. That way, your data is safe after you reinstall the app, clear the cache, suffer a system crash, or perform a factory reset. Even better, activity and location history are now joined with a timeline in one location for easy browsing. Follow these steps to recover Google Maps history and timeline:
- Visit Google’s My Activity page in your browser.
- Tap on Location History.
- Take note of the duration states under Auto-delete (On), e.g., “Deleting activity older than 18 months”, because your Google Maps data can’t be older than that.
- Tip. As of June 2020, if your Auto-delete is set to Off, Google will store the activity for 18 months.
- You’ll now be redirected to the Google Maps Timeline page.
- Use Year, Month, and Day drop-down menus to navigate to specific dates.
- Alternatively, click the graph icon in the wind0w’s top right corner to see the daily breakdown.
- If you want the data accessible on your device, consider reinstalling the Google Maps app and letting it sync.
4. Check iPhone Location History (Alternative)
This is an alternative exclusive to iPhone and iPad devices. It’s not a full-fledged solution, but can help you piece things together if you’re desperate. With that said, follow these instructions to recover Google Maps history and timeline on iOS or iPadOS:
- Open the Settings app on your Apple device.
- Tap on Privacy.
- Go to Location Services (it should be On already).
- Scroll down to the very bottom and tap on System Services.
- Scroll down once again and tap on Significant Locations. it should be already enabled for this to work.
- Check a list of cities/villages/states, and tap on see specific locations.
- Note. You’ll see location, date, and approximate position, but can’t pinch-to-zoom.
5. Recover Google Maps history and timeline via data restoration software
This is another desperate attempt that especially helps with issues mentioned in method 3 above. We’re referring to using data recovery software for Android or software for data retrieval on iOS. For practical application, check the last method (“How to recover deleted files from a Pendrive”) in our guide on restoring hidden files from a pendrive. This applies because your smartphone will show up as one of the system drives when connected via a USB cable.
6. Utilize professional data recovery services
We understand why this type of Google Map data matters to many. Among other reasons, it takes them down memory lane for free. But if you’ve tried everything and still left empty-handed, it may be time to leave it to professionals. We’re talking about finding data recovery services near you. We also have an ever-growing list of top data restoration companies for each city or country, too.