How can I completely hide my location in every situation?

hermesalpha used Ask the Experts™
When I use Google Maps for example, I automatically get the map for the location I am at. There are much more examples like this, where my location is automatically given out to someone else. How can I get more control of this, and in particular be able to completely hide my location for anyone at all times? In Windows, Android and Mac?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

You can't.  Every place you directly connect to gets your IP address and they can generally locate you from just that.
Continuing from Dave's comment, for me Google Maps opens to different places sometimes 60 miles or more apart because my IP Address is assigned dynamically every time I make a new Internet connection (as opposed to me having a fixed one all the time) and it obviously uses different connection points.

The only way to hide your real IP address so that websites like Google Maps do not know your rough location by IP Address is to use an application that connects you to websites through a proxy server.  The IP Address assigned by the proxy server is what is then seen by websites instead of your own Internet Service Provider's assigned one.  Often people choose servers in different countries.  People in countries with very restrictive regimes often use applications to do this so that they can see and communicate with the outside world without restrictions.  I once tried a little application named Hotspot Shield (or something similar) but sometimes pages didn't display properly and it slowed everything down.  You would also then have to wonder whether the proxy server that you were being connected through could be gathering information on your browsing habits, because everything you do on the Internet is then trafficked through them.

There are things you can do though.  Don't stay logged into any Google accounts while watching YouTube or looking at Google Maps would be the first thing to consider.  If you have to be logged into Google when you look at Google Maps click the hamburger icon (3 horizontal bars) and look for settings like Location Sharing, Your Places, Your Contributions, and Your Timeline and disable as many of the settings you can so that everything you do isn't shared.

You should also go to:
and inspect your settings, changing them to be more anonymous where possible.

The truth is though, as Dave hinted about, that you cannot surf the Internet in complete anonymity.  You will always be leaving traces of your activity no matter how hard you try to stay in the shadows.
Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018

Use a VPN and disable all location services and devices
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Expanding on what has been said above, it's impossible to hide completely.  Even going through Tor or a VPN, the web site can profile your browser and discover (among other things) the language you us, e.g., EN-AU (Australian English).  That will look quite ridiculous coming from a VPN in Russia.

Side note:  Font profiling is quite popular now for tracking.  The web site enumerates the fonts available on your system, which is likely to be a unique set of fonts.  When font profiling, display size, display color depth and various other items are combined, it is a unique fingerprint for your system and your system alone.  This information can be used to track you anywhere
Expanding on what has been said above, avoid allowing web browsers or mobile devices to locate your location. Although, it all depends on your preferences what actually you want.


Thanks for your suggestions. Perhaps using internet via different servers (my own servers or rented)? Although probably it would slow things down too much.
Thank you hermesalpha

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