How to hide your home on Google Maps and Apple Maps

Try to find the home of Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook on Google Maps or Apple Maps Street View modes, and you’ll run into a pixelated brick wall. Nor is it a coincidence. Cook’s home went undercover after securing a restraining order against an alleged stalker in January.

But Cook isn’t the only person able to wipe his home from two of the most widely used mapping apps. Regular users can do the same, especially if you find their Street View features a bit too revealing for your liking.

If you’re unfamiliar, Google’s Street View (GOOG, GOOGL) and Apple’s version, Look Around, let you see street-level locations up close.

The idea is to give you a better view of the address you are looking for. Chances are you’ve used it a few times to peek somewhere you’re headed, like a restaurant where you’re meeting friends.

Apple CEO Tim Cook's home is blocked on Apple Maps and Google Street View.  Here's how you can do the same.  (Picture: Howley)

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s home is blocked on Apple Maps and Google Street View. Here’s how you can do the same. (Picture: Howley)

But the features also put your home on the internet for everyone to see. Yes, people can just walk past your house in real life and see it, but there’s something scarier about having where you spend most of your time exposed to the world.

Luckily, you can jam your home through either app, making them less visible to other users. And it’s actually surprisingly quick and easy. Here’s how.

Google Maps

Using the Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android device, enter your home address. Tap the location image to get a street view of your residence. Then press the options button, represented by three horizontal dots, in the upper right corner of the screen.

From there, select “Report a problem”.

You will then be taken to a screen with an image of your home. Arrange the photo so that your house is in the red square. Then, under the “Request blurring” option, choose “My home”. Then enter your exact address in the dialog box to blur your house. You can also blur your car and license plate if you’d rather nobody sees them either.

Clicking Report a Problem from the Google Maps screen will give you the option to block your home location on the app's Street View feature.  (Picture: Howley)

Clicking Report a Problem from the Google Maps screen will give you the option to block your home location on the app’s Street View feature. (Picture: Howley)

Then enter your email address and click submit. It may take some time for the blurring to take effect, but once the request is submitted, it will be permanently blocked. That means you can’t blur it either, so make sure it’s something you want to stick with.

If you’re using your laptop or desktop, the process is the same as in the app. Just search for your address, go to Street View, click report a problem, and choose the “My Home” blur.

Apple Cards

Apple Maps makes things a little easier than Google Maps. Instead of having to go through an application process, you can email Apple at MapsImageCollection@apple.com and request that your particular address be blurred on Apple Maps.

The whole process is very simple. Just make sure you want to blur the location for good. Personally, I like to take a digital walk around my childhood neighborhood once in a while to kill time and see what has changed in the years since I moved. If this is something you might want to do in the future, it’s best to leave your home easily visible.

If not, blur it.

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Do you have any advice? Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoofinance.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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