This One-Second Trick Keeps You Invisible When Waze Is Running

As part of its efforts to grow its user base, Waze comes with several customization options. Users are allowed to choose from a large collection of moods, with this information to then be displayed on the map with nearby Wazers allowed to see it.
Waze invisible mode toggle 9 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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While the vehicle icon is only displayed on your mobile device, the username, the mood, and the rank can also be accessed by other users.

Needless to say, this shouldn’t necessarily be a privacy concern, given only limited information is made public. Some users aren’t big fans of this approach and would rather stay private, especially because the name and the photo could also be revealed to friends.

Waze knows that disclosing such information isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. As such, the application also includes options to stay private when using the app.

To do this, Waze users need to enable the invisible mode. When this feature is activated, users’ details are no longer revealed on the map.

The invisible mode is located in the My Waze menu under Settings > Privacy. Look for a toggle called “Go invisible” and make sure it’s on.

What you need to know is that this change isn’t immediately applied. This means it should normally take a few minutes for your profile to appear offline after the invisible mode is activated.

Unfortunately, because the invisible setting is supposed to keep your data private, some features are automatically disabled when you activate it. This is because by using certain functionality, your information, including the username, could still be revealed.

For example, Waze says that you will no longer be able to send reports when you use the app in invisible mode. Every report shown on the map includes information about the sender, and as such, this feature is disabled to avoid disclosing your details.

The Google-owned company also explains that sending messages to other Wazers isn’t possible either. The reason is the same, as the messaging experience would involve revealing your username, and by enabling the invisible mode, you tell the app to avoid doing this.

Last but not least, adding and editing places on the map is also disabled, as this feature also involves storing and revealing your username.

The invisible mode is available on both Android and iPhone. When you activate it on a mobile device, the invisible mode also becomes available on Android Auto and CarPlay. The mirrored experience uses the settings on the mobile device.

If you want to disable the invisible mode, you must follow the aforementioned steps but uncheck the option that reads “Go invisible.” Once you turn off the invisible mode, the aforementioned features are re-enabled in Waze, so you’ll be once again allowed to submit reports when using the app.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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