It happens to all of us: there are just things we’re curious about that we look up in a Google Search, then worry that someone could potentially learn what we’re searching for, as Google saves this data. While Google rolled out a feature last year to quickly delete the last 15 minutes of Search history on iOS, that option is finally coming to Android.
Delete Search History on iPhone
To be honest, the option to delete your Google Search history on Android is an existing option – just not the last 15 minutes.
For over a decade, Google has ensured your privacy by encrypting your searches so that other people couldn’t learn what you were searching for – but Google still had access. While it sounds great for Google to do that, people want to have control of their own information.
Last year it introduced a few more controls. If you go to “My Activity” in your Google account, you can require extra verification to learn that information. To reach your history, you can require a password or two-factor authentication.
There are also auto-delete controls released last year that allow your account to automatically delete your Google Search history along with Web & App Activity. While the default setting is to only delete your history after 18 months, there’s also an option to delete it automatically after three, 18, or 36 months.
But is that enough control? Google must have reason to think it wasn’t. The company also announced last year that it would soon allow those on Android and iOS to quickly delete the last 15 minutes of Google Search history. The feature was rolled out in July for iOS, along with a promise to do so for Android later in the year.
Even still, it’s not complete control, as your Google Search history can only be deleted in the iOS Google app – it’s not available in browsers, even if you go to Google.com. If you open the Google app, you just have to select your profile, then “Delete last 15 min.” However, the option being limited to the Google app could be an issue with what Apple would allow Google access to.
Delete Search History Coming to Android
People are beginning to notice the feature on Android, and spokesperson Ned Adriance did admit, “We’re currently rolling this feature out on the Google app for Android and expect it to be available to everyone using the app in the next few weeks.”
You may already have the option but aren’t aware. You can check by opening the Google app. Look on your profile for the “Delete last 15 min” option.
With the option to quickly delete recent Google history on iOS and Android, that leaves the question of whether you’ll soon be able to do the same on the desktop.
Adriance didn’t specify but did say, “We’re continuing to explore ways to bring this helpful feature to other surfaces.” Hopefully that means Google is working on bringing it to the desktop, as surely there are Google desktop users who would appreciate the option.
If you’re considering moving away from Google Search, check out this comparison of Google vs. Bing vs. DuckDuckGo. If you decide DuckDuckGo is going to win your business, it now has a browser as well.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox