Almost everyone uses the Google search engine. With every search, Google keeps a record of what you were looking for and uses that information to help influence future search results. The ability to predict future results has helped make them popular. However, if you don't want Google to track your every search, this article shows you how you can easily delete your Google search history.
Delete Your Google Search History from the Browser
1. To get started, you need to access Google's My Activity page and log in to your Google account.
2. When you are on the page, look to the top left next to "My Activity" and click on the hamburger or three-line menu. This works on the desktop as well as the mobile page on Safari, Chrome, etc. using the same link as above.
In the menu options underneath "My Activity," locate the option for "Delete activity by" and click on it with your desktop or tap on mobile.
3. You will now see a pop-up that allows you to choose how much of your search history to delete.
- Last hour
- Last day
- All time
- Custom range
For the last two (All time and Custom range), you have an additional set of options. If you choose "All time," you are then asked to specify which Google service you want to include. There is a total of 15, including the Play Store, Gmail, Google Apps, Drive, Maps, Image Search, and YouTube.
If you want to wipe everything, leave everything checked, click on "Next," and you will have successfully deleted your entire Google search history. However, you can uncheck anything you want to leave intact and only delete YouTube or image search, for instance.
Separately, choosing from a custom range allows you to specify a period in time you want to remove. That could be the last month, last six months or last six years. There are no restrictions on timing, so however long or little you want to select is entirely up to you.
Quick Delete of Google Search History on iOS
While you do have the custom range option above, what if you want something shorter than one day's worth of search history? Google added a feature within the dedicated Google Search iOS app called “Quick Delete.” This is as straightforward as it sounds, with Google allowing users to delete the last 15 minutes of their search history.
1. Begin by opening the Google app. Following the same steps as above and tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
2. Once the pop-up appears, you will immediately see “Delete last 15 min” directly under the “Search history” banner. This is the same general area in the menu that you located the “My Activity” section from the steps above.
3. Tap on “Delete last 15 min,” and the app will immediately take that action. In the event you hit this accidentally or have immediate regrets, you can undo the action - but only for a few seconds. Otherwise, the last 15 minutes of your search history is gone for good.
Delete Google Search History on Android Phone
1. On your Android phone, open the Google app. Tap on your photo icon and select "Your data in search."
2. Scroll down the page to find "All search activity."
3. Scroll down the page again to find the "Delete" button. Tapping on it will reveal a drop-down where you can choose "Delete today," "Delete custom range," "Delete all time" or "Auto-delete."
4. Select the option you wish to use to delete your Google search history.
5. If you choose the "Auto-delete" option, you can allow Google to auto-delete your search history older than a predefined timeframe. The shortest period is three months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I protect my search history?
Yes, absolutely. Enabling this is super easy. Go to the Google search app on your iPhone or on your desktop. Click or tap on "Manage My Activity verification," allowing a pop-up to appear that includes a "Requite extra verification" option.
Continue walking through the steps that include choosing which security method you would like to use. You can choose from options like two-factor authentication, account password, etc. Once this is set up, your account history is protected.
Can I download my search activity?
Begin by going to Google Takeout, then click on "Deselect all" once you land on the Takeout page. This step is important, otherwise you will download far more than just your search history. With everything deselected, scroll down and click on "My Activity," then on "All activity data included." Click "Deselect all" once again, then "Search." Finally, click on "OK" and download an archive of your search history.
Can I just clear the history in my browser?
It's important to note that any search in your web browser is actually performed through a search engine. Clearing the history in your browser will clear your searches on the local device but not the search history saved on Google's server. In other words, Edge or Safari may not have your previous searches saved anymore, but Google still keeps that information unless you follow the steps above.
Can I recover deleted history?
Unfortunately, deleting your search history is a one-way trip. Make sure there is nothing you could want from your history prior to any history removal.
Google is unlikely to win the award for most private search engine, so it is important to proactively delete your Google search history if you don't want to be tracked. Alternatively, you can check out other search engines for your searches.
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