Google Search history is a tricky thing. On the one hand, considering the number of websites the average user surfs per day and the number of unfamiliar links that are opened on a regular basis, checking your search history sometimes becomes essential to backtrack to a site you visited earlier.
But on the other hand, many of us feel uncomfortable with Google keeping track of all our online activity via our search history. For users who share this concern, Google provides the option to pause or disable the Google search history function so the logs concerning the sites you visit are no longer stored by the search engine giant.
Disabling Search History
Here are the steps to pausing the search history function on Chrome:
Go to your Google account profile page. This is the page that opens when you click on your profile photo at the top right corner of your Gmail account and select the Google Account tab highlighted in blue.
The top section of your profile page has the “Privacy and Personalization” controls. Click on the “Manage your data and personalization” option located below the section.
This is your internet activity homepage. Under the Activity controls section of the page, click on the “Web and App Activity” option.
On the page that opens, you will see a toggle switch to the right of the “Web and App Activity” heading. In its regular mode, the toggle switch should be turned on, indicated by the switch being colored blue.
Click on the switch and a page pop-up will ask if you wish to pause Web and App activity. The page will also carry information regarding how pausing your search history will affect your future browsing experience.
If you still want to pause your search history, click on the Pause button near the bottom of the pop-up page.
Your search history will now be disabled, and the search history page will no longer carry the names of the sites you visit. If you wish to undo your action and restart your internet search history, repeat the steps mentioned in this article, and select “Turn On” instead of Pause for the final step.
If you don’t want to disable your complete search history, you can still surf the web without having the records show up on your search history, by using Chrome’s incognito mode. Simply click on the three dots at the top right corner of Chrome and select the “New Incognito Tab” option.
This mode does not track the sites you visit, but it also does not allow you to auto-fill any saved passwords or other information that you might have saved for certain sites. You will have to enter any such information manually while using Incognito mode.
The privacy threat posed by Google keeping track of your internet surfing habits is not as severe as certain paranoid sections of the internet would have you believe. But if you would prefer not to have other people, whether those who work at Google or those who might use your computer, going through your search history, it is a simple matter to prevent Chrome from making recordings of your surfing habits.
Image Credit: Enokson via Flickr
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