11 Jul 2017

How to clear your Google search history

Google knows quite a lot about you based on your search history. That’s kind of the point of search, to learn about people and serve them relevant advertising. But fortunately, the company’s user-facing tools allow you to remove that knowledge at your leisure.

  1. Open your browser and head to myactivity.google.com.
  2. Click the menu in the upper left-hand corner of the page, and choose “Activity Controls” from the list.
  3. Under Web & App Activity, click “Manage Activity.” Click on the three-dots menu next to any individual session to delete those items, or the three-dots menu at the top to delete your entire history.

History can be cleared in a total “clean slate” fashion, or individual entries can be deleted for those (ahem) delicate inquiries that you’d rather no one else know about. Here’s how to do both. (Note: You can also do some of this on Android, as well, if you aren’t near a computer.)

HOW TO DELETE YOUR ENTIRE SEARCH HISTORY (PLUS OTHER STUFF)

Your history with Google Search, along with all the other Google services you use like Android, the Chrome Browser, and YouTube, is stored in your My Activity page. Go to myactivity.google.com and you can see more or less everything you’ve done that Google knows about. Don’t worry, you’re the only user who has access to this stuff—Google anonymizes the data as it uses it to serve ads and analyze trends.

To clear your history, click on the hamburger menu on the upper left-hand side of the myactivity.google.com page (that’s the three horizontal bars next to “Google”), then click “Activity Controls” in the side menu.

Under the first item, Web & App Activity, click “Manage Activity.” You’ll see all of the items you searched for, and if you use Android and Chrome with the account you’re signed into, all of the apps and websites you visited as well. They’re separated into “sessions,” grouped bits of activity based on time. It’s possible to delete these individually with the three-dot menus in the upper-right corner of each.

To delete absolutely everything here, click the three-dot menu in the top blue bar, then click “Delete activity by.”

From this page, you can delete all of your activity for all monitored searches, websites, and Android apps. Under “Delete by date,” select “All time.” You can leave the default “All products” selected, or choose only “Search” to delete just your Google search history.

Source: OpenWeb and HowToGeek

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