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Avast Academy Privacy Digital Life How to Delete Your Google Search History

How to Delete Your Google Search History

Want to stop advertisers, hackers, or nosey family members from peeking at your online search history? Here’s how to clear Google search history and delete Google’s record of whatever you get up to while you're logged into your Google account. Then, protect your privacy even further by installing anti-tracking software to hide your online fingerprint and avoid targeted ads.

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Written by Olga Knezevic
Published on March 10, 2023

How to delete your Google search history on PC or Mac

The easiest way to delete Google search history on a PC or Mac computer is by going to your browser’s history settings. The following instructions are for Google Chrome, but the process for clearing your browser history is similar in most browsers.

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    Here’s how to delete your Google search history and other web activity in Google Chrome:

    1. Open Chrome and select Options, the three vertical dots in the top right.

      Opening the Google Chrome browser menu.
    2. Hover over History in the drop-down menu and select History from the list of options.

      Navigating to Chrome browser history to delete Google search and other browsing data.
    3. Click Clear browsing data on the left-hand menu to delete all your Google search history and other browsing data stored on your device.

       Deleting Google search history by clearing browsing history data.
    4. Check the Browsing history box and click Clear data. (To delete your browser cookies or clear your cache, check the other boxes here.)

      Deleting Google search history by clearing browsing history data.

    How to clear search history on your Google account

    The above steps will clear your browser’s Google search history, but your online activities are still tracked in your Google account history if you’re logged into your Google account. That includes all your searches, the websites you’ve visited, and the videos you’ve watched. And it also includes the real-world places you went to if your location history was turned on.

    Here’s how to delete your Google search history:

    1. Go to Google’s My Activity page (make sure you’re logged into your Google account).

    2. Click the Delete button below the “Search your activity” field.

      Clearing Google account history via the Google My Activity page.
    3. Choose the time period you’d like to delete your data. All time will delete all your Google history.

    4. Choose the Google products (or types of activity) to delete using the checkboxes, and then click Next.

      Selecting which types of activity to delete in Google's My Activity.
    5. Confirm you want to clear your Google search history by clicking Delete. You can review your recent searches and activity here.

      Confirming you want to clear your Google search history.
    6. You’ll see a confirmation that you’ve successfully deleted your Google searches. Click Got it and you’re done.

    Check out our dedicated guide for more about how Google tracks your activity and what Google does with your data. And learn how to download your Google data.

    How to delete your Google search history on Android

    Even after deleting your PC or Mac Google history as well as your Google account search history, your search and other browser history records will still be saved locally on other devices you’ve used.

    Here’s how to clear your Google search history on an Android device:

    Google search app

    Follow these steps to delete your history of searches made using Android’s Google search app:

    1. Open the Google app on your phone and tap your profile image or initials in the top right

    2. Tap Search history.

      Confirming you want to clear your Google search history.
    3. Tap Delete. To delete all of your search history, tap the Delete all time option in the drop-down menu.

      Deleting all of your Google app search history.
    4. Select which activities you want to delete, or check the Select All box to delete your Google searches completely. Finally, tap Delete in the bottom of your screen to complete the process.

      Selecting and confirming which Google search app activities to delete.

    Google Chrome

    Here’s how to erase Google history on your Android device using the Chrome browser:

    1. Open Chrome on your Android device, tap the three dots in the top right, and select History.

      Opening the browser menu and navigating to history in Google Chrome for Android.
    2. Tap clear browsing data and make sure Browsing history is checked. Then, select your desired time range (tap All time to delete all data), and tap Clear data.

      Deleting Google search history by clearing browsing history data in Chrome for Android.

    You’ll need to repeat this process for any other browsers you use on your Android device. The procedure will be similar to the steps outlined above.

    How to delete your Google search history on iPhone & iPad

    Clearing all Google searches from your device is an important part of cleaning up your iPhone, and it can help strengthen your privacy. If you use the Google app to delete all Google searches from your iPhone or iPad, the process is identical to the steps listed above. But the steps for Chrome are a little different on iOS devices.

    Here’s how to clear your Google search history on iPhone:

    1. Open Chrome and tap the three horizontal dots at the bottom of the screen.

    2. Tap History and then tap Clear Browsing Data.

      Opening the browser menu and clearing browsing data in Google Chrome for iOS.
    3. Choose the time range for the browsing data you want to clear. To erase your Google history completely, select All time. You can also select “Cookies, Site Data” and “Caches Images and FIles” to delete cookies and clear the cache on your iPhone.

      Deleting Google search history by clearing browsing history data in Chrome for iOS.
    4. Tap Clear Browsing Data to confirm.

    Learn more about clearing the cache and cookies on your iPad.

    Set up auto-delete for Google history data

    Google allows you to periodically clear Google search, web, and app activity — every three, 18, or 36 months. This includes all activities you do on Google services (including Maps, Search, and Play) so only set this up if you’re sure you want all this data to be automatically deleted.

    Here’s how to set up auto-delete in the Google app:

    1. Open the Google search app on your device and tap your profile image or initials. Then tap Search history.

      Opening your Google app profile to access Google search history.
    2. Tap Auto-delete followed by Auto-delete activity older than. Now choose your desired time period and tap Next to complete the process.

      Selecting and confirming Google search app history auto-deletion.

    Can you stop Google tracking you in the future?

    While you can use anonymous browsing or set up a VPN for added online privacy, Google will still be able to track some of your online activities. To further limit what Google can track, configure Google settings as follows:

    1. Go to My Activity.

    2. Click the On button under Web & App Activity to stop Google tracking your searches and online browsing. (If it says Off, you’ve already disabled web and app tracking.)

      Configuring Web & App Activity to stop Google from tracking your searches and online browsing.
    3. Now select Turn off under Web & App Activity.

      Turning off Web & App Activity to stop Google from tracking your searches and online browsing
    4. Finally, click Pause to complete the process.

      Confirming you want to stop Google from collecting and storing your Web & App Activity.

    And that’s it — Google Web & App Activity tracking is now disabled. While you’re in My Activity, you may want to boost your privacy even further by turning off your location history and YouTube history as well.

    Keep your browsing activity private with Avast AntiTrack

    Regularly deleting your Google search history helps to safeguard your privacy and security, but it doesn’t prevent browser fingerprinting and other advanced web tracking techniques. That’s where a specialized privacy app like Avast AntiTrack comes in.

    Along with automatically clearing your browsing history and cookies, Avast AntiTrack covers your digital breadcrumbs by detecting and blocking tracking attempts. And it disguises your online profile to help prevent websites and advertisers from snooping on your internet activity and hitting you with targeted ads. Download Avast AntiTrack today to regain control of your online privacy.

    FAQs

    Why can't I delete Google search history?

    If you’re having trouble deleting your Google search history, it could be because you’re using an older version of Chrome. If so, update to the latest version and try again. If you’re already using the latest version, try refreshing the page and logging out. Then log back into your Google account and go through the steps to clear your Google search history again.

    Can you delete individual items from your search history?

    Yes, you can delete specific searches or individual items from your Google web search history. When you go to your Google account to clear your Google search history, you can view your individual searches and delete selected items. You can also delete individual items from your browser history.

    Can you delete everything except passwords?

    You can delete all your browsing data except your passwords by leaving Cookies and other site data unchecked when deleting your browser history. But you might want to use a good password manager. That way, you can clear all your browser data without worrying about losing your passwords.

    How long does Google keep your search history?

    If you created your account after June 2020, Google keeps your search history for 18 months before automatically deleting it. For older accounts, Google keeps search history indefinitely unless you take steps to manually delete it or set up an auto-delete schedule. No matter when your account was created, Google automatically deletes location-history data after 18 months.

    Can I permanently close my Google account?

    To permanently delete your Google account, click your Google account photo or initials in the top right of the screen and select Manage your Google Account. Click Data & privacy from the left-hand menu, scroll to More options, and click Delete your Google Account.

    Before your account is permanently closed, you’ll have the option to download your Google data. Once you’ve backed up any data you want to store locally on your device, scroll to the bottom of the deletion page, check the confirmation boxes, and click Delete Account.

    Should I delete my Google search history?

    While Google uses your data to improve their services, they also share some of your data with advertisers, which helps them with personalized ads based on your browsing behavior. Your browsing and search history may also end up with data brokers. Deleting your Google search history and other web activity data can help prevent price discrimination and reduce your exposure to security threats such as data breaches.

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    Digital Life
    Privacy
    Olga Knezevic
    10-03-2023
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