Google keeps track of everything you search, which can be quite helpful sometimes, like when you need to find that article you were reading but forgot to save. However, keeping a record of everything you search can also be a little bit creepy, especially when others have access to your computer or your Google account. If you are worried about your search history being seen by someone else, or if you simply want to clean up your browsing history, then you will want to know how to delete items looked up on Google.
The Challenge of Deleting Google Search History
Deleting history might sound easy, but when it comes to Google’s search history, it can be a bit challenging. Google tracks every search we make, creating a list of our search queries for the past several months, or even years. And while Google provides an option to delete your search history, it’s not always obvious how to do it. In this post, we’re going to outline several methods to delete your Google search history, offering step-by-step instructions and helpful tips along the way.
Things You Should Prepare for
Before we proceed to the different methods of deleting Google search history, there are a few things you should prepare for. First of all, you’ll need to have a Google account since this is where your search history is stored. Second, make sure that you are using the latest version of your browser to ensure that the steps we outline will be accurate. Lastly, you might also want to consider backing up your search history before deleting it, as this can be useful if you ever need to retrieve any old search queries.
Method 1: Deleting Search History Through My Activity
The first method is through the Google My Activity page. This page contains a detailed history of all your searches, clicks, and actions online. Follow the steps below to delete your Google search history using this method.
Step 1: Open My Activity page
Open your web browser and go to myactivity.google.com. Log in using your Google account credentials if you are not already signed in.
Step 2: Go to Search History
On the left-hand menu, locate and click on “Search History” to access your search activity.
Step 3: Delete Search History
To delete your search history, click on the three dots on the right-hand side of each entry and select “Delete.” To delete multiple items at once, select the checkbox next to each search query you want to remove, and then click on “Delete” located at the top-right corner of the screen.
– Deleting search history through My Activity is easy to follow and can be done quickly.
– This method provides access to scheduled automatic deletion of your history data.
– You can delete your search activity from your phone or tablet as well, given both devices are connected to the same Google account.
– You have to be signed in to your Google account to use this method.
– This method only deletes data stored with your Google account, but it doesn’t affect your browsing history on a specific browser.
– You cannot bulk-delete search queries older than three months.
Method 2: Deleting Search History Through Your Browser
If you want to delete your entire search history stored on your browser, then the second method is your best option. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Open the Browser History
Open your browser and press “Ctrl+H” on Windows or “Command+Y” on Mac to bring up your browsing history.
Step 2: Clear Search History
On the left-hand menu, locate and click on “Clear Browsing Data.” Select the “Advanced” option and ensure the time range is set to “All Time.” Under "Delete Options," select "Browsing history" and uncheck all other options. Once done, click on “Clear Data.”
– This method deletes search history directly from your browser, so it works on any device.
– You don’t have to sign in to your Google account, so it maintains your privacy.
– The steps to clear browsing data might vary slightly depending on the browser you’re using.
– This method cannot delete specific search queries, only the entire browsing history.
Method 3: Deleting Search History Automatically
Did you know that you can configure Google to automatically delete your search history? This third method outlines the steps to automatically delete your search history.
Step 1: Navigate to Google Account
Go to myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization and log in using your Google account credentials.
Step 2: Select Auto-Delete
Scroll down to the “Activity Controls” section and click on “Web & App Activity." Select “Choose to delete automatically” from the drop-down menu to instruct Google to delete your search history automatically every 3 or 18 months.
– This method configures Google to delete your search history automatically, making it easier for you to maintain your privacy.
– You can choose how long you want Google to keep your search history before deleting automatically.
– This method only affects your data stored with your Google account.
– If you have specific search queries that you want to delete, you will have to rely on the previous methods.
Why Can’t I Delete My Google Search History?
There could be a few reasons you may be unable to delete your Google search history:
1. Limitations on your Google account
If you have a new Google account or have reached your daily search limit, you won’t be able to delete your search history.
Wait for a day or two or contact Google to solve the issue.
2. Corrupted Google Search Data
If your Google data on your device is corrupted, then you may not be able to delete your search history.
Clear the cache or change the browser you’re using.
3. Issues with the Google My Activity page
The website itself may have issues, or you may have an outdated version.
Clear the cache and refresh the page.
– If you’re hesitant to delete your entire search history, you can delete specific search queries manually to maintain some of your history.
– You can use incognito browsing mode (Chrome) or private browsing mode (Firefox) to browse anonymously.
– Some browsers provide an option to disable search history, but keep in mind that disabling search history will also disable search suggestions.
5 FAQs about Deleting Google Search History
Q1: How do I delete my Google search history on my phone?
A: Open the Google app on your phone and tap on your profile picture, then “Manage Your Google Account.” Scroll down to “Data & personalization” and tap on “Web & App Activity.” Tap on “Manage Activity” and delete individual searches or click on "More" and select “Delete activity by” for a broader selection.
Q2: How long does Google keep my search history?
A: Google stores your search activity in the cloud for 18 months.
Q3: Can my employer see my Google search history?
A: If you use a work device or sign in to your Google account on a work computer, your employer can technically access your Google search history.
Q4: Can I disable Google’s record of my search history altogether?
A: No, you cannot disable Google’s record of your search history entirely. However, you can use incognito mode or private browsing mode to avoid search history altogether.
Q5: Does deleting my Google search history affect my search results?
A: No, deleting your search history doesn’t affect your search results.
Deleting Google search history is critical for everyone who values their privacy. Whether you’re trying to avoid persistent advertisements or protect yourself from data breaches, deleting search history is necessary. The methods we’ve outlined are effective and straightforward, so feel free to choose which suits you best. Remember, to maintain your privacy, it’s also essential to keep your data backups contingent and ensure that you’re using the latest browser version.