How To Delete Your Google Search History

Your Google search history retains more of your data than you might expect, so learn how to clear your browsing data to protect your privacy and security.
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Deleting your Google search history can prevent others from viewing your online activities. It also keeps other stored data, like passwords and autofill information, away from malicious actors. If you’re concerned about your private data getting in the wrong hands, consider investing in the best data removal services. Otherwise, follow along while we outline how to delete your Google search history.

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In this article
How to delete your Google account search history
How to clear your Google Chrome browsing history from iOS
How to clear your Google Chrome browsing history from an Android phone
Why is it important to delete your Google search history?
10 tips for internet browsing privacy protection
FAQs
Bottom line: I always feel like somebody's tracking me

How to delete your Google account search history

When you search with Google or use other Google products or services such as Maps and Play, Google saves a record of your activity as long as the Web & App Activity account feature is turned on. Information Google saves includes search history, location information, ads you click, products you buy on advertisers’ websites, what devices you use, and more.

To delete your Google account search history, follow these steps.

1. Access your Google account

Start by navigating to your Google account. Do this by typing myaccount.google.com into a web browser. If you’re not already signed into your Google account, do so now.

2. Locate your search history

Once you’ve accessed your Google account, you’ll see a dashboard with a menu on the left-hand side.

A screenshot of Google's Data & privacy setting

Click the menu option Data & privacy. Scroll down the page to find the section labeled History settings and click the button My Activity. If you have the extra verification settings turned on, you may need to enter your password or two-factor authentication at this step.

A screenshot of Google's History settings and My Activity button

You’ll then be brought to your Google Activity page, where your Google search history is stored.

3. Select the time frame

On your Google Activity page, your Google activity history (which includes your search history) will be listed with your most recent activity at the top of the list.

To clear your Google activity history for specific time periods, click the three vertical dots located to the right of the search bar and select Delete activity by in the dropdown menu.

 A screenshot of Google's Delete activity by function

A new menu will open, giving you the option to delete activity from the Last hour, Last day, All time, or to set a Custom range of dates.

A screenshot of Google's Delete Activity time frame options

Keep in mind that deleting activity could make it difficult to revisit content you’ve discovered but haven't saved or bookmarked; Google will no longer associate your account with these previous activities. If you wish to preserve some of your Google activity history, avoid deleting activity from All time. Instead, choose to delete activity from the Last hour or Last day or make use of the Custom range function.

4. Delete search history

If you wish to completely clear all of your history, select All time from the menu. This will open a new menu that lists every Google service that records your history.

A screenshot of Google's choose activity to delete manual feature

To clear all of your Google activity history, make sure all the items are selected. Otherwise, deselect items you wish to keep. Click Next and then confirm by clicking Delete.

Clearing your history with the Last Hour or Last Day options will not prompt you with the above menu and will automatically clear your history from all services.

You also have the option to delete activities individually, which can be done by clicking the X icon to the right of each listed activity. There is a search bar and filter you can use to find specific Google searches or activities to delete instead of manually scrolling through all of your history.

A screenshot of My Google Activity page

5. Manage activity controls

Activity controls give you some say on what activities Google records and ties to your account. You can halt Google from saving web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history. Activity controls also allow you to make some granular choices, such as saving past YouTube videos you’ve watched but deleting your YouTube searches.

You can navigate to your activity controls from the My Google Activity page, which you can get to by doing the following.

  1. Enter myactivity.google.com/activitycontrols/webandapp into a web browser. Log into your account if needed.
  2. Click the menu button symbolized by three horizontal lines in the top left corner of the window.
  3. Select Activity controls from the dropdown menu.

A screenshot of Activity controls in Google's My Activity page

While there are many options for you to choose from, we recommend enabling the auto-delete function for web and app activity to automate the process of clearing your history.

To enable auto-delete

A screenshot of Google's Web and App Activity page

  1. Select Choose an auto-delete option under the Web & App Activity section on the activity controls page.
  2. Select Auto-delete activity older than.
  3. Choose a time frame between three months, 18 months, and 36 months.
  4. Click Next.
  5. If you have web and app activity that is older than your chosen time frame at the time of enabling auto-delete, you will be prompted to delete that content.
  6. Click Confirm.

You can enable auto-delete for your location history as well as your YouTube history by following the same steps on the activity settings page.

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How to clear your Google Chrome browsing history from iOS

Clear your Chrome browsing history from iOS by completing the following steps.

  1. On your iOS device, open Chrome.
  2. In the bottom right corner of your screen, tap the menu button symbolized by three horizontal dots.
  3. Drag the icon menu to the left and select History.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, select Clear Browsing Data.
  5. Choose a time range, or to delete everything select All time.
  6. Unselect any items you don’t want to delete. Make sure to select Browsing Data.
  7. Select Clear Browsing Data > Clear Browsing Data.
  8. At the top right of the screen, select Done.

Clearing your Google Chrome browsing history from an iOS or Android phone will not clear the search history from other Google services like YouTube.

How to clear your Google Chrome browsing history from an Android phone

Clear your Chrome browsing history from an Android phone by completing the following steps.

  1. On your Android device, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right of the screen, tap the menu button symbolized by three vertical dots.
  3. If your address bar is at the bottom of your screen, swipe up on the address bar. Select History.
  4. Select Clear Browsing Data.
  5. Choose a time range, or to delete everything select All time.
  6. Unselect any items you don’t want to delete. Make sure to select Browsing Data.
  7. Tap Clear data.

Why is it important to delete your Google search history?

Google keeps a record of your browser history because this information helps the service personalize your online experience. Saving your search history makes it easier for you to return to previously visited content, and it helps Google tailor your search results. While Google will eventually phase out the use of third-party cookies in Chrome by the third quarter of 2024, it will still use its own cookies to track your activity and make it possible to shop online.

Despite these pros, there are cons in the form of potential privacy and security risks associated with retaining your search history for too long. Consider that anyone who uses your device can easily view your previous search history. Even if you think you don’t have anything to hide, remember that your browser also saves passwords and autofill information. If someone were to gain access to your device or harvest one of your weak/reused passwords in a breach, they could do some serious damage to your financials or identity.

To protect yourself and your privacy, it's best to regularly clear your browsing history. To save some time, follow our guide above and enable auto-delete in your Google account activity controls.

10 tips for internet browsing privacy protection

Unfortunately, clearing your search history regularly isn’t enough to keep you fully protected online. Consider the following 10 tips on how to stay safe while browsing the web.

  1. Use private browsing modes to prevent history accumulation. When you browse in private or incognito mode, all of your activity is deleted after you end the session.
  2. Update your operating system (OS) regularly. OS updates will commonly include security updates. Make sure you update your OS when possible so you have the most recent security measure installed on your device.
  3. Keep your browser and plugins updated. Updates for browsers and plugins can include security updates, making them a mandatory part of good online best practices.
  4. Explore alternative search engines that prioritize privacy. There are privacy-focused search engines, such as DuckDuckGo, that include privacy protections and don’t track your search history.
  5. Use up-to-date antivirus and firewall protection. Antivirus and firewall protection can be integral in keeping your device free of malware, but it needs to be regularly updated to stay relevant.
  6. Manually type in the official URL for trusted websites. Avoid clicking links you receive in emails, text messages, or other types of direct messaging. These links can contain malware or bring you to fake websites that are designed to harvest your sensitive personal information. Always manually visit trusted websites by typing out the URL to be safe.
  7. Use an ad blocker. Ad blockers are simple tools that integrate with your browser to block certain content. While most ads are simply annoying, some can contain malware, which is why you should opt to block them.
  8. Only download software from trusted, official sites. Carefully scrutinize any free software or file-sharing applications before you download them.
  9. Use a password manager. Password managers make it much easier to keep strong and varied passwords across the many services and subscriptions most people use today. Some even come with bonus features such as identity theft monitoring.
  10. Use a VPN. VPNs, or virtual private networks, protect your privacy by encrypting your data and hiding your internet protocol (IP) address. When using a VPN, your activity cannot be tracked by websites, advertisers, your internet service provider (ISP), or even your government. Some web browsers include built-in VPNs for maximum browsing protection.

FAQs


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How do you clear all Google search history?

Type myaccount.google.com into a web browser > Data & Privacy > My activity > select menu button (three vertical dots) > Delete activity by > All Time > Select All > Next > Delete.


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Why can’t I delete my search history?

You can’t delete your search history if there is no history or data to clear. You also can’t delete your search history if your device is under mobile device management (MDM) software from a school, employer, or similar. In some cases, using a browser that is out of date will also prohibit you from deleting your search history.


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How do I clear my search history on my iPhone?

  1. On your iOS device, open Chrome.
  2. In the bottom right corner of your screen, tap the menu button symbolized by three horizontal dots.
  3. Drag the icon menu to the left and select History.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, select Clear Browsing Data.
  5. Choose a time range, or to delete everything select All time.
  6. Unselect any items you don’t want to delete. Make sure to select Browsing Data.
  7. Select Clear Browsing Data > Clear Browsing Data.
  8. At the top right of the screen, select Done.

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Is it good to delete your history on Google?

Yes, deleting your history on Google can prevent prying eyes from viewing your search history and/or YouTube videos you’ve watched. It also prevents someone from accessing your saved password and autofill information.


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How do I delete all traces of my internet history?

It is technically impossible to completely delete all traces of your internet history because your internet service provider (ISP), websites you visit, Google, and advertisers keep their own records of your internet activity. You can try to manually delete your information, but you’ll likely have better results with a professional data removal service, which can help protect your personal data online.

Bottom line: I always feel like somebody's tracking me

Regularly deleting your Google search history is important for your personal privacy and security. While it’s possible to delete your search history manually, you can save time and mental space by enabling auto-delete, which deletes your history at scheduled intervals. Otherwise, consider investing in the best data removal services that specialize in cleaning up user digital footprints.

4.3
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On DeleteMe's website
DeleteMe
Use code PARTNER20 for 20% off
  • Removes your data from the web to avoid scams, spam and stalkers
  • 100+ million successful opt-out removals
  • Provides continued removals every three months
  • No 24/7 customer support

Author Details
Juliana Kenny is a seasoned writer with over a decade of experience in cybersecurity topics. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Irish Literature, a B.A. in French, and a minor in Art History. Since 2010, she has explored the dynamic intersection of technology and security, specializing in endpoint security, cloud security, and networking technologies like secure access service edge (SASE).