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How to Delete Your Google Search History

Wiping away your Google search history is now just a few clicks away, as the search giant looks to address the concerns of users who want better control over their privacy.

Credit: Jarretera/Shutterstock

(Image credit: Jarretera/Shutterstock)

On its blog today (Oct. 24), Google announced a streamlined way for reviewing and deleting your search history, all without ever having to leave Google's search tool. You could previously delete your history, but that required you to head to your Google Account page and wade into the Personal Info & Privacy section. (If you want to download an archived copy of your search history, you'll still need to do that from within your Google Account.)

Google's streamlined search history tool is available right now on the desktop and mobile versions of the company's search site that you access from a web browser. The company says it will bring the feature to the iOS and Android versions of its Google app in the coming weeks, with Maps and other Google products getting a similar update after that.

Using the shortcut to your search history, you'll be able to see what Google's been logging — terms you've searched for, links you've clicked and locations where you conducted the search.

On that same page, you'll find additional privacy tools, including ad settings and controls on what information Google saves to your account.

Here's how to access your search history from a web browser.

1. Go to Google.com. Right now, there's a prominent Control Your Data in Google Search link just under the search bar.

Should that link not show up, though, you can also click on Settings in the lower right corner of your browser window. Select Your Data In Search from the subsequent pop-up menu.

2. The top of the Your Data in Search page currently features a video explaining what exactly Google's storing on you and trying to make the case for why it needs that data. But you're not here to watch videos, are you?

Instead, scroll down to Your Recent Activity, which will show a summary of recent activity. For a detailed look stretching back months, click the All Search Activity button.

3. To delete data, scroll down a little further to Delete Your Search Activity. You can delete just the last 24 hours or everything Google's logged up until now.

4. Further down the page, the Google-Wide Controls lets you adjust what data Google saves about you.

Things are similar, if a little more streamlined on the mobile version of Google.

1. Click on the three horizontal bars in the upper left corner of the Search page.

2. On the ensuing pop-up, select Your Data in Search.

3. From here, you'll see the same information as in Step 2 of the desktop version of search, including that video.

Scroll down to Your Recent Activity to see the data Google's logging, and keep scrolling to the Delete Your Search Activity section to do something about it.

  • surphninja
    "Google can provide you (and only you) with a personal record if your searches if you know where to look."

    Perhaps it will only authorize your account to look at it, but that doesn't mean a hacker or even an employer won't ever see it. Plenty of employers already require you to hand over your facebook password as a term of employment. They could just as eaily require you to hand over your search history.
    Reply
  • fixxxer113
    Plenty of employers already require you to hand over your facebook password as a term of employment.

    Where are those employers, North Korea? If the job is not in intelligence or something similar, that requirement is clearly illegal and can never be a term of employment...
    Reply
  • surphninja
    15733983 said:
    Where are those employers, North Korea? If the job is not in intelligence or something similar, that requirement is clearly illegal and can never be a term of employment...

    Google it. This is nothing new. A few states have passed laws against it, but not nearly enough.

    Plenty of employers are still demand your facebook password. Plenty others require that you add a company representative as a friend so that they may monitor your feed for any disparaging remarks about the employer.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    15733983 said:
    Where are those employers, North Korea? If the job is not in intelligence or something similar, that requirement is clearly illegal and can never be a term of employment...

    Google it. This is nothing new. A few states have passed laws against it, but not nearly enough.

    Plenty of employers are still demand your facebook password. Plenty others require that you add a company representative as a friend so that they may monitor your feed for any disparaging remarks about the employer.
    Realize that asking for things like this is already illegal under numerous other laws, those states you mention only made it specifically illegal because of businesses trying to weasel out of their responsibilities under the law.
    Reply
  • surphninja
    15751945 said:
    15733983 said:
    Where are those employers, North Korea? If the job is not in intelligence or something similar, that requirement is clearly illegal and can never be a term of employment...

    Google it. This is nothing new. A few states have passed laws against it, but not nearly enough.

    Plenty of employers are still demand your facebook password. Plenty others require that you add a company representative as a friend so that they may monitor your feed for any disparaging remarks about the employer.
    Realize that asking for things like this is already illegal under numerous other laws, those states you mention only made it specifically illegal because of businesses trying to weasel out of their responsibilities under the law.

    Please expand on this. Which laws? If so, why is this practice still so prevalent, why has no court ruled that it's illegal, and why would companies open themselves to such a legal liability?

    I agree that it is horribly distasteful and should be illegal, though besides the states that have passed laws specifically banning the practice, I have not seen any indication or evidence that it might otherwise be illegal.
    Reply