Google knows a lot about you, probably more than your significant other. That’s because the search engine giant stores everything that you have ever searched using Chrome, Google search, Maps, YouTube, etc.
It knows about your embarrassing searches, your weird passions, the adult sites that you visit, and all the things that you want to keep behind the doors. And don’t think for a second that this extensive tracking does not extend to Incognito mode in web browsers. In fact, Google is facing a whopping $5 billion lawsuit for that.
So, the question is what you can do about it. Well, for starters, you can start cleaning up your Google search history. And I don’t mean deleting the browser history because that will only remove the data that’s locally stored on your device — In this article, we will tell you how to delete your search history from Google servers.
Use Google Takeout to download your Data
Since you are planning to permanently clear your Google search history, it is imperative that you download your Google data in case a problem occurs. You can do this with the help of Google’s Takeout feature —
1. Go to the Google Takeout page and click on Deselect all.
(You can also download all your Google data if you plan to delete your activity on other Google services)
2. Tick My Activity. Scroll down and click on Next Step
3. Choose the file size and whether you want it to be delivered to your email, drive, etc.
4. Wait for the export process to be completed. This can take several minutes to a few hours depending upon the size of the data.
5. Click on Create Export and then download your Google search history.
How to remove your Google search history?
1. Go to the My Activity page.
(On Android, go to Settings > Google > Manage your Google Account > Data and Personalization > My Activity)
2. Click on Filter by date & product.
3. Choose a time period or select “Always” if you want to remove all your Google search history.
4. Tick Search below and click on Apply.
5. Back on the Google My Activity page, click on the Delete button.
6. Once again, click on Delete.
This will permanently delete your search history for a set time period. Note that deleting your search history won’t remove all your Chrome search history. That’s particularly true if you use Google search in a different web browser such as Mozilla, Opera, etc.
If you want to delete your search activity of other Google services such as Chrome, YouTube, etc., simply select the product under the Filter Date & Product and follow the same steps above.
You can click on the item view in the top left corner if you want to remove a particular query from your search history.
Say you want a clean slate, i.e., you wish to delete all your search history from all Google products. Then, click on Delete Activity By located in the menu on the left. Select Always, click on Next, then click on Delete.
I would suggest thinking it through as this is an irreversible process. There is no denying that Google collects insane amounts of user data, but apart from sharing it with advertisers, it is also used to improve the user experience. But that’s a debate for another time.