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Having a record of everything you've searched on Google can be useful if you want to return to something you looked up earlier. But you might wish to clear recent searches for privacy, or to reduce the amount of data Google has about you.
We'll show you how to delete previous searches on Google. This includes the Google search history tied to your account, as well as browser history.
How to Remove Previous Searches From Your Google Account
By default, Google keeps track of all the searches you make when logged into your Google account on any device. If you weren't logged into Google when you made the searches you want to delete, you can skip to the next section that covers clearing your browser history.
To delete previous searches one by one, simply click inside the search bar on Google's homepage and you'll see a list. Choose Remove next to a recent search to erase it.
This works for quickly removing a few recent searches, but it's too slow if you want to clear all previous Google searches. To do this, click your profile picture in the top-right corner of Google and choose Manage your Google Account.
Here, select Data & privacy on the left sidebar. In the History settings box, open the Web & App Activity section. Next, click Manage all Web & App Activity and you'll see a running log of everything you've done with Google services recently.
Next to every block labeled Search, click the X button at the top-right to erase that item. To make it easier to only see your Google Search history, click Filter by date & product at the top and check only the Search box.
At the top of the list, you can search for a specific term that you want to remove. Use Delete activity by on the left sidebar to clear your recent Google searches from preset periods of time, like the last hour or day, or since a certain date.
You can also click the Auto-delete option at the top of the list to set up regular deletion of your Google search history. This lets you clear your Google history every three months, 18 months, or three years. Of course, you're still free to delete history manually anytime you like.
Prevent Google From Saving Search History in the Future
You can delete your prior searches on Google as often as you want, but it becomes tedious to do this manually all the time. Instead, you can prevent Google from saving any of your search history going forward.
To do this, go back to the main Web & App Activity page and click Turn off. Doing so will prevent Google from using your activity on search and other Google services to personalize your experience. It also keeps recent searches from appearing on Google's homepage and stops the company from recording what you search for in the future.
If you often find yourself wanting to delete all previous searches on Google, use this switch to save yourself some time. And while you're here, remember that search tracking is only one of the many ways that Google stores information about you. You might want to explore the other activity controls and disable them for more privacy, too.
How to Edit Your Google History on Android or iPhone
To open the same interface on your mobile device so you can delete recent Google searches on the go, open the Google app and tap your profile picture in the top-right corner. Choose Manage your Google Account, and you'll be brought to a mobile version of this page. Here, you can make the same changes as above, under Privacy & personalization > Web & App Activity > Manage all Web & App Activity.
You can also tap Search history to jump right to this panel. And the Delete last 15 min shortcut is handy if you need to clear searches from the recent past.
How to Delete Previous Google Searches From Your Browser History
Google keeping track of your previous search history on your account is only half the task when you want to delete all searches. As you probably know, your browser keeps a record of every page you visit in its own history. You'll thus need to clear previous Google searches from your browsing history next.
We'll demonstrate how to do this using Chrome. Open the three-dot Menu at the top-right and click History > History to open the interface. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H (Windows) or Cmd + Y (Mac) will also jump to this.
On this page, check the boxes next to every history entry you want to remove. Once you've selected them all, click the Delete button at the top of the page to take them out of your history. If the searches you want to delete are spread out, use the search bar at the top to show only google.com entries.
Instead of manually deleting items, the Clear browsing data tool on the left side of the History page lets you erase browsing history much faster. You can open this anywhere in Chrome using the Ctrl + Shift + Del shortcut.
Here you can use the Basic or Advanced tabs to remove Browsing history, as well as other kinds of history like cookies and cached data. Chrome lets you pick a time period to delete history from; click Clear data when you're ready.
If you use another browser, see how to manually and automatically clear your browser history.
Use Private Browsing to Avoid Storing Old Searches
While it's pretty easy to clear previous Google searches, it's a waste of time to do it regularly. For more efficiency, you should make use of the private (or incognito) mode of your browser so it doesn't save this history in the first place.
In Chrome, open the Menu at the top-right and choose New incognito window (or press Ctrl + Shift + N) to open a new private window. Follow our guide to using private browsing to see how it works in other browsers.
Your browser doesn't record anything you do inside an incognito window. Because you aren't signed into any accounts, you can use Google without it recording what you search for. And the browser won't save any history entries for that session.
Of course, you aren't invisible in private browsing. Websites can still track what you do and access your location. And if you're on a monitored network like at a business or school, incognito doesn't hide your activity from the administrator. But when you just want to avoid tying a few Google searches to your account and browser history, it's quite handy.
Consider Switching to DuckDuckGo for Private Searches
If you don't want to use a private window regularly or don't like the idea of Google recording everything you look up, you should consider using an alternative search engine.
DuckDuckGo is beloved for its stance on privacy. It doesn't track what you search, and still provides quality results. We've looked at how DuckDuckGo compares to Google if you'd like more information on what it offers.
You don't have to use it for every search, of course. But there are some kinds of information you might look up, such as personal advice and medical issues, that you'd probably rather not share with Google. In those cases, DuckDuckGo provides a good alternative.
Remember that searching on DuckDuckGo still records entries in your browser history, so you'll need to clear those afterward (or use incognito) for maximum privacy.
Delete Previous Google Searches and Move On
Now you know how to clear recent searches in Google, so they don't appear anywhere connected to you. Once you've cleared them from your Google activity and browser history, they effectively don't exist anymore unless you've searched on a network that logs all traffic. Use these procedures as needed, as well as the options discussed, to prevent search activity from saving in the future.
If you're trying to reduce Google's grasp on your life, you should also know how to stop Google from listening on your phone.
How Do I Delete Previous Google Searches From History? ›
Browsing history: Clearing your browsing history deletes the following: Web addresses you've visited are removed from the History page. Shortcuts to those pages are removed from the New Tab page. Address bar predictions for those websites are no longer shown.How do I delete all my previous Google searches? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app .
- At the top right, tap your Profile picture or initial. Search history.
- Choose the Search history you want to delete. You can choose: All your Search history: Above your history, tap Delete. Delete all time.
- Step 1: Make sure you have the latest update to the Android Google search app installed.
- Step 2: In the Google search app, long-press on any search term you want to delete.
- Step 3: Press the "Yes" button to remove the term from your search history.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More .
- Click History. History.
- On the left, click Clear browsing data.
- Select how much history you want to delete. To clear everything, select All time.
- Check the boxes for the info you want Chrome to clear, including Browsing history. ...
- Click Clear data.
Browsing history: Clearing your browsing history deletes the following: Web addresses you've visited are removed from the History page. Shortcuts to those pages are removed from the New Tab page. Address bar predictions for those websites are no longer shown.How long does Google keep your search history? ›
Our services also use encrypted backup storage as another layer of protection to help recover from potential disasters. Data can remain on these systems for up to 6 months.What buttons to delete search history? ›
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys while in Chrome, and you get Google's options on-screen.
- Check the boxes next to the categories that you want to clear. Be sure to examine all the options from the drop-down menu at the top. ...
- Select Clear browsing data.
The fastest way to the Clear browsing data menu is via the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut.How often should you clear browsing history? ›
It's best to delete your search history at least twice a month to reduce the chances of getting hacked.How do I delete multiple Google searches on my iPhone? ›
- On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google app .
- Tap the search bar. View all.
- Tap Clear all. Clear on-device history.
What's the difference between clear history and delete history? ›
Clearing your browser history is NOT the same as clearing your Google Web & App Activity. When you clear your browser history, you're only deleting the history that's locally stored on your computer. Clearing your browser history doesn't do anything to the data stored on Google's servers.Does deleting Google history actually delete it? ›
Deleting your entire history from Chrome will remove: Any web addresses you have visited – these are removed from your History page. Any shortcuts to these pages in the New Tab option. Any address bar predictions that you have for these sites.Can anyone see my Google search history? ›
As you can see, it is definitely possible for someone to access and view your search and browsing history. You don't necessarily have to make it easy for them, though. Taking steps such as using a VPN, adjusting your Google privacy settings and frequently deleting cookies can help.Can the government see my Google searches? ›
Right now, the government can collect the web browsing and internet searches of Americans without a warrant under Section 215. But, so far, there is no explicit Congressional authorization for the government to do that. The McConnell amendment would, for the first time, provide that authorization.Can the police see your Search history? ›
Do the police monitor Google searches? While police do not actively monitor Google searches, they are able to obtain a warrant for your search history if they have probable cause to do so.How long can your Search history be tracked? ›
Internet Service Providers can track and store everything you do online, including browsing history. This extends to the videos you watch, and the websites you visit - even in private browsing mode. In most countries, ISPs can track and store this information, and the retention period may range from 90 days to 3 years.How do I Delete recent search activity? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, go to myactivity.google.com.
- Above your activity, tap Delete .
- Tap All time.
- Tap Next. Delete.
Clearing your iPhone's browsing history once in a while is a good idea because it helps protect your privacy and makes your device run better.Is deleted Safari history gone forever? ›
At least for users, if there is no backup, it is impossible to retrieve the deleted history. So the answer is clear, if you have backed Safari history before, then you can recover deleted safari history; if not, then the deleted Safari history is forever gone.What is my recent Search history? ›
Go to your Google Account. On the left navigation panel, click Data & privacy. Under "History settings," click My Activity.
Is it good to clear your history on your phone? ›
Clearing out the cache can improve performance, and clearing your history and auto-complete information can contribute to improving security.How do I delete Google activity? ›
- Open the device settings on your Android phone or tablet. ...
- Tap on 'Data and Personalization' you will find at the top.
- Tap on 'My Activity' you will find under 'Activity and Timeline'.
- Locate the items you wish to delete and to do this, you can follow two methods.
First, try to close your browser and open it again. If you still can't clear the history, try restarting your device. Your system may automatically fix the issue after a reboot. If not, move to the methods below based on your browser.Who can see my search history? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open your Google app .
- At the top right, tap your profile picture or initial. New Chrome Incognito tab.
Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, it is possible for someone to install spyware onto your phone that secretly tracks and reports on your activity. It's even possible for someone to monitor your cell phone's activity without ever even touching it.How do I automatically delete Google search history immediately? ›
On your computer, go to your Search history in My Activity. On the left or at the top, click Controls. On the "Web & App Activity" card, click Auto-delete (Off). If you find “Auto-delete (On),” Google automatically deletes your Web & App Activity, which includes your Search history, after a specific time period.How to clear Safari history? ›
In the Safari app on your Mac, choose History > Clear History, then click the pop-up menu. Choose how far back you want your browsing history cleared.How do I delete only some search history? ›
Tap the three-dot menu (⋮) in the upper-right corner. Navigate to Settings > Privacy and Security. Tap Clear browsing data. Select the data you want to remove and from what range, and then tap Clear data in the lower-right corner.How to delete the last 15 minutes of your Google search history? ›
- Open the Google Search app. Make sure you open the app. Opening the Google Search widget won't show the correct buttons.
- Tap your profile picture in the top right to open the app menu.
- Tap Delete last 15 minutes.
Does clearing history Safari really clear history? ›
Yes. Clearing Safari cache, history, and cookies will log you out of the websites you are currently logged into.What does clearing cache do? ›
Clearing your cache on Android can free up valuable space and resolve issues with your phone's battery, speed, and security.Is it OK to clear Safari history? ›
Clearing your browser history is important; not only does it improve the overall performance of the app, but it prevents you from filling out forms and using old information, making it a more secure way to browse the web.