Your browsing data says a lot about you, but your Google search activity can say even more. All of the URLs and keywords you’ve ever typed into Google’s search page are stored on Google servers. So deleting your browsing history from your web browser doesn’t even touch your Google search history. Read on to find out how to take your privacy back and delete your search history on Google.
Does Google really delete your search history? No. Google not only tracks your search history but every step on every Google platform you use. It’s not a secret, but they are not up-front about it either. They also don’t make it particularly easy to find out what data is collected about you and how to opt out.
Why? Google uses every bit of information about you to create a user profile, which is then used to serve you accurately targeted ads. You can see a detailed breakdown of what information Google collects about you here.
Should you be worried? Yes. You should never allow any company to have this much information about you. You never know who they’ll share it with or who might hack the company. Imagine how much a hacker would know about you if they get into your Google account. It’s a gateway to your emails, calendars, personal documents, and more!
1. Go to the My Activity page and log in. Here, you can see your Google search history and other previous activity on other Google platforms you may have used.
2. Click on Delete activity by, which you’ll find on the left-hand side menu bar.
3. To delete your Google activity, select the time range and the activity of the platforms you want to delete. If you want to delete all, select All time and All products. Then hit Delete.
4. Congratulations, you’re one step closer to taking back your privacy!
If you think you may forget to regularly delete your search history, you can update your privacy settings and ask Google to do that for you. Do so by following these steps:
1. Go to the Google My Activity page and click on Go to your Web & App Activity. Here you’ll see whether the tracking is on.
2. Tap Choose how long to keep to tell Google how long you allow the company to keep your data for. Unfortunately, it will only give you two options for how frequently you want to delete all Google entries – 3 months and 18 months.
3. If you wish to turn off Web & App activity tracking completely, repeat Step 1 and click on the Edit icon.
4. Now slide the bar next to Web & App Activity and you’re done. Note that this will only pause the tracking and you can turn it back on at any time.
Unfortunately, if you use Google products, you cannot be completely anonymous. To truly protect your privacy, we recommend switching to privacy- and security-oriented Google alternatives. There are plenty of good search engines, email providers, and video content streaming websites that don’t collect copious amounts of data about you. If you truly care about your privacy, you can also use a service like Incogni to opt out from data brokers that collect and sell your personal information.
If you decide to delete your Gmail or Google accounts, you can follow our guide on how to do it.
Also, consider using a reliable VPN service like NordVPN that encrypts your online traffic and protects your information from hackers and snoopers. A VPN routes your traffic through a remote server, meaning that your original IP and location is hidden. This makes it difficult for Google, or any other website for that matter, to collect information about you. (Note: it won’t work if you are logged into your Google account).
You can enhance your privacy even further with NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature. It makes sure third-party trackers are blocked from following your actions online so you can browse without leaving a trace.
Don’t let websites creep on you – try NordVPN! Now with a 30-day money-back guarantee.