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.
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