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How to Delete Your Google Search History (Updated 2021)

Published on: November 8, 2021

How to delete Google search history

First, why would you want to delete your Google history?

If you think about how often you access the web, it is impossible to quantify all of your online activity from the days, weeks, months, or years that you have been using the Internet.

If you weren’t already aware, the indisputable truth is that your Internet search history tells a lot about you — everything including your app activity, browser history, GPS tracking, past searches, and all sorts of personal information.

If you are interested in maximizing your privacy, it is important to know how to delete your Google search history and your browsing history. If you delete your activity and Google History from your computer or phone, you can minimize the amount of your personal information that is exposed online.

Great. So what is the problem?

Well, when you delete Google history from your phone or computer, you are only scratching the surface. You are not deleting the information that is stored on Google’s servers, and you can’t keep Google from its ongoing mission of data collection.

The best shot you have at maintaining your privacy when using Google Chrome or any other browser is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. A VPN service will hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic and activity so that your identity and everything you do online cannot be connected to you.

Before you use a VPN app, the first step is to delete Google history that is on your computer or devices.

Keep on reading for instructions on how to delete Google history from your devices and how to use VPN apps on your devices to ensure the utmost privacy for everything you do online.

How to Delete Your Browser History 

If you are concerned that your search activity and browsing history are visible to others online, the first step in protecting yourself is to clear your cache on a regular basis, which is simple to do on whichever web browser you may be using.

To clear your browsing information on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, go to your History which can be found in the top right corner of your screen on any of these browsers.

To access your history on Google Chrome, click the three dots to the right of the address bar on the top of your screen, and then, from the dropdown menu, click on History. As a shortcut, you can just type Ctrl H, which will bring you right to this same page.

Then, click on the option to clear your browsing data in the column on the left of your screen.

Clearing browsing data

Next, you will be asked to choose which information you are trying to delete, and what the time range of the data is. You can choose to delete your data from the Last hour, the Last 24 hours, the Last 7 days, the Last 4 weeks, or All time.

Time range

If you want to delete more than just the cookies and cache and browsing and download history, go to Advanced. This will give you the option to also clear your Passwords and other sign-in data, Autofill form data, Site settings, and Hosted app data.

Clearing passwords, autofill data and more

Check all of the boxes of the categories of data you want to delete and then click the delete button — Clear data.

To get to your history on Google Chome, you can also go to Settings when you go to the three dots on the right top corner of your screen, and then choose Privacy and Security and Clear browsing data, which will clear your history, cache, cookies, and more.

Clear browsing data

If you are using Microsoft Edge instead of Google, follow the same steps as above. First, click on the three dots in the top right corner, and choose History.

History

Then, click on the three dots again on the next column that opens, and you will have the option to Clear (your) browsing data.

Clear browsing data

When you click on this, you will then have the option to check all of the boxes that correspond to the data you want to delete. The boxes that are automatically checked are the options to delete your cookies, cache, download, and browsing history. You can also scroll down to check the boxes that will delete your Passwords, Autofill form data, Site permissions, and All data from the previous version of Microsoft Edge.

Clearing passwords and more

Check all of the appropriate boxes and then click on Clear now.

You can also go to the Settings option when you click on these three dots, and then choose Privacy, search, and services, and choose the option to clear your browsing data.

Clearing browsing data

Alternatively, you can also click Control H which will take you to the correct browser window on Edge. When you get to the Google History page, you will see an option in the left column to Clear browsing data.

Last, if you are looking to clear your data on Mozilla Firefox, go to the icon that looks like a bunch of books lined up on a shelf. Click on this icon, and then choose Clear Recent History.

Whether using Google, Mozilla, or Microsoft browsers to search the Internet, we recommend checking all of the boxes to delete all of your activity and choosing the time range that says All time or Everything.

Now, here’s something you may not have thought of: It’s important to realize that any time you navigate to the Google page that lets you clear history, this raises a red flag, telling your Internet Service Provider that you are trying to hide something. What incriminating information are you trying to hide? In some countries, your ISP may be required to pass on this information to authorities.

How to Download All Your Google Data (Including Search History)

If you want to export the information from your Google account, you can do this with the Google Takeout option.

In your Google content export, you can select a whole slew of options to download from your account, like My Activity, YouTube and YouTube Music, Google Photos, Phone Number, Contacts, Google Classroom, Google Maps, Mail, Hangouts, Location History, and many more options.

1. To do this, go to the Data & Personalization option on your Google Account page and choose Download your Data. If you want a shortcut to this page, just click here.

2. On this next page, you will have the option to decide which activity and information you want to include in this Google download.

3. Choose which information or apps you want to include by checking the corresponding boxes — like YouTube or Google Voice — and then click on Next Step.

4. Next, choose the file type, frequency, and destination for your download. You can choose between a .zip file or a .tgz file, and you can choose whether you want your file to be 1, 2, 4, 10, or 50 GB.

You can also decide if you want your file to be exported once, or in 6 bi-monthly exports.

Choose the settings you want, and then click on Create export.

5. When the export is ready, you will get a notification that your archive is complete and you will be able to download or manage these Google archives by clicking on the link sent to your email.

After you have successfully downloaded all of the data and activity you want to keep, you can then go ahead and delete your account history.

Why Google Stores Your History of Searches 

If you are concerned about your privacy and interested in knowing why Google stores your searches in the first place, you are in good company.

Have you had the strange experience of seeing products or services pop up as ads on your screen hours or even minutes after you searched for similar products or services on Google? Have you ever said to yourself, “Is Google spying on my activity?” Well, the answer is, “Yes. It is.”

If Google stores each search, it can help personalize its ads, services, and overall experience to you and the rest of its Google customers, taking note of which companies and products you like and crafting an advertising profile for each Google user.

Because it is safe to assume that Google can use any or all of your data, it is a good idea to delete as much of your data as possible as often as you can.

While Google is slowly stepping up its game in letting you keep some of your data private, the only way to really ensure that your data is not connected to your identity is by using a reputable VPN service, like our top choice — ExpressVPN.

Data & Personalization

Next, go to the option for your Google Activity and timeline and click on My Activity.

My activity

In My Activity, click on Delete activity by from the menu on the left side of your screen, and choose the timeframe.

Delete activity

We recommend choosing to delete your Google activity All time, and then you can choose from the menu which activities and services you want to clear the Google activity from — including your Google Assistant, Android, Maps, News, Shopping, and many more options.

Choosing what to delete

Once you have checked the boxes indicating which Google activities you want to clear, click on Next.

How to Stop Google From Saving Your Activity 

If you want to stop Google from saving your Internet activity, follow these simple steps:

  1. First, go to your Google Account > Data & personalization > Activity controls.
  2. Move the Web & App Activity switch to the left to turn it off.
  3. A box should then pop up that asks if you want to pause your web activity. When you affirm that you want to pause your activity, you will see this message (below) letting you know that you have turned this setting off and that your Google account is no longer saving your web app activity.

Consequences of Removing and Disabling Your Google Search History

While you may feel triumphant that you were successful at deleting your Google search history, there are some consequences to this that are worth mentioning.

While you may think you want to keep your activity private and away from Google’s grasp, your search data and Internet history are the clues that Google uses to help personalize your searches.

While you can follow the instructions (above) to clear your web browser history, you will have to then get used to the fact that all of your frequently-browsed sites will not appear at the top of your search. This could be good in some situations, or bad if you are wanting a quick and streamlined Google search that brings you directly to the products you have previously searched.

Enhance Your Privacy with Google by Using a VPN

While the Google search engine has made a good name for itself and is used by over 2.5 billion users as their top browser choice, it is still hard to put your trust and your privacy in the hands of a search engine.

If you want to be sure that your IP address and identity are hidden online and that your activity is encrypted with military-grade encryption, using a reputable VPN is the way to go.

When you use a VPN on your Android, iOS device, or computer, you will not only be able to access services that are typically blocked from reach in your local region, but you will also be able to ensure that you are accessing the web with more protection and with the top privacy features.

When you are using a VPN, your activity is kept out of reach of third parties, authorities, or companies that are trying to benefit from your online habits, as well as safe from hackers and the many more cyber threats that exist on the web today.

The best VPN to use that ensures the fastest connections to the web and the best privacy and security features is ExpressVPN, which has held its place as the top VPN on the market for quite some time.

Conclusion

If you are looking for more protection online, using a VPN is the magic key. It doesn’t matter if you are using an Android, iOs, Windows, or Mac platform, because the top VPNs on the market, like ExpressVPN, have apps that are compatible with all of these options.

Whether you are checking your inbox, surfing the web, or streaming content, a VPN will conceal your identity and encrypt your traffic so that you can be sure your private data and browsing habits are kept private.

If you want to find out more about ExpressVPN and get the best deal on a subscription today, head on over to ExpressVPN now! You can subscribe to a plan with a 49% discount and with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there is no risk to try it out today!

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