Your Google search history is like a roadmap to your innermost thoughts, your innermost ruminations. Imagine if someone managed to get their hands on it? While most search history entries they came across would be benign and innocuous, such as searches for cat videos, recipes, news, and how to get to the nearest supermarket, some you might not want people to know about – like weird stuff you’re browsing on eBay, the frequency of your Dominoes online pizza orders, or even what you’ve been checking out on porn sites – eep! If you’re concerned about the digital trail that you’re leaving and want to protect your privacy, then you need to clean Google search history.
Google search history vs browser history
Before we get stuck into the meat of the article, about how to erase your Google search history, we need to make an important distinction. There are two types of histories that will log the Google searches you make. That’s Google on the one hand – and your browser on the other. To have a completely clean slate, you’ll need to wipe both histories.
Google search history is all the Google searches that you’ve done while logged in to your Google account. You have a Google account if you have ever signed up to Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Google+, or any other of Google’s services. Your Google searches are logged if you are logged into your Google account on any device. If you’ve logged in on your laptop, mobile, a work computer, or friend’s phone to your Google account and not logged out – the device will be recording all Google searches. You want to clean Google search history wherever you’ve logged in.
Browser history is the browser’s records of which websites you visited. This will include the pages of results for your Google searches. Most people are using the Chrome browser on computers, however there are many different browsers available on mobile devices. If you use more than one browser, for instance, Chrome plus Safari, Firefox or Microsoft Edge, then to clear browser history you will need to do it for each one individually – and on each device.
How to clean Google search – getting in there to delete Google history
To clean Google search history, you need to head to My Activity. If you aren’t already logged in to your Google account, you’ll be requested to do so. Once the My Activity page comes up you can view all your history – for all the Google products. To delete your search history, choose ‘Delete activity by’ on the left hand panel. You can delete by topic or product if you like, a selectable date range or ‘All time’ – and select to remove history of all Google products (like your Play Store and YouTube searches) or just regular Google searches (select Search). Click the Delete button and you have successfully deleted your Google search history!
As we mentioned, the other place your Google search history will be stored is in your browser. Each browser is a little bit different in how you clear the history. If you need to clear Chrome history it’ll be a tad different from clearing Safari history, for instance. You’ll also need to configure your search bar so that it does not show suggestions for searches (based on your browsing). You can do this via your browser’s settings.
While it’s all well and good to go into your search history and erase it, if you want to delete history as a regular maintenance task (instead of a one off), then it’s better to clean history in combination with other activities. Tools like SafePCKit allow you to do a number of different computer maintenance tasks at the one time – to save you time! Download SafePCKit to clear junk files including browser history, fix system errors, and optimize memory all at the click of a button.