Google has introduced an update that makes it much simpler for users to wipe their search history.  Signed-in users’ search activity is recorded by the company which associates it with the users’ accounts. Google has now tweaked its software, making it much easier for users to delete their search history and also to find privacy controls. Earlier this year, a privacy update also gave users more control over ads and the information Google saves, according to the company(1).

How to Clear Your History Now

The new changes make it a whole lot easier to simply click on the ‘Your data in Search’ page (2) to wipe your entire search history Google has associated with your account. There’s also a link to the data management choices on the main Google Search page but if users prefer to do it directly they can, and this is how you do it:

  1. Punch https://myactivity.google.com/privacyadvisor/search in your browser.
  2. This will open the ‘Your data in Search’ management page on the ‘My Activity’ site.
  3. Scroll down to ‘Delete your Search activity’.
  4. Choose ‘Delete all Search activity’ to wipe your entire history.
  5. You can ‘Delete last hour’ only if you want to clear searches made in the last hour.
  6. When the popup opens, confirm your choice of removing the records by selecting ‘delete’.

All activity data including search terms and the links activated by users on search results will be wiped. The changes are available for desktop and mobile Internet searches. To integrate the functionality, Google is planning to roll out updates for its iOS and Android applications for Google users around the world.


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More About the Popup Facility on ‘Your Data Search’

The popup in the ‘Your Data Search’ facility highlights the fact that Google could keep some Telemetry data. For instance, how many searches you undertook after the search activity was deleted. Google users can disable ‘Web & App Activity’ on the same page to prevent their search activity from being saved. Google has posted a video on YouTube to advertise the benefits of allowing them to record users’ search activity.


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How History Was Deleted Before the New Update

Before the new update launched last week (October 24, 2018), you could delete certain activity, however, the way it was done was not terribly user-friendly and only certain activity could be wiped. To delete some or maybe all the records, Google search engine users had to open the ‘My Activity’ page after they signed in to their account. But the page didn’t have a ‘delete all’ option, which meant users had to select each one to delete them, making it a time-consuming chore.

 


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In Closing

The improved choice of deleting search activity, especially with the new link directly from the Google homepage search engine, makes it a lot easier for users. Next year, Google is planning to expand the ease of deleting history to Maps, and also to many other products that the company provides. In September, Google flagged changes to its Chrome browser after it received a barrage of criticism for stockpiling cookies and the logging-in activity of its website users. It shut down the Google+social network some weeks later, after revealing a breach had exposed 500,000 users’ data.

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References

  1. https://www.blog.google/technology/safety-security/making-it-easier-control-your-data-directly-google-products/
  2. https://myactivity.google.com/privacyadvisor/search