Privacy is a joke with Google dominating the Internet. It’s not surprising that you want to know how to clear your search history to keep the Internet giant off your tracks.
This article is not about clearing your browser’s cookies and history as doing so will only have a limited effect. If you want to stop Google from having records of every single browsing habit, you’ll need to remove the data from the server.
Thankfully, there’s a simple way to do that and it doesn’t involve hacking into Google’s fortified servers.
Why Does Google Track My Activity?
Google is an obsessive stalker in the digital world. It tracks every single click, search, and site that you’ve visited online. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of how Google has reduced your privacy to nothing.
The route that you take to work, video clips that you’ve watched on YouTube, emails sent, and voice commands are just some of the data that’s on Google’s record.
According to Google, the collected data helps the company provide a better search experience. In other words, you’ll get search results that are personalized to your browsing habits.
Besides satisfying search demand, Google is also in the business of advertising. According to the Britain's CMA, Google earned more than 90% of all revenue for search advertising in the UK in 2018. If that's not the dominance, then what is? The fact that you’re a fan of Manchester City helps sports merchandisers target you with their laser-focused ads. Travellers will be bombarded by advertisements of tour packages and tempted to click in to learn more about the irresistible deals.
As the data piles up, your online existence is a perfect cash cow for advertisers. You can only hope that the data remains safe in Google’s database. Even so, learning the truth of how much Google knows about users is unsettling for some.
How to Clear Your Google Search History
It’s understandable that Google logs your search history as part of their business model. However, you should have the right to say no to having your data stored. Chances are, Google’s already logged years of your search history in their database.
But, there’s good news. You can clear all your activities in a few simple steps. But, before you do, it’s prudent to back up the data on your computer.
How to Back Up All Your Google Data
1. Sign in to Google Takeout with your account. Google Takeout is a tool that allows users to extract their data as .zip files.
2. Select the type of information you’ll want to backup. The list includes emails, maps, browsing activities and more.
3. Click Next Step and choose the preferred file format. Click Create Export when done.
4. Depending on the size of the archive, the export process may take hours or days.
How to Delete Your Google Search History
Once you’ve archived the files, you’re ready to remove all instances of search history and tracking data on Google.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Log in to your Google Account. Click on Manage your data & personalization.
2. Click Manage your activity controls.
3. You’ll be directed to a dashboard with Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.
4. Click Manage Activity on the Web & App Activity panel.
5. Click “Filter by date & product” and tick the Select All checkbox. Ensure that the duration is set to All time. Click Apply to return the filtered result.
6. Click the vertical 3 dots icon on the right of the filter. Choose Delete Results.
7. Confirm by choosing Delete at the dialog box.
8. All of the search history on your Google account is now removed.
How to Prevent Google From Tracking Your Activity
Removing all saved history on Google is only a part of reclaiming your privacy. You’ll need to prevent Google from tracking your search history to have a greater sense of privacy.
However, keep in mind that blocking Google from tracking your activity means you’ll have less personalized ads and search experiences that are, at times, convenient.
Blocking Google from tracking your search activity is easy. You’ll need to turn the slider on the Web & Activity panel to the left to temporarily pause Google tracking.
It’s easy to be tricked into thinking that you’re safe from Google’s monitoring when you’ve blocked its attempt to track your search history.
Unfortunately, Google’s arm has grown over the decades and you can still be tracked on Google Maps, YouTube and app usage unless you turn them off too.
Even if you’ve done that, the fact that your IP address is visible to Google means that you’re not enjoying the complete privacy that you may wish for.
Top VPN to Keep Your History Private
If you really need to keep your browsing history private on the Internet, you’ll need to get a VPN to compliment the steps that we’ve demonstrated above. A VPN not only masks your IP address but also encrypts the communication between your device and the Internet.
In other words, it is impossible for Google to track your browsing activities when you’ve turned on the VPN. Here are some of the best VPNs to protect your privacy.
|Number of countries||44+||94||58|
|24/7 Customer support||✅||✅||✅|
|No of devices||5||5||6|
|Supports chain VPN connections||Yes (Secure Core)||No||Yes (Double VPN)|
Google will continue dominating your everyday life regardless of whether you agree or not on its logging of your search history. With what we’ve shared, you now have the power to take charge and stop being an open book to Google.
Sign up to a VPN and stop Google from tracking your activities.