StayOnSearch

How to Clear Your Google Web History

Kristi Hines September 21, 2010

With privacy being such a concern, you would be surpised to know (if you don’t already) how much information Google keeps about your search history. From the day you created your Google account, logged in, and used their search engine, Google has been logging the keywords you search for as well as the items within the search results that you have clicked. For example, mine has been logging my search activity for the last five years with this level of detail!

Google Web History Details

Google stores all of your search history, which you can view from oldest to newest, and filter it down to web, images, news, products, video, and so on. You can also see trends for the last 7 days, 30 days, year, or all time broken into top queries, top sites, and top clicks as well as some graphs for monthly, daily, and hourly search activity.

Google Web History Trends

If you don’t mind Google keeping these kind of tabs on you, and you are the only one who accesses your Google account, this may not be such a big deal. But if you share a Google account with someone else (or someone at least knows your password), then they can login into the account and see what anyone has been searching while logged in.

Clearing Web History

While most people have figured out how to turn off Personalized Search, it’s easy to forget to clear what data Google has captured from you thus far. Here is how to clear your web history – this process should work in classic Google and the beta.

1. Log into your Google Account.

2. Do a search for anything.

3. Click on the “Web History” option in the top right.

Google Web History Link

4. Under “All History” select “Remove items.”

Remove Items from Google Web History

5. Click on “Clear entire Web History.”

Clear Entire Google Web History

6. Confirm by entering your password (if required) and clicking the “Clear History” button.

Clear Google Web History

Now, Google will no longer have or continue to collect your search data and other information. I take that back, they are probably still collecting it somewhere, but neither you nor anyone else who logs into your account can view it. You can resume to have Google collect your search data, if you choose, by entering your Web History settings at any time.

7 comments
RedNose
RedNose

Does it also store the image or video search information or just website search?

Sowmya
Sowmya

Hi Kristi, Am not able to see the Web History option in my gmail account. Please suggest.

A. Tatum
A. Tatum

Great info. I did know how to do this, but I'm not that concerned about it, at least for right now. Another thing about the Google search history is that it only stores the things that you search on Google, but if you have the Google toolbar stored on your browser it stores everything search on the internet.

Slava
Slava

Yeah, that's really scary. I've had it disabled since the launch of Web History. I can imagine how does it feel for someone who just dicovered that he's been tracked all those years.

Icechen1
Icechen1

Scary, Google has my whole browsing data from 2007... It's Big Brother all over again.

Tia
Tia

Good to know! I did not know how to do this, although I did know that all of the search activity is stored.

Aaron
Aaron

Thanks Kristi. Very good to know since google makes some searches related to what you have already searched for. Nice and easy to follow tutorial. Love your theme as well, what is it?

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