It’s inadequate to delete just the browsing history, as some people have the misconception that if they delete the browsing history occasionally, it would be enough to maintain their privacy. But it’s much more complicated than that.
“Google Activity or Google Web & App History” stores all the information you’ve searched using certain Google services, like Search, YouTube, or Chrome to improve your search experience.
This feature comes in handy if you want to navigate your favorite websites quickly or you want to restore a tab that you accidentally closed. But what if you share your PC with someone and you don’t want them to find out what you searched for? Fortunately, there are ways to delete the search & browsing history and limit what Google collects about you.
Clearing Search History in Browser
If you use a shared computer at work, or at home, you might not want others to see what you searched for. Here’s how to clear the address bar suggestion (which uses your previous searches) in most of the browsers that are being used today.
Launch the Chrome browser and click on three-dot icon at the upper right side of the browser.
Hover your mouse over ‘History’ in the Chrome menu, then select ‘History’ again from the expanded options. You can also open your Chrome history page by using the
Ctrl+H keyboard shortcut.
From the options available on the left side of the ‘History’ page, click on ‘Clear browsing data’ option.
A new pop-up interface ‘Clear Browsing Data’ will be displayed on the screen with several check-boxes. Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab.
Then, click on the drop-down menu next to the ‘Time range’ option and select ‘All time’ from the options.
Now click on the ‘Clear data’ button to delete all saved search history from Chrome.
To clear your search history in Firefox, click on the menu icon at top right side of the browser.
Select ‘Options’ from the menu that appears.
A new tab ‘Options’ will open on the screen which comprises all the settings of Firefox. Select ‘Privacy & Security’ from the left panel.
This will take you to the ‘Browser Privacy’ settings. Scroll-down and select ‘Clear History’ under the ‘History’ section.
A new pop-up interface ‘Clear Recent History’ will be shown on the screen with several check-boxes. Click on the drop-down menu next to the ‘Time range to clear’ option and select ‘Everything’ from the list. It’s up to you how far back in time you want to go, but if you wish to thoroughly clean your browsing history, you should select ‘Everything’.
Now select/tick the check-boxes in the detailed list of items under ‘History’ and ‘Data’, and click ‘OK’ to delete all your saved browsing & search history.
Clearing Search History from Google Account
Clearing your search & browsing history on your browser deletes only the history that’s saved on your computer locally. So as to delete your Google Web and App activity that is stored on Google servers, visit ‘My Activity page’.
Visit myactivity.google.com to see all your activities & history including Google Search, YouTube, and other Google Services.
On the new page, you’ll see the links of websites and searches that you made. This also includes the search history from your mobile devices. All these activities are separated based on time.
You can delete these activities individually by clicking on the three-dot menu next to each activity and selecting ‘Delete’.
To delete all the activities at once, select the ‘Delete activity by’ option in the left panel.
A pop-up appears, which allows you to choose the time accordingly. Select ‘All time’ to entirely delete everything.
A new pop-up will appear listing all the services. You can choose the services individually by clicking on the check-boxes next to each service and then select ‘Next’ to wipe out all the activities.
On the new pop-up that appears, click ‘Delete’ to confirm that you want to erase your history.
A new screen shows up confirming that your search history has successfully been deleted.
If your computer is used by multiple users, it’s always a good idea to clear your search history from the browser. Or, if you don’t wish to bother with that, and there really are very few of your searches that you don’t want anyone to find, then just the incognito window in your browser. That will make that nothing your search or the websites you open is saved in the browser.