Google collects information about your browsing habits and search histories. It allows the search engine to deliver personalized search suggestions, helping you to work faster. You can disable or clear search histories, but Google Search app as well as Chrome Browser enable the features by default. In Android, every time you tap the search bar, there will be a list of your previous searches as a drop-down list. If you want to repeat the same search as you did this morning, for example, all you need to do is tap the right queries in the list. Some users actually want to keep those searches private, and luckily Google gives you many options to do that. (See how to delete history).
Method 1 – Clear Partial Google Search History on Android
Removing previous queries from the search bar is easy; it does not actually delete your browsing history, but this is enough for some users. Here is how to do it:
- As you tap the search bar (or a Google Search Icon if you are in landscape mode), a drop-down list of previous history will come up.
- The list is filled with the last few search queries you used in the previous search.
- If you touch and hold any of them, a pop-up dialog box appears to give you option to either delete or keep it.
Make sure your Google Search app is up to date to use this feature. Please put in mind that this method only removes the search queries from appearing the next time you use the search bar. Google will keep collecting your browsing and search history afterwards, unless you change the settings.
Method 2 – Clear Complete Google Search History on Android
For the more complete removal of search history, even those from several months ago, you need to navigate deeper in Google account setting.
- Sign-in to your Google account. Use a browser on your Android device to sign-in and access your account preferences.
- Once logged-in, you will be redirected to Google Homepage. At the bottom of the homepage, you will see “Setting” button.
- Click/tap the button to see some options including “History” or “Manage”. Either of them will do.
- Now you will be taken to a page where you can configure website activity including search history.
- A complete list of searches will be displayed. Each has a check box in front of it.
- Choose the search queries you want to delete, or choose them all and hit the “Remove” button.
If you haven’t cleared search history in a long time, tapping all the check boxes is time-consuming. A simpler option is to tap the cog button below search bar to access the “Remove” button. You will be given some options to remove history from the past hour, past day, past week, past month, and all time. Select the “all time” option if you want to remove everything.
Method 3 – Stop History
Once again, the previous method deletes only previous search histories, meaning Google still collects any activity information afterwards. If you don’t want to go through the same process repeatedly, you have the option to stop Google from storing the information as well. Use your Google Search App, and follow these instructions:
- Once you open Google Search app, you will see an icon made up from three horizontal short lines. Click on that to open menu and choose “Settings”.
- It will open a page where you can access “Accounts and Privacy” and more specifically Google Account History.
- Within this option, select “Web & App Activity”. There are many options available including YouTube Watch and Search History as well.
- Most (if not all) are turned on by default, indicated by ticked check boxes. Uncheck all the boxes you want to stop the search engine from collecting information about your activities.
Google prompts you to confirm the option you choose or if this is really something you want to do. Google does not actually say “stop” collecting information, but “pause” the history. Choose pause to compete the setup.
Method 4 – Chrome Browser History
For the sake of seamless integration between devices (laptop, desktop computer, tablets, and smartphones), Google use Chrome Browser to save website activities history as well. If you use the same account on all those devices, the integration should work flawlessly. It also means your search history in Chrome will be shared across the devices. To completely clear any trace of browsing activity, you will also need to configure history option in Chrome.
- Open chrome browser on any device, and tap three-dots icon located in the top right corner of the page.
- Choose “History” to see all the previous searches.
- You can go one by one and delete specific items you want or simply choose “Clear Browsing Data” to delete all of them.
- Because your Chrome Browser is synced across all devices, you don’t have to go through the same process with every device you have.
- To prevent all future information and search history from being recorded and saved by Google, use Chrome Browser to open this page: https://www.google.com/dashboard/ and choose “Stop sync and delete data from Google”. Confirm your choice in the dialog box that follows.
One of the easiest ways to prevent Google or any search engine from saving your search history is to use Chrome Incognito Mode on your Android and other devices. It is a private browsing mode that does not track everything you do. Your ISP and websites you visit are traceable, but all data is wiped out when you exit the mode.