How to quickly man­age and delete your Google search his­tory

Google has made it eas­ier than ever to clear your search re­sults.

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY MICHAEL SI­MON

We al­ready know Google col­lects a ton of data on us, and a lot of it comes from search. Google of­fers plenty of ways to limit the amount of data you have ly­ing around, but they’re not all that easy to find. Start­ing to­day, Google is mak­ing it eas­ier ( go.mac­world.com/ctdt) to both see and delete your search ac­tiv­ity.

Pre­vi­ously, you could visit your Google Ac­count in Set­tings on An­droid phones or on the web on IOS, tap Man­age your data & per­son­al­iza­tion and then My

Ac­tiv­ity to see your search re­sults. Then you needed to tap the three-dot menu and se­lect Delete to get rid of some­thing. Find­ing your search his­tory on desk­tops was just as cum­ber­some.

Google is sim­pli­fy­ing that process in a big way. In­stead of hit­ting up your ac­count, you’ll be able to see your his­tory ev­ery time you search for some­thing. Once you

search for a term in Chrome, you’ll be able to man­age your en­tire search his­tory with­out leav­ing the browser or in­ter­rupt­ing what you were do­ing. Here’s how it works on phones:

1. Log into your Google ac­count in Chrome.

2. Af­ter ini­ti­at­ing a search, tap the ham­burger menu to the left of the Google logo

3. Se­lect Your data in Search

4. Scroll down to Your re­cent ac­tiv­ity

5. Tap All Search ac­tiv­ity In the desk­top ver­sion of Chrome, all you need to do is click the new “Con­trol your data in Google Search” link un­der­neath the Google Search and I’m Feel­ing Lucky but­tons on the Google homepage. Al­ter­na­tively, you can click Set­tings and se­lect the Your data in Search op­tion from a search re­sults page.

Fol­low­ing these steps will bring you to your full search ac­tiv­ity page ( go.mac­world. com/dlsr) for your ac­count, where you’ll be able to see all of your re­cent ac­tiv­ity, delete in­di­vid­ual re­sults or full days of his­tory us­ing the three-dot menus next to each search term.

But you don’t even need to get that gran­u­lar any­more. On the first Your data in Search page, Google has added handy but­tons that let you ei­ther delete your search ac­tiv­ity for the past hour or nuke your en­tire search his­tory if you just want to start all over.

You’ll also find quick tog­gles for Web & App Ac­tiv­ity, and Voice & Au­dio Ac­tiv­ity, so you can quickly turn off ac­cess, as well as Ad per­son­al­iza­tion set­tings. Those set­tings are im­por­tant if you want to limit Google’s non-search track­ing ( go.mac­world.com/ priv) for things like lo­ca­tion ac­cess and As­sis­tant re­sults.

Google is rolling out this change in Chrome and other desk­top and mo­bile browsers to­day, and will be push­ing the change to the Google app on IOS and An­droid “in the mov­ing weeks.” And Google also prom­ises to ex­pand the fea­ture to Maps in 2019, as well as “many other Google prod­ucts.” ■

You can find your search re­sults his­tory right in your smart­phone’s browser now.

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