Big tech companies monitor our every move. Our restaurant preferences and the exact length of time we spend looking at a social media post are both examples of useful data. Fortunately, we do have some say over data, especially the usage and history of local devices. Today, I’ll show you how to view and permanently remove all of your Google activity, as well as differentiate between your browsing history and your Google Activity. So, shall we?
Google’s record of your online activities goes by several names: search history, browsing data, and simply “history.” Cookies, recently visited pages, and other browser history data are all saved in this manner in Google Chrome.
This information is only collected when a Google browser, especially Google Chrome, is used. Google has no access to the histories of other browsers. When you start typing the name of a website and the link appears after only one letter, that’s your browser history at work. The browser’s history can also be used for things like automated login (through cookies), pre-filled forms, and remembered preferences.
The scope of your Google Activity goes much beyond the Google Chrome browser. It keeps track of everything you do within the Google services. Explain Google’s ecosystem. Not limited to, but including:
- Google Chrome (including Mobile)
- Google Assistant
- Google Smart Devices
- Location History (Google Maps)
- Actions taken on Android devices, and more.
For example, if you have an Android phone and open up a recipe, then tell Google smart speaker to set a timer, all of that will be recorded in Google Activity.
To access it in a web browser (Google Chrome), just press CTRL + H. To access your browsing history on a mobile device, press the menu button (three dots) in the upper right corner. You’ll see a rundown of the websites you’ve lately visited on your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. In the top menu, click “Search History” to look up a previously visited site or “Clear Search History” to remove any traces of your online research activities permanently.
In order to clear your browsing history, go to where it says “Clear browsing data.” When the new screen comes up, you have the option of erasing your search and webpage history for a set time frame or completely. Your three options are to clear your cache, remove cookies, and clear site data. By default, all of these are selected, but you can change that to suit your needs. You can remove remembered passwords, autofill form data, and hosted app data in the “Advanced” section.
Your Google Activity, Viewed and Removed
It’s also a breeze to check out your My Google Activity on just about any gadget. You may access your complete Google Activity by clicking on the History tab when in Google. To access it, enter “www.myactivity.google.com” into your browser’s address bar. If you click here, you’ll be sent to the My Google Activity dashboard, where you can monitor and control everything you do on Google.
You may browse your history in a number of different ways, such as by date, app, or product. A keyword search is also available via the “Search your activity bar.” Web and app use, location history, and YouTube history make up the bulk of your “Google activity” that is being monitored. To access each, just click the tab at the top of the screen.
Press or click the “delete” button that appears just above your most recent Activity entry to remove it from your Activity History. Here you can erase the data for a specific time period. Using the Search Bar and a keyword, you may also look for an individual Activity record to remove.
If you see an unwanted entry, all you have to do is click the “x” to the right of it. You may also set it so that your entries “delete automatically” after a specified amount of time has passed. There are three distinct Activity Menus at the top of the screen for this purpose: Web & App, Location History, and YouTube History.
How to Disable or Hide Your Google History
Use an incognito window of Chrome to quickly disable tracking for the time being. Google’s browser provides encrypted searching and surfing while still allowing the company to collect data. You can switch to incognito mode on a desktop by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + N, or on a mobile device by tapping the three dots in the top right corner. Be sure to end your incognito session by closing the tab.
You may disable tracking for Web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history in addition to clearing your Activity History. To turn it off, go through each menu and then click the “Turn off” button. Each of the tracing threads requires this action.
Having all your history in one place might be very unsettling. The good news is that regardless of whether you’re using a mobile device or a computer, Google lets you view and permanently delete all of your activity. You can rest assured that you will be able to manage your activity log in complete secrecy using the different menu and control choices provided.