Google collects information about your previous searches partly to improve its search suggestions and products such as Google Now. But that also means that when you begin to tap in a search query it will display your previous searches, and some of us might prefer to keep that hidden. Here’s how to stop Google search history on
Android by turning off web history and deleting your previous search history. We’ll also show you how to browse in private for future searches. Also see:
How to delete your Google location history
How to turn off Web history on Android
Step 1. To access your web history settings open Google Now. Either drag up from the home button or open the Google Search app on your
phone. Now click on the three horizontal lines icon in the top Google search bar to open the Menu and choose Settings. (See all
Android How tos.)
Step 2. Within the Settings menu choose Accounts & privacy, then Google Account History.
Step 3. Within Account History select the first option – Web & App Activity. (Also here are options to manage your YouTube history.) You’ll find Web & App Activity is turned on by default, so tap the tickbox to pause web history.
Step 4. Google will prompt you to confirm this is what you really want to do, so click Pause to confirm this change.
How to remove previous search history on Android
The above steps explain how to stop Google recording your search history, but what about the records it has already collected?
Step 1. To remove your previous history you’ll need to once again open Google Now and navigate to Settings, Accounts & privacy, Google Account History, Web & App Activity. Now tap the option at the bottom of the page to Manage history.
Step 2. You’ll now see a list of all your recent search history. You can select and remove individual items in this list by selecting the tickbox next to them and tapping Remove items, or you can delete all your search history over a given period.
Step 3. To delete all your search history Tap the cog icon below the search bar to open the settings. Now click Remove items.
Step 4. Google allows you to delete search history from the past hour, past day, past week, past four weeks and since the beginning of time. Select one of these options, then click Remove.
How to remove Google Chrome search history in Android and stop it recording search queries
The above steps assume you are using the Google search bar on your home screen or Google Now to perform text- or voice searches on your Android
tablet, but you may also be performing searches within the browser.
If you’re using Chrome, not only will it record any activity within the web browser on your phone or tablet, but also on any PC or laptop to which you are also signed into Chrome. It’s easy to remove these, however.
Step 1. Open the Chrome browser on your phone or tablet and tap the three dots in the top right corner to access more options. Now choose History.
Step 2. As before, you’ll see a list of all recent searches made on any computer on which you are signed into the Chrome browser. You can go through these one by one, ticking the X to remove the item, or you can simply tap Clear browsing data at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3. That’s taken care of your previous searches, but what about future searches? The easiest way to prevent Chrome recording your search history is to go Incognito. This is a private browsing mode that doesn’t track anything you do (but you will still be visible to your employer, ISP and the sites you visit). To open a new Incognito tab tap on those same three dots at the top right corner and select New incognito tab. You can then go about using Chrome as usual.
Follow Marie Brewis on