Google saves a record of your searches and other app activity. Here’s how to automatically delete it.

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As part of its broader effort to make privacy settings more transparent, Google recently announced a new feature that makes it possible to set limits for how long the company can save the data it collects about your activity.

Under the new settings, you can choose to have Google automatically delete your web and app activity data after a period of three or 18 months. Before this, you would have to manually delete the data in the Google app’s settings section.

Google collects data like search history and other interactions in Google services to improve and customize its app experience. It might also save your Chrome history and activity from other websites and apps that use Google’s services if you have that feature enabled.

But not everyone may be comfortable with Google keeping a record of their activity. And more importantly, not everyone who’s bothered by the concept of Google storing their data may remember to take the time to delete it.

Here’s how to make sure Google deletes your web and app activity after a set period of time, whether you’re using iPhone, Android, or a web browser.


Navigate to myaccount.google.com. Or, if you’re logged into Google, click your profile photo in the top right corner of the Google homepage.

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Google

Choose the “Data & personalization” option on the lefthand column.

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Click “Web & App Activity,” and then choose “Manage Activity.”

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Press the “Choose to delete automatically” button.

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Select either “Keep for 18 months” or “Keep for 3 months” depending on your preference. Activity data will be deleted after that time period.

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

To do this on your Android phone, start by launching the Settings app and choosing “Google.”

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Then tap the “Google Account” option.

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Select “Data & personalization.”

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

Choose “Web & App Activity.”

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Select “Manage activity.”

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

Select “Choose to delete automatically” and pick a time limit of three months or 18 months.

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

If you’re an iPhone user, launch the Gmail app and tap “Settings” option in the main menu. This menu can be accessed by tapping the symbol that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of one another in the top left corner.

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Tap your email address at the top of the screen.

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Select “Manage your Google account.”

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

Select “Data & personalization” and follow the same steps described in slides nine through 11.

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Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider