You might not know this, but out of the box, Android retains your search history, which means anyone who gains access to your phone can view what you’ve searched for. This might not be an issue for you, but for some it is. Google uses this search history to better personalize your experience across the platform. For certain user types, this is a deal-breaker.
You might not also know, but you can configure Android to auto-delete your search history, so it doesn’t remain and Google is less able to use it to enhance your Android experience. For those serious about their privacy, not having to worry about search histories can be a big relief.
I want to show you how to configure Android to automatically delete your search history. It’s a very simple task that could gain you a certain peace of mind that your mobile search results cannot be used by Google or a third party.
SEE: Electronic communication policy (TechRepublic Premium)
What you’ll need
The only thing you’ll need to take care of this is an updated Android device connected to your Google account. That’s it. Let’s configure.
How to set search history to auto-delete on Android
The tricky part of this is knowing where to start because it’s not located where you might think.
From your Android home screen, tap the G in the search bar. In the resulting window (Figure A), tap the G in the upper left corner.
Here’s another hurdle. Tapping that first G might open Google Assistant (depending on how you have your device configured). If that’s the case, then open the App Drawer and tap on the Google launcher. Either way, in the resulting screen, tap your profile image in the upper right corner and, when prompted, tap Search history (Figure B).
Tap Auto-delete (Figure C).
In the resulting screen (Figure D), tap to enable Auto-delete activity older than and then, from the drop-down, select between 3, 18, or 36 months.
Tap Next and review the new settings. If you’re OK with what you see, tap Confirm (Figure E).
Remember this one caveat: Once you’ve deleted search entries, you cannot get them back. Because of this, you should consider your options wisely. If you depend on those search entries, you might not want to delete them. If, however, you want that history cleared, regardless, then this option is a great route to take.
Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.