Google Privacy Count Down – How to remove your Google web search and YouTube histories

A while back Google announced that it would be combining all of the data from various accounts into one place for purposes of making its privacy policy easier. I have no idea whether its privacy policy will be easier, but putting all of the data from various accounts into one place is a bit scary. As a result, not too surprisingly, a lot of people want to delete the data before Google puts it into once place.

Google, to its credit, has put warnings all over the place. The deadline for preventing the combining of your data is March 1. I am writing this on February 28, so if you want to delete your data, you had best get busy.

Now, assuming you don’t plan on completely opting out of Google, which is what you would need to delete all of your data and avoid consolidation, there isn’t actually all that much you can, or should do. But there are two areas of concern that you can address.

The first involves whether you ever turned on Google’s Web History. Web History was always put forth as this great tool by Google. In essence, what it does is, whenever you search anything, it stores a record for you in your Google account. This is assuming you are logged into Google when you are searching. I always told people to turn this off from day one, because the idea of it just terrified me. So I have never had this information saved. But it would be very easy to turn it on by accident and you might not even know it is on. If you aren’t sure, check.

The second involves your YouTube account. This one actually slipped past me. Google keeps a history of the videos you watch as well as the searches you conduct on YouTube.  Unlike Web History, this one is actually automatic, so unless you affirmatively turned it off at some point, it is on.

Google Web History

Begin by making sure you are logged into your Google account.  If you have more than one account, you will need to repeat this process for each one.

Go to https://www.google.com/history/ which will take you directly to your web history settings. The page will look something like this.

If your web history is on, instead of seeing what you see on mine “Your search history is currently empty,” you will see your search history. Click on Remove all Web History.  Go through the confirmation steps. Google should also tell you that Web History is paused once the deletion is complete. If it doesn’t, click on the pause option.

YouTube History

As with Web history, you will need to take care of the YouTube history for each account you have. The simplest way to begin is to log into the appropriate account through Google and then go to YouTube. Once you get to your account, click on your account name on the far right. In this case CurtisandRami. Then click on Video Manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the left side you will see a list of options, as shown below. Your focus is two items; History and Search History. The steps are similar for each item.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Click on History
  2. Click on Clear all viewing history
  3. Confirm
  4. Click on History
  5. Click pause search history

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearing the Search History is much the same.

  1. Click on Search History
  2. Click on clear all history
  3. Confirm
  4. Click on Search History
  5. Click on pause

 

That’s it.  You are all done.

 

 

 

 

 

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