Google is finally releasing a “delete history” feature, which will wipe out the last 15 minutes of search queries, for the Android Google Search app. “Delete history” was announced at Google I/O 2021 in May and made it to the iOS app two months later, but for some reason, it took almost a year to come to Android. It’s finally rolling out now, though, according to a statement Google gave to The Verge over the weekend.
If you want to wipe out the last few minutes of your search history, open the Google Search app via the app icon (other entry points, like the search bar widget, won’t bring up the right UI), tap on your profile picture in the top right and you should see a new “delete last 15 minutes” option at the top of the pop-up menu. If you don’t see the setting yet, try swiping the app away in recent apps and opening it again, which will load the newest configuration from the cloud.
Wiping out your search history is sort of like wiping out browser history, but Google stores search history to your account in the cloud. As the app explains, Google Search history tracks “the things you search for, results you click, and stories you read” while using the Google app or Google.com. Google also captures your location, plus audio recordings if you run a voice search. The search terms are used to show more relevant ads, of course, but also for future search predictions and to display content in Google Discover.
The control for search history is under the “Web & App Activity” feature. In the app, you can control this setting by tapping on the “search history” button just above the new “delete last 15 minutes” option, or you can head to myactivity.google.com in a browser. Web & App Activity can be turned off completely, or you can set the system to “auto-delete” your data older than three, 18, or 36 months.
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