How to Get Rid of Google History and Everything They Know About You
We all have this great image of Google being one of the largest companies in the digital world. But have you ever wondered how they got there? By spying on you. Yes, you read it right. Google spies on you, every day and every second that you turn on your computer or smartphone. No matter what smartphone you wanted to buy, which coworker you got into an argument with or who you hooked up with last night, Google knows about it.
It’s all about Google History, now known as Google Activity since it monitors all of your searches and stores them into their database. This has been going on since 2005, so imagine just how much information Google has about you.
In this post, we will give you all the steps you need to delete Google history for the purpose of improving your privacy online and helping you browse the web and search for whatever you want without being followed by anyone.
You have the right to privacy online
The people from NordVPN believe that everyone has the right to privacy when browsing the web. Google shouldn’t be allowed to track what you are doing online, at least not without people knowing about it and giving their permission.
Sadly, this is exactly what has happened and Google Activity has been tracking users since 2005 with most of them not even knowing about it. Google Activity has information on every link that you have clicked on, every image you have opened and every URL address you have typed in. With all this data, Google creates profiles on their users where the company lists information such as people’s gender, language, age and things that interest them. With all of this information, Google filters ads and search results. Although some might say that this is a great business move and that this is actually helpful, it is also a huge invasion of privacy. If you want to put an end to this, here is what you can do.
Backing up your information before deleting it
Similarly to how they started tracking people, Google also quietly added a feature in 2015 where users can download their Google data if they want. In case you want to have this data for any reason and go through it, you might want to download it before you delete all of it.
This feature is called “Takeout” and through it, you can download data from Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Chrome, Calendar, Gmail, and others. Simply type in Google Takeout and when you get on the site click on “Download your data”.
The process is as simple as selecting all the data that you would like to get. By default, all the data will be selected and then you simply click “Next”. On the next page, you’ll be able to choose the format type for the archive of your data. Once you’ve done that, go through it and then wait until all of it has been archived. When it’s ready, click “Download archive”.
Deleting Google activity
These steps explain how you can delete the entire Google activity you’ve had including ads and video searches. Search “My Activity” and then click on the “⋮” symbol where you will see the “Delete activity by” option. After clicking on it, choose the data to be displayed as “all time” and also choose “all products” in the drop-down menu below.
After you’ve done this, click on delete. Once this is done, you will get a message from Google notifying you that you will lose valuable services, simply ignore it and click “OK”. This should do the trick and all your Google history should be deleted. To make sure that this has happened, go to “My activity” once again where it should now say something like “there is no activity”.
How to prevent Google from monitoring your activity in the future
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t give its users the option to disable activity logging. The best you can do is to “pause” Google from doing this for a certain period of time. If you don’t want to delete your Google accounts and all the other profiles that are connected to Google, this is the only option remaining.
Search for “Activity controls” and click on the first result. One of the first things you will see is a button that says “Web & App Activity”. Click on the switch to turn it off. You will then be asked whether you want to pause web & app activity. Proceed by clicking “Yes”.
After doing this, your activity monitoring should be paused but just to make sure that it has, look at the button which should be located on the left side. Additionally, the screen should also be saying that this activity is paused. To do this for all the activity logging throughout Google’s services and apps, simply find all the buttons for different things and pause them all in a similar fashion.
Deleting your Google account for good
The only real way you can make sure that Google never ever tries to get your personal information is to simply delete your Google account permanently. Luckily, it’s much easier to delete it than to get it. Simply go to account settings and in the menu located on the left, you will see the account overview. Click on that option.
There you will see “Services” under which you’ll find “Close Entire Account and Delete All services and Info Associated With It”. By clicking only on the link above, you will delete Google+ and the features associated with it. After doing this, you will be asked to input your password and Google will then check for any bills you potentially didn’t pay for.
Simply check all boxes and everything will be deleted. Once you’ve done that, simply click on “Delete Google Account” and the process will follow through. You will then be informed that your account has been deleted.
This is how you will ensure that none of your private information is being monitored online. Simply avoid creating a new Google Account and you can enjoy your freedom.