We perform dozens of daily searches on Google, and we don’t think too much about the fact that they are stored somewhere. And if, God forbid, something were to happen to your Google account, then you would give away access to this sensitive data, as well. And Google doesn’t want that to happen to your account, so it has released the appropriate tools to use.
Go ahead access the new Google History webpage and you will be able to see there your entire search history, download it or choose to remove it. As you can see, you can customize your search to see queries by hour or day, and you can also ‘go back in time’ by clicking on the older button. But that can prove to be a little annoying, so just modify the web address as you can see in the screenshot from below and include the year and month you like.
Besides its utility, this particular feature is actually pretty fun, as well, as it’s curious to see what you were looking for a few years back. If you want, you can remove just a few particular results that you have identified. So, you just need to select the particular search queries you want to have removed and that’s it.
However, there’s also the easier option of removing multiple search queries in a chronological order. Thus, you can choose to remove items from the past hour, day, week, month or since ‘the beginning of time’, as Google puts it. If you choose to download a copy of your data, you will be able to create an archive of your search history data that will only be accessible to you. You will receive an email when the archive is ready to download from Google Drive. Google also warns you about the following:
- Do not download your archive on public computers and ensure your archive is always under your control; your archive contains sensitive data.
- Protect your account and sensitive data with 2-Step Verification; helping keep bad guys out, even if they have your password.
- If you have decided to take your data elsewhere, please research the data export policies of your destination. Otherwise, if you ever want to leave the service, you may have to leave your data behind.
If you’ll go to Settings, you will see that you can choose to include history from Chrome and other apps in your web & app activity dashboard, as well. Furthermore, you can enable the Location History (a private map of where you go with your logged-in devices in order to provide improved map searches, commute routes, and more), information from your devices (contacts, calendars, apps, and other device data), voice searches and commands, videos you search for and you watch on YouTube.
However, what I found especially useful is the option to search through my search history. Maybe it was available and before, but now it’s really easy to use and very helpful for those moments when you can’t see to remember the name of that beer brand you were looking for. The main feature, nonetheless, remains the ability to complete erase your search history, which could be a much needed option for privacy freaks.