- YouTube has over 2.5 billion active users. Hundreds of hours of content is being uploaded to the platform every minute.
- The streaming giant saves a lot of user data to serve personalized ads and videos. Therefore, users need to be privacy-conscious.
- YouTube saves several aspects of user activity like comments, watch history and search history.
- This guide will show you how to view and delete YouTube search history so that you can manage your privacy.
YouTube is one of the largest video streaming websites. About 500 hours of content are uploaded to the streaming giant every minute. Unlike Netflix and other streaming giants, YouTube is run by independent content creators. As a result, search and discovery are essential parts of YouTube.
Therefore, YouTube stores a viewer’s activity on the platform to curate personalized content. YouTube tracks and stores components of user activity such as comments, search history and watch history. Users can manage this data to protect their privacy, as they can view and delete YouTube search history and watch history.
Search history is useful because it stores previous searches that the user can use for future reference. However, some might consider this an invasion of privacy. Therefore, users have the option to delete their YouTube search history. If you’re too paranoid, you can set your history to be deleted automatically or stop your search history altogether. These tools are built into the YouTube app and website.
Please note that disabling your YouTube search history may affect your recommendations. In this guide, you’ll learn how to view and clear your YouTube search history in the YouTube app and on the website.
Table of Contents
How To View and Delete YouTube Search History
By tapping on the search bar, you can take a look at your recent search history. However, you’ll need to access Google’s My Activity page for a more detailed look. You can filter your YouTube search history by date and search terms. To view your YouTube search history,
1. Go to Google’s MyActivity page.
2. Click YouTube History.
3. Select Manage History.
4. You can view your detailed YouTube search history here. Use the calendar and search options to enhance your search.
You can find the option to delete YouTube search history on the same page. Click on the blue DELETE button > Delete all time to delete your search history completely.
How to Delete YouTube Search History using the YouTube Android app
YouTube allows users to delete their search history via their Android app. The process is simple and easy to follow.
1. Log in to your Google account.
2. Click on your profile icon.
3. Go to Settings.
4. Select History and privacy.
5. Click Clear Watch History.
6. Select CLEAR WATCH HISTORY.
These steps will help you to view and delete YouTube search history using YouTube’s Android app.
How to Auto-Delete YouTube Search History?
Manually deleting search history can get frustrating. To combat this issue, YouTube provides an auto-delete option. Users can use this feature to set up a system where their YouTube history will get automatically cleared periodically.
Caution: Besides search history, your watch history would also be auto-deleted.
Here’s how to set up auto-delete for YouTube search history,
1. Head to Google’s MyActivity page.
2. Click YouTube History.
3. Go to the auto-delete section and click the Choose an auto-delete option.
4. Click the first radio button.
5. Click the drop-down box to select how often you want your history cleared.
6. Select Next.
7. Click Confirm.
8. Click OK.
How to Pause YouTube Search History
You can completely shut search history if you are extra cautious about privacy. You can do this by pausing your search history. YouTube won’t save your searched terms after this feature is enabled. This setting is available on both Android and web clients.
How to Pause YouTube watch History on Android
1. Select your profile bubble.
2. Go to Settings.
3. Select History and privacy.
4. Click on the Pause search history button.
5. Click on PAUSE.
YouTube won’t record your search history now.
How to Pause YouTube watch History on YouTube Website
1. Go to Google’s MyActivity page.
2. Click on YouTube history.
3. Untick the Include your searches on YouTube box.
4. Click on PAUSE.
5. Click on OK.
Your new searches won’t show up in your search history. However, this may affect your experience, as search suggestions won’t be as accurate as before. This is the tradeoff for privacy.
This guide showed you how to view and clear YouTube search history. These tools should help you protect your online privacy. If you want to avoid YouTube completely, you can use open-source YouTube alternatives like NewPipe. Please let’s know your feedback in the comments section.
FAQs on Managing YouTube Search History
Sometimes, you may want to delete a single search from your history. You can quickly delete it by clicking on the search bar > long press on the search query you want to delete > REMOVE. The REMOVE option is directly available next to the search terms on the website.
Like search history, YouTube also maintains a record of your watch history. Similarly, you can also manage your YouTube watch history. We have covered managing YouTube watch history in a separate guide here.
Sadly, deleting your YouTube search history won't make you invisible to Google's tracking. Google tracks users on various fronts, which include YouTube search history. Google can still collect data from your watch history and keyboard strokes if you use Gboard, among others. Your browser and search engine history can still track you. You can refer to our article to learn how to maximize your privacy from Google.
If you want to delete YouTube search history on Android TV,
- Select your profile picture > Settings
- Select Privacy
- Select Manage search history
- Delete an item by selecting Delete.
- If you want to delete the entire search history, select Clear search history
- You can also search for items you'd like to delete or filter by date range.
If your YouTube search history is not showing, check if you have accidentally enabled the "Pause search history" option in your YouTube settings. This is also applicable to YouTube watch history when "Pause watch history" is enabled.
In order to search YouTube history (both watch history and search history) by date,
- Click on your profile picture > Settings
- Select History and Privacy
- Select Manage all activity
- It opens a new page. Click on the Calendar icon and select the date range to search.
- It will list down all activities (watch history and search history) in that date range.
- You can choose to delete any activity you wish to.