Deleting activity older than 18 months in your Google account.

Google collects and remembers information about your activity, including your web, search, and location history. Google now auto-deletes history for new users after 18 months, but it will remember history forever if you previously enabled this feature with the default options.

As an existing user, to make Google delete your data after 18 months, you’ll have to go into your activity settings and change this option. You can also tell Google to auto-delete activity after three months or stop activity collection entirely.

To find these options, head to the Activity Controls page and sign in with your Google account if you aren’t already signed in. Click the “Auto-delete” option under Web & App Activity.

Enabling "Auto-delete" for Web & App Activity on a Google account.

Select when you want to delete data—after 18 months or 3 months. Click “Next” and confirm to continue.

Be aware: Google uses this history to personalize your experience, including your web search results and recommendations. Deleting it will make your Google experience less “personalized.”

Auto-deleting activity older than 3 months in a Google account.

Scroll down on the page and repeat this process for other types of data you might want to auto-delete, including Location History and YouTube History.

Auto-delete controls for YouTube History in a Google account.

You can also disable (“pause”) activity history collection by clicking the slider to the right of a type of data. If it’s blue, it’s enabled. If it’s grayed out, it’s disabled.

If the “Auto-delete” option for a type of history data is grayed out, that’s because you’ve paused (disabled) collection of that data.

Disabling Location History for a Google account.

You can also head to the My Activity page and use the “Delete activity by” option in the left sidebar to manually delete various types of data stored in your Google account.

Be sure to repeat this process for each Google account you use.

RELATED: Google is Enabling History Auto-Delete by Default for New Users

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »