Tech Guide

How to stop Google from tracking everything you do online

Key Points
  • Google has new tools that let you easily turn off everything it logs about you.
  • You can turn off location history, Google Search results, YouTube Search logs and more.
  • Keep in mind this changes how Google personalizes for you, however, so some people may want to leave this on for convenience.

Google launched a new page that makes it easier for users to stop it from tracking everything you do online. (It knows a lot of what you do. Check out our guide that shows how to download everything Google knows about you for some insight.)

The changes are part of Google's effort to meet new European General Data Protection Regulations, but anyone in the world can use the tools to stop Google from logging web activity, location history, device information, voice commands sent to Google Assistant, YouTube Search history and more.

It's really easy to do, just keep in mind that turning some of this off might mean that some of Google's services won't be automatically configured to give you the best experience based on what you've done in the past.

If your privacy is more important than convenience, here's how to get Google to stop logging everything you do.

Turn off tracking

  • Visit Google's Activity Tracking page
  • Scroll down the page and turn off tracking for each category by tapping the blue pill-shaped icon on the right side of the page.

You're looking for boxes that look like this:

  • Do this for Web & App Activity, Location History, Device Information, Voice & Audio Activity, YouTube Search History and YouTube Watch History.
  • There's a confirmation box that pops up each time, so click "turn off" to confirm the change.

The blue pill and box will turn grey when it's off, so each box will look like this:

You've now stopped Google from logging much of what you do online. There's one more thing.

Turn off personalized advertisements 

  • Click "Ads" at the bottom of the Activity Controls page.
  • Turn off "Ads Personalization" by tapping the blue pill-shaped icon on the right.

That's it. Now you've disabled Google from logging how you use your devices, where you've been, what you've searched and more.

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