Google just made it easier to delete your search history: Here's how

Key Points
  • Google is making it easier for users to delete their search history. 
  • Now, users will have the option to erase past queries without leaving search. Previously they had to visit their account landing page.
  • This update comes after a handful of recent data privacy scandals. 
Vicky Kotzé | Getty Images

Google is making it easier for users to delete their search history.

Previously, users had to visit their Google account landing page to see and erase past queries, but now it's possible to do from within search itself.

Tapping the three lines on the left side of any Google search will call up a "Your data in Search" option. From there, Google shows recent queries and provides deletion options.

This new functionality launches on desktop and mobile web on Wednesday, and in the Google app for iOS and Android in several weeks. It will appear in Google Maps next year.

Google's update follows a handful of recent data privacy scandals.

In August, The Associated Press revealed that Google was still storing time-stamped location data even when a user paused their "Location History." In late September, the company backtracked on changes to its Google Chrome browser that would automatically sign a user in if they wanted to use any other Google service, like Gmail. Most recently, Google discovered a software bug that gave developers access to the private profile data of Google+ users. It subsequently shut the social network down.

Google's new "Your data in Search" menu will also let users adjust their ad settings and activity controls to decide what information Google saves to their account.

While Google doesn't "sell" users' data, it does use it to tailor advertising across its different services like search, Maps and YouTube, and on other websites that use its ad platforms.

"Having access to relevant and actionable privacy controls directly from the Google products you use every day is just one way that we are continuously working to build privacy that works for everyone," the company wrote of Wednesday's update.

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