Google will soon let you set a time limit for how long it stores your location and browsing info

Key Points
  • Google will soon automatically delete your location and web history after three or 18 months.
  • This means Google will have some information so that it can recommend things, but not years and years worth of private data.
  • Until now, you've either had to turn off this tracking or manually delete the information.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google on Wednesday announced that it will soon let users automatically delete old location information and web history it has saved on everyone who uses Google services.

Currently, you need to remember to visit Google and delete this information, or turn it off completely. But if you turn off location or web history, that can hurt your experience, as Google might not know enough about you to recommend things you might like.

This sounds like a happy medium, since you can tell Google to delete all information older than a certain age — either three or 18 months — on a rolling basis.

Here's a peek at what it looks like:

Google's tools will soon let you automatically delete web and location history.

Google says users will be able to choose how long location or web history is automatically saved to Google's servers. You'll be able to choose to let Google store your information from three to 18 months, and anything older than that will deleted from your Google account automatically on a rolling basis.

Google said the feature is rolling out over the coming weeks, so you might not see it yet. But you can check your Google account Activity Controls page to see if it's available. When it is, you'll note the new automatic deletion option under the Web & App Activity and Location History sections.

How to find out everything that Google knows about you