How to Delete Your YouTube Search History

How to Find and Delete Your YouTube Search History

Find and delete everything you ever searched for on YouTube. All of your YouTube searches are saved in your Google account. Want to see it? Head over to your Google account You’ll find that your YouTube search history as well as what device the search was carried out on are all stored under your login. It is easy to see when you know where to look.

Yesterday we discussed how Google is recording your voice and saving it to your Google account. The listening potion is done with user permission, but the not everyone is aware that their voice recordings files are being stored online and are accessible through their Chrome Browser with a logged in Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Maps or other.) It is secure unless there is a security breach. Google was outed by a Wall Street Journal report just a few days ago. It was reported that Google+ user data was accessible to API connected apps thanks to a programming bug.

Your activity on YouTube is also monitored and stored under your Google login. That data is used to suggest videos for you to watch next. It is also used to serve up advertisements on the platform and across all Google products. Like my Google voice recordings, my saved YouTube search history goes back years. It also contains what device I used for the search – see the screenshot below for one of my many searches.

YouTube Search History
Your YouTube search history helps Google give you more personalized experiences across Google services. For example, you can get faster searches and improved recommendations.

Advertisers can access anonymized, aggregated user data to determine who would be the most receptive to their advertisements. For example, if you watched a series of videos about a tropical destination, you may be preparing to go on a holiday. An example of an appropriate advertisement would be for an excursion in the area. An advert related to something that you were just looking at on YouTube or on a third-party website creeps out a lot of people!

Some are bothered by the invasion of privacy and don’t want to see the targeted adverts. There are also legitimate data privacy concerns about Google recording and storing personal data and behaviors under an account which could be hacked. Google Gmail was the focus of a phishing scam earlier this year when a Google Docs sam spread across the system.

If you go to your Google account and look under privacy settings, these data about you resides in the same area where location tracking stored (and shut off.) This is also the Google privacy section where voice recording can be deleted. If you want to delete your YouTube search history, you will have to delete the searches one-by-one. It’s no easier on the YouTube app unfortunately. Note that finding and deleting everything you ever searched for on YouTube is NOT the same as deleting everything you ever watched. If you want to really purge your web activities, you’ll have to wipe out browser history as well – but that’s another topic. If you want to be private, try going to Chrome Incognito mode.

How Can I Delete My YouTube Search History?

You must be logged into your Google account via Gmail login, YouTube, maps or other Google service. Those who use the YouTube app can also go to their privacy settings, but that will simply lead you to a web page where all Google privacy settings can be adjusted.

  1. Go to the Privacy Policy section of your Google account https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en#infochoices This is also where you go to shut off your Google location tracking
  2. Scroll down to the Managing, reviewing, and updating your information section and select Activity Controls
    https://myaccount.google.com/activitycontrols
  3. Scroll down to YouTube Search History
  4. Take some time to browse your history
  5. To delete everything you will have to go through them one-by-one

Michelle writes about cyber security as well as how to protect your data online. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She conducts workshops focused on web technologies and enjoys public speaking along with her connected rescue mutt.