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How to Stop Google from Tracking Your Searches

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Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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It’s no longer a secret that Google keeps tabs on every website you visit. So how do you stop Google from tracking your searches? Or even better, how do you stop Google from tracking everything you do on the web? In this article, you’ll learn how to stop Google from tracking your searches even if you’re not signed in.

How to Stop Google from Tracking Your Searches

Google, one of the most popular websites, collects a considerable amount of data about you and all your online activities.

The search engine giant makes billions of dollars annually, and one of its main revenue sources is advertising.

Google should deliver targeted ads to its users to be successful with advertisements. That’s why it’s so important for them to know as much as they can about what you do online.

Delete Google Search History

Here’s how you can check what information Google collects about you, how it uses it, and what you can do to take control of your data.

welcome to my activity google
Google Activity page. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Not too long ago, the company launched a new tool, My Activity, to show how they track your online activities related to your Google account.

Go ahead and use your Gmail account to log in. You’ll be amazed to see how much information the Giant search engine has about you. Don’t worry, we’ll help you protect your privacy.

On your left-hand side, go to My Account, then under “Personal Info and Privacy,” go to “Manage your Google Activity.” Once you’re there, you can decide what data you’re willing to share or not to share with Google.

Before you start turning things on and off, make sure you read and understand the consequences. Google tracks you to make its services more useful to you, so keep in mind it might limit the functionality of some of its products over time.

google activity controls settings
Google activity controls. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Select “Go to Activity Controls,” and you should see all sorts of information Google is collecting from you, like Web & App Activity, Location History, YouTube Search History, YouTube Watch History, Device Information, and Voice and Audio Activity.

When you create your Google Account, all those options are turned on by default. To disable them, toggle off the icon on the right.

You have most likely used Google voice services. Whether it’s its voice search or Google Assistant, Google stores all your voice and audio activities on its server.

google voice and audio activity
Google Voice and Audio Activity. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You’d be surprised that you can listen back to all your voice searches. If that doesn’t sound right, make sure you delete them all and turn them off.

Google Tracks and Records Your Location

It’s hard to imagine someone who owns a smartphone that doesn’t use Google Maps. Whether driving or using public transportation, Google follows and records all the places you visit. It saves a copy in your Google Timeline. Take a look at all the places you’ve been to over time.

google location
Recorded locations on Google Maps. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You can stop Google from storing your location history and delete what it has already stored. To delete your location history, click on the trash can icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

To stop Google from tracking your location in the future, toggle the button to turn off Location History.

Google Maps location history
Google Maps location history. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

If you scroll further down, you can find your Google dashboard, where you can see all the Google services and settings you use in one place.

Take your time to go over every single setting. It is important to know what information Google collects about you and how it uses it.

Google Tracks You Even If You’re Not Signed In

Does Google track my searches if I’m not signed in?

At this point, you might be thinking that if you’re not signed in to your Google account, Google won’t be able to track you.

Yes, Google tracks you even if you’re not signed in. Unlike when you’re logged in, Google may not be able to collect as much personal information when you’re not logged in.

However, a lot of information is available to Google whenever you go online. The giant search engine has direct access to your IP address, geolocation, device ID, server information, etc.

You may also browse and search the web more privately, but using a VPN service is the best way to protect yourself whenever you go online.

turn off google ads personalization
Turn off Google Ads Personalization. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, a good chunk of Google’s revenue comes from advertisements, so make sure to turn off personalized advertisements.

To do that, go to your Activity Controls page, scroll to the bottom and click “Ads” under related settings. Tap on the blue pill-shaped icon on the right to turn off personalized advertisements.

After following all these tips, you may need to use anonymous web browsers if you’re still skeptical about Google tracking your searches.

Our favorites are Tor Browser, Brave BrowserEpic Privacy Browser, and DuckDuckGo. These browsers will help stop your data from being collected by companies such as Google, Facebook, and your ISP.

Delete Google Account

If you have had enough of Google tracking you, you may want to delete your Google account. I won’t blame you, but it’s a hard decision to make. To do that, go to your Dashboard, Account preferences, then Delete your account and services.

If this article helps you stop Google from tracking your searches, please share and/or recommend it, so your friends can benefit from it too.

Founder & Editor

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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4 thoughts on “How to Stop Google from Tracking Your Searches”

  1. The best way to block google from tracking your search history is to use a different search engine. I use DuckDuckGo and I’m very happy with it. I use it on my PC and my phone. Even though I limit my use of google apps on my phone, I do need to use some, at least until I can find replacements for them. I realize that google is still tracking me through those apps,are still tracking me, but I have the location permissions for them set to “only when using the app, or however it’s worded. I also don’t have a gmail account, I sign in with the email address that I used to sign in to YouTube long before google combined them.

    Reply
    • Hey David, Thanks for your input. DuckDuckGo is a promising search engine with a privacy-centric approach. It certainly can help limit how Google tracks you online.

      Reply
  2. You’re outlining methods of deleting personal data in google. Perhaps a better method is not get involved with any google property in the first place. Don’t use their email. Don’t use their search engine. Take them out of your life. It is possible, and reassuring, knowing your privacy is not for sale to the highest bidder. And if you’re the vindictive type hoping to score one for the ‘little guy’, use something like TrackMeNot, to throw as much noise into their data as possible.

    Reply
    • Hi Rick C., Thanks for your input. For some people, it can be hard to stop using Google services. And even if you don’t use Google services at all, Google has many other ways to track you online.

      Reply

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