TIME How-To

How to Erase Everything You’ve Said to Google

Google Scrubbing Search Results
Jens Meyer—AP Exhibitors of the Google company work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany on April 17, 2007.

Google sometimes saves recordings of voice searches. Here's how to delete them

Google is an indispensable tool for getting information. That means we’ve all asked it the occasional embarrassing question. If you’re curious about what you’ve told Google recently — or you want to delete a search that you’d rather not recall — there’s a simple way to do it.

When you perform a voice search on an Android smartphone by saying a trigger phrase like “OK Google” or tapping the microphone icon, Google sometimes saves a recording of your query. While that might sound off-putting, you’ve probably benefitted from Google doing so. Saving these questions enables the service to make smarter and more relevant suggestions as you search.

Google only stores these recordings if you’re signed into your Google account and have the Voice & Audio Activity setting turned on. It can only store recordings of searches performed on Android devices, but support for other platforms like iOS is coming soon.
Here’s how to see and manage your list of Google voice searches:
  1. Navigate to Google’s Voice & Audio Activity page.
  2. Log in to your Google account if you haven’t done so already.
  3. Once you’re logged in, you should see a list of voice actions you’ve performed and the date they were recorded. To delete an item, check the box next to the search you’d like to erase.
  4. Then press or click the the Delete button at the top of the page.

You can also delete items in bulk or from a specific date:

  1. Start by pressing the menu button that looks like three dots stacked on top of one another in the upper righthand corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Delete options” from the drop down menu.
  3. Choose if you’d like to delete all searches from today or yesterday by clicking or tapping the appropriate bubble. If you want to erase previous searches, you can select the “Advanced” bubble to get rid of searches from the past four weeks, or your complete search history.
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