Google Scrubbing Search Results
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. Jens Meyer—AP

How to Erase Everything You've Said to Google

Jan 13, 2016

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.

See Google Doodles Through the Years

google doodle la tomatina
Aug. 26, 2015 For the 70th anniversary of La Tomatina.Google
google doodle la tomatina
Google doodle sally ride
Mar. 20, 2015 To celebrate the start of spring and the vernal equinox, Google created a stop-motion animation of flowers in bloom.
Nov. 12, 2014 For the landing of the Philae lander, the first spacecraft on a moving comet, Google created a gyrating lander with passing stars.
Sept. 9, 2014 For Tolstoy's 186th birthday the Google Doodle team created an appropriately long doodle, with a click-through doodle.
May 4 2014 For the Audrey Hepburn doodle the doodle team adapted an image from a 1956 black and white photograph taken by Yousuf Karsh.
June 9, 2011 The doodlers came up with the idea of a playable logo, then pegged it to guitar innovator Les Paul's 96th birthday. Turning on composer mode allows you to create songs that you can share online.
March 24, 2011 The Harry Houdini doodle was created in the style of the old posters advertising the death-defying magician.
Nov. 25, 2010 Chef Ina Garten prepared this Thanksgiving feast, which Google photographed. If you clicked on a dish, her recipe appeared.
May 7, 2010 Google asked the San Francisco Ballet to pose and twirl to re-create Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
Oct. 7, 2009 Scan the doodle that marks the first patent for the bar code and you'll decode Google embedded within.
March 2, 2009 The doodlers arranged classic Dr. Seuss characters, like the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch, to form the logo's letters.
Jan. 28, 2009 There was no other way to honor abstract artist Jackson Pollack than with a chaotic drip painting.
Jan. 19, 2009 Guest artist Shepard Fairey (famed for his Obama HOPE poster) did a sketch for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Jan. 28, 2008 Early on, Google used Lego blocks as casing for hard disks. Later it feted Lego's 50th anniversary.
April 22, 2007 A melting iceberg for Earth Day is one of many eco-minded doodles the team has created.
Jan. 4, 2006 Enter the world of out-there doodles — Google in braille. Only problem: you can't feel it.
March 30, 2005 The Van Gogh doodle appeared in an era when doodles began to get more ambitious, and it's one of the doodlers' best interpretations of a specific painter.
Aug. 13, 2003 Early doodles of famous folk tended to be simple, like this silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock.
March 14, 2003 The early doodles were often simple but playful, like this mustachioed drawing of Albert Einstein to celebrate his birthday.
Nov. 14, 2001 Google's first doodler, Dennis Hwang, gave the logo an Impressionist look for Claude Monet's birthday.
Aug. 30, 1998 When employees left for the Burning Man festival, the Google logo became a cryptic BE BACK LATER sign. "There was no master plan for doodles at that point," says doodler-in-chief Ryan Germick.
Aug. 26, 2015 For the 70th anniversary of La Tomatina.
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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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