Google just launched a new feature that could be your dream come true..or a living nightmare. You can now view and download your entire Google search history so you can see everything you’ve ever searched for on Google, from the very first time you Googled something.
The good news is that you can keep this information for reference or you can delete it so your search history is erased. Your choice.
You may think of this information as a treasure trove of data that will be very helpful to you. If you’ve ever tried to remember what you searched for before that led you to the perfect website, then having your entire search history available to you might be a bonanza.
But if you’d prefer for your record of Google searches to be erased, then now is a good time to do that. Perhaps you’re logged into your Google account on your work computer and you’ve been searching: “How to get a new job when you have the worst boss ever.”
Bad idea. Now may be your opportunity to purge your search history so no one can log into your Google account and see what you’ve been searching for.
How to Find Your Google Search History
You can find your entire Google search history from now back to the beginning of time. Or back to when you first got a Google account. Whichever came first.
To view your Google Search history go to Google Search History Help Page and follow the steps:
1. Visit your Web Apps and Activities page (link in the Google Search History Help Page above). You’ll be asked to log into your Google account. If you’ve set up 2-step verification for your password, you’ll be asked to review the settings.
2. After you’ve verified your password and 2-step verification settings you’re taken to a page that shows your entire search history on Google.
What Your Google Search History Shows You
Your Google Search history page shows you terms you searched for on Google in chronological order as well as data about your searching habits. Google shows you both the terms you searched for and the websites you visited using those search results.
Your Search Trends
Google also shows you your search habits with Trends. You can see which hours of the day and which days of the week are your busiest on Google search. You can also see which days of the current month you’ve been most active on Google search.
Google also shows you exactly how many searches you’ve done. I’m at 15,561 searches but I’m pretty sure that number will go up before I finish writing this article.
Click on Show More Trends to see information such as:
- Top websites you’ve visited from Google search
- Top terms you’ve searched
- Top links you’ve clicked on
- Monthly search activity
What Your Search History Doesn’t Show You
If you use other search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, etc. your search terms won’t show up in your Google Search history. Also if you search on Google when you’re not logged into your Google account your search terms won’t show up in your history.
How to Delete Your Search History
To remove items from your search history you’d rather forget about or never, ever want another human being to see, click on Remove Items at the top of your search history or click the gear icon and choose Remove Items.
You don’t have to erase your entire search history (that might look suspicious?), you can choose to remove recent searches.
Remember, this is the Internet so don’t assume that by removing items you’re totally in the clear. Hey, you never know who’s watching, right?
Google Search Results After Deleting Your Search History
Note that Google learns about you from your search history and tries to tailor your search results accordingly. If you delete your entire search history Google’s results may not be as accurate for you in the future.
To get an idea of what your search results would be like without your search history, log out of Google then search for something using Google. Compare those results with your search for the same term when you’re logged into Google.
⇒ Check out, How to Find Out What Google Knows About You
How to Download Your Search History
If you want to keep a record of your search history, you can download it from Google. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of your screen and choose Download.
Google seems to understand the importance of this information because it provides you with this warning message before you can begin the download process:
Confirm that you’re ready to go and Google will begin preparing your archive of your search history. Google will send you an email when the download is ready. My file of searches (up to 15,562 as of this writing) was ready in under a minute.
You’re sent an email from Google Web History with a link to where your download file is in your Google Drive account. Click on the View In Drive link in the message to go to your Google Drive account and find the file.
Your history is in a .zip file you can download by clicking the down arrow at the top of the screen. When you unzip the file you will see that the information is in a JSON file, which is quite a bit more complex than reading a text file.
Have you checked out your Google Search History? Are you willing to share with us how many searches you’ve done on Google? How do you feel about viewing and downloading your Google search history? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.