Google might know all your secrets, but your friends and family don’t need to.
Look, we’re not here to judge. The internet is a big place, offering all types of content for all types of people. What you search for, watch, and do on the World Wide Web is between you, your ISP, and Google. However, if you’re not careful, your browsing history could reveal itself to the wrong people in your life.
Sure, snoopers will have a field day if they are somehow allowed to dive through your unedited search history. But it it doesn’t take that much to blow your cover—sometimes, even a single letter keyed into a search field is enough to reveal your past endeavors. Typing a “C” into Google might spit out “Check out the weird shit THIS guy’s into!” if you know what I mean. You could spend the afternoon explaining yourself, or you could delete your browsing history.
For some, deleting browsing history is second-nature when using the internet. Still it’s tedious work: dive into your search history, locate the “Delete” option, choose the length of time to delete for, then return to your browsing to accumulate more evidence to later erase. Google has implemented features to make your life a bit easier, offering an “Auto-delete” option to wipe your history every three, 18, or 36 months.
For many an internet explorer, however, those timeframes simply won’t do. You need the evidence gone, stat. Google hears you (they’re always listening), and has an easy way for you to scrub your footprints from your account.
The fastest way to delete your Google history on iPhone and Android
The feature is called “Delete last 15 min,” and it does exactly what its name suggests: When you choose it, the option will erase the last 15 minutes of browsing history from your Google Account. Google rolled out the feature first on its iOS app last year, but the feature is now available on Android.
To access it, open the Google app on your iPhone or Android, then tap your profile in the top right corner. Under “Search history,” you’ll see the new “Delete last 15 min” option. All you need to do is tap it, and Google will get to work. If, for some reason you have last-minute regrets about your decision, you can tap “Cancel” on the pop-up that appears, but, in all likelihood, you’ll be much better off letting Google erase those 15 minutes.