Most of the time having a Search History is a handy thing – but there are definitely those occasions when it would be prudent to hide or delete what you’ve been looking for, or at.
Google has announced that it’s launching a new privacy feature for search that lets you instantly delete your last 15 minutes of search history on mobile. This handy new facility was revealed alongside other Chrome improvements at I/O 2021.
At present, the ability to delete the last 15 minutes of search history is only available in Google’s iOS app – though it is scheduled to become available for Android users later in 2021.
On a desktop PC, deleting searches is currently limited to setting an auto-delete function for every three, 18, or 36 months (with 18 months being set as the default on new accounts). It has also been possible to delete searches manually. Both features are handy but, in some ways, a little bit ‘clunky’ – and the new 15 minutes rollout is set to quietly but greatly improve the user experience.
The option to instantly delete search history means quick and easy parity with those users who have made the effort to adjust their settings. Deleting very recent search history is a way to get rid of embarrassing or private searches.
For those who wish to go a step further with their search history privacy, Google does also currently offer the option for individual users to password protect search history. This is particularly handy on shared devices. The options is available in the Activity Controls section of the Google Chrome browser.