How To Remove Your YouTube Viewing And Search History

On March 1, Google will implement its new, unified privacy policy, which will affect data Google has collected on you prior to March 1 as well as data it collects on you in the future.

Earlier this week, we showed you how to delete your Google Web History in order to prevent Google from combining your Web History data with the data it has about you on its other products to provide you with personalised ads or suggestions across all of its products. You may also wish to delete your YouTube Viewing and Search History, which can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion and health concerns.

Note that disabling Viewing and Search History in your YouTube account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes. It also does not change the fact that any information gathered and stored by Google could be sought by law enforcement.

With Viewing and Search History enabled, Google will keep these records indefinitely; with it disabled, they will be partially anonymised after 18 months, and certain kinds of uses, including sending you customised search results, will be prevented. An individual concerned about privacy may also want to set up a secondary Google account for browsing and sharing YouTube videos. She could then download all of her existing YouTube videos to her computer, delete them from her primary Google profile, and then use a separate browser to upload them to a new secondary Google account. If you want to do more to reduce the records Google keeps, the advice in EFF's Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy white paper remains relevant.

The following steps will delete your viewing and search history on YouTube. If you have multiple YouTube accounts, you will have to complete these steps for each account.

1. Log in to your Google account.

2. Go to https://www.youtube.com

3. Click on your icon.

4. Click "Video Manager"

5. Click "History"

6. Click "Clear all viewing history"

7. Click "Pause viewing history"

8. Click "Search History"

9. Click "Clear all search history"

10. Click "Pause search history"

If you have multiple YouTube accounts, you will have to complete these steps for each account.

Republished with permission from Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Comments

    I had no recorded history in either youtube or google. Probably helps that I never "sign in" to google anyway.

    Interesting, I have no "clear all viewing history" button for both history/search history tabs.

    It'll probably be easier to remove your history After the change.
    And no word yet on how Microsoft, Apple and a slew of other companies collect and store your data and how to disable that. I suppose that's just not as currently newsworthy or alarmist right now.
    Ironically, it's probably easier to find out about this and disable it on Google precisely because they're more open and honest about it.

      It's useful info at the right time. There's no alarmist nature to the tone in this story, just cold hard facts should you wish to do something (or simply be informed and choose to do absolutely nothing). But yeah, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (who Giz worked with on this piece) is just trolling you. Or should that be you trolling us?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now