Google probably knows you better than your closest friends and family. With every search you make or YouTube video you watch, the search giant is quietly collecting information for a personalized profile it uses to serve you targeted ads. But a new tool called My Activity makes it easier than ever to see what information Google is stockpiling about you — and delete things you’d rather it forget. Here’s what you need to know about this new tool and how it can help you manage your privacy.
If you don’t want Google remembering that plantar warts search or when you binged watched videos of a cat in a shark costume riding a Roomba, it’s pretty simple to erase. First, you need to find the record you want to delete, which is made easy with the search bar at the top of the page. Once you’ve found the shameful bit of your online past in the timeline, you can open a little menu by clicking on the three vertical dots on the right end of the record. Select the delete option on that menu, and voila — Google will forget it!
You can also delete things in bulk by clicking on the three dot menu at the top of the timeline, choose “Delete activity by” and selecting a date range to erase on the next page. If you want an entirely blank slate, opt for the “All Time” option.