As you probably know, Google saves the history things you Search, the Videos you watch or YouTube, and the Places you have visited, to your Google account. And they use this data to improve and personalize your experience across these products.
If you login to your Google account and head over to My Activity, you can see all your activity across Google search, Maps, YouTube, etc., that has been saved.
While this is what provides you with a better experience, there is an obvious concern about your privacy.
If you are concerned about your privacy, you can choose to stop saving your activity history for one or all of the Google products you use from Activity controls, but you will miss out on the better experience part. The other way is to keep it enabled and manually clean up the history every few days which is quite annoying.
So, to get both, Google has added an Auto-delete feature, through which you can schedule to automatically delete any activity older than a selected period of time.
How to Enable Auto-delete for your Google account
You can choose to automatically delete your activity for different types of activities like Web & App activity, Location history, etc.
And you can choose a period of 3 or 18 months for a specific activity type and Google will automatically delete activity of that type older than that period.
To enable Auto-delete for your Google activity:
- Open your Google account Activity controls page and log in to your Google account if you haven’t already. (If you have multiple accounts, make sure to switch to the account you want.)
- Here you can see controls for each activity type. Go to the activity type (Ex. Web & App activity) you want and Click on the Auto-delete option.
- Now, as I mentioned earlier you can select between two options – Auto-delete activity older than 3 months or Auto-delete activity older than 18 months and click on Next.
- Now you will see a confirmation that the undeleted activity that you currently have which is older than the period you selected (say 3 months) will be deleted, besides deleting in the future. Just click on Confirm.
That’s all, Google will automatically keep deleting any activity older than the period you have selected in future.
Needless to say, you can manually delete any activity any time you want as usual.
NOTE: Don’t forget, you have to turn-on Auto-delete option individually for each type of activity like Web activity, YouTube history, etc.
I feel it would have been better if I could choose a shorter period like 15 days or at least 1 month because I personally don’t like my activity lying around for 3 months or more.
Still, I personally love this feature as it still better than completely turning-off the activity or manually deleting it every now and then.
What do you think?