How to Auto Delete Google Activity

Automatically remove Android Location History and other Web & App data

Smartphone showing delete option

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Tired of Google remembering everything you do on your phone for who knows how long? You can automatically delete your Location History and other Web & App Activity at designated intervals so the search giant can’t keep and use your information forever.

You have three choices. You can choose to automatically have your data:

  • Removed after 3 months
  • Removed after 18 months
  • Deleted manually at your discretion

If you decide you don't want to automatically delete your information, you can also remove the automated setting and reset your phone back to the default setting.

The instructions for all these options are shown below.

These instructions apply to Android phones using Android Oreo (Android 8.0) or higher. Instructions were tested on phones using Android 8 (Oreo) and Android 9 (Pie).

What's Google Account History?

On your Android smartphone, there is a setting called Google Account. It stores all kinds of information about you, including security, location, and personalization details. This setting is also where you will find services or options like payments and subscriptions or contacts.

In the Data & Personalization section of Account History, you'll find the controls that monitor the web sites you visit, the apps you use, and the places you go. This is where you will find the options to automatically delete your activities so Google can't hold them indefinitely.

How to Set Up Auto Delete For Google Web Activity

Setting up the Auto Delete feature will save your activity on all Google sites and apps, including your location history. To change your settings, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Google. This might also display as Google Settings.

  3. Tap Google Account.

  4. Tap Data & Personalization.

  5. Tap Web & App Activity.

  6. Tap Manage Activity.

    Screenshot of the locations for Web & Activity and Manage Activity on Android.
  7. Tap Choose to delete automatically.

    Screenshot of how to choose to delete Web & App activity automatically.

    If you have already set up the Auto Delete option, this will appear instead as Choose how long to keep.

  8. Select the option you prefer. You can choose from Keep until I delete manually (this is the default option), Keep for 18 months, or Keep for 3 months.

    The options for how long to keep Google Web & App Activity.
  9. Tap Next.

  10. Tap Confirm.

  11. Tap Got It.

Google already lets you disable tracking of your location and erase your location history or even remove Google Assistant voice recordings.

Remove Auto Delete From Google Web & Apps Activity

If you no longer want to use the Auto Delete feature, follow the above steps again. When you have the option to select from the three options (3 months, 18 months or manual), select Keep until I delete manually. Continue the steps to confirm and complete the removal.

How to Change Your Auto Delete Selection

If you want to change the Auto Delete option you selected, follow the above steps again. When you have the option to select from the three options (3 months, 18 months or manual), select the new option you want. Continue the steps to confirm and complete the new selection.

How Long Should I Keep My Web Activity Or Location History?

That's a completely personal decision and here's why: Google knows a lot about you and it learns every time you ask it for information. Ask Google Assistant for helping finding a restaurant, for instance, and select a suggestion off the map Google provides. You’ve now just shown Google the type of answer you want it to provide the next time you ask for help.

By combining artificial intelligence to think like you as much as possible while retaining your requests and recording your responses every time you use a Google app or site, Google gets better and better at what it does and how it works for you.

However, there is no guidance from Google concerning exactly how long it needs to gather your information to provide effective recommendations. If you set your auto-delete limit at 3 months, for example, and start seeing searches or recommendations that aren’t as good as they used to be, you can always change things up and select 18 months instead to see if holding information longer makes any difference in your Google results.