Chromecast History: Who Can See It and How to Delete It

"History" depends on what you're talking about

What to Know

  • Chromecast doesn’t track what you’ve previously watched.
  • What's currently playing is visible to other devices on your network.
  • Use Chrome incognito and a guest network to hide all history.

This article explains how Chromecast history works, whether someone can see what you were watching after you’re done, or if other devices can see what you’re currently watching. We also cover how to keep your Chromecast watch history as private as possible.

Can You See History on Chromecast?

The Chromecast itself doesn’t store a historical log or record of what’s been played on the device. Simply put: There isn’t a menu you can look through to see viewing history on Chromecast.

There’s no need to worry someone can see what you were doing on the Chromecast after you're done using it. For example, if you’re casting a video from the Chrome browser to your bedroom TV, and then shut off the video and disconnect it from the Chromecast, someone who uses the Chromecast after you won’t be able to see what you were watching. 

However, it’s important to remember that depending on the device you used to do the casting, the history might be available on that device. If someone goes through your computer and looks through the Chrome history (assuming it hasn’t been cleared), it’s abundantly clear which website you were visiting when you did the casting. There are some tips below for fixing that.

Does Chromecast Track What You Cast?

While your history isn’t logged on the Chromecast, what you’re currently watching can be viewed by any other device on your network.  This is a feature of the Chromecast since it's meant to be used by everyone in the room to share control of media playback.

Say you’re streaming to your TV a song from SoundCloud or a video from YouTube. If a phone connected to that same Wi-Fi network opens their Home app and taps the Chromecast, they’ll see the title of the stream. This is true for other apps and sites that have a cast button, too.

Chromecast displaying a SoundCloud song

Chrome on a computer will sometimes show the name of the stream if the cast button is selected. It will say YouTube if you’re on that site, Vudu if you’re streaming movies from there, etc.

YouTube listed as Chromecast stream in Chrome

This isn't always true. With SoundCloud as an example, it shows the title in the Home app, while Chrome's cast button just indicates that something is playing, but shows no detail.

Can You Use Chromecast in Incognito?

If you want to hide what you’re watching on Chromecast, you can use Chrome's incognito mode. Either that or clear your Chrome history when you’re finished. Either will prevent someone from seeing what you’ve watched in the past.

Another way to mask what you’re watching on Chromecast is to cast your whole screen. Doing this doesn’t display to other devices what, specifically, you’re doing, but just that you’re using the Chromecast. On their device, they’ll see Now playing versus Not playing. Or, if you’re casting your phone screen, the Chrome web browser will say Screen Mirroring but, again, won’t reveal what’s actually on your screen.

How to Remove Other Devices From Chromecast

Something else you can do to go incognito but still use your Chromecast is to create a guest wireless network and share that password with friends, roommates, family, etc. If the Chromecast remains only on your primary network (not the guest one), but only you know the password, then only you can connect to it. It's akin to your neighbor having a Chromecast that you can't use.

Not all routers support guest networks and some that do limit how devices can interact with each other. But if yours is compatible, it's the easiest way to remove other devices from your Chromecast while still letting people use your connection to the internet.

You can also do the opposite and move the Chromecast to your guest network. This is preferred if you already have lots of devices connected to the primary network and you want to avoid the hassle of having everyone change their password.

It's easy to do:

  1. Remove the Chromecast from the primary network.

  2. Log in to the guest network and add the Chromecast back in there. When you want to cast something, just switch over to the guest network.

    Chromecast remove this device and guest home settings
  3. Make sure Guest Mode is turned off so that people without the Wi-Fi password can't use it.

If you're having trouble adding the Chromecast to the guest network because it's still tied into the first network, reset the Chromecast so it appears like a brand-new device, and then start at step 2 above.

FAQ
  • How do I check my Chromecast data usage?

    There isn't a feature in the Google Home app that lets you view Chromecast data usage, but users realize that streaming video is heavily data intensive. However, many people don't know that when a Chromecast is idle, it's still using data, eating up 15 GB of data per month because it's stirring up background images and screensavers. To minimize data usage when idle, consider unplugging the Chromecast when you're not using it.

  • How do I connect Chromecast to Wi-Fi?

    To connect a Chromecast to your Wi-Fi network, plug it into your TV's HDMI port, then download, install, and open the Google Home app on your iOS or Android device. (Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.) Your Chromecast will appear as a device in the Google Home app; follow the prompts to complete setup, and your Chromecast will be connected to your Wi-Fi network.

  • How do I use a Chromecast without Wi-Fi?

    To use a Chromecast without Wi-Fi, try a workaround that lets you set up a local Wi-Fi network using a travel router. At home, set up the travel router, assigning it a network name and password. Plug in the travel router at a new location, and it will establish a network. Even without the internet, you'll be able to connect your Chromecast over the newly established network. Another option if you have a MacBook: Download Connectify Hotspot and follow the prompts to set it up. Set up a hotspot name and password and select the device you want to cast to the network. You should then be able to stream locally stored content to the television.

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