How to Clear Google Search Cache on Android (and Why You Should)

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Did you know that your Android device Does Google keep track of your searches? Many sites and services can use that data to personalize ads and other types of recommendations.

For some, that level of personalization makes using the platform easier. But in this modern age, where companies and sites can use that information to build a very particular picture about you and your web usage, that could be considered an invasion of privacy. This can be problematic if you accidentally search for the wrong thing and then find that related ads fall into the “Why am I seeing this?” category. I’ve seen other people go wide-eyed when an ad pops up on their phones that they shouldn’t or didn’t want to see. For those who value privacy, it’s important to regain control over how much of a browser’s search history is saved and when it’s deleted.

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I’ll walk you through the process of manually deleting that search cache and setting Android to automatically delete saved data.

Also: How to clear the cache on your Android phone or tablet

How to manually clear Google search cache

What you will need: To do this, you will need an Android device that is connected to your Google account. I will show you how to do this in a Pixel 6 Pro running Android 14 with the latest security patch applied.

Also: How to enable notification history on your Android

This process should work the same on most modern Android devices. However, if the instructions don’t apply to your device, you may need to do some digging to figure out how to do it on an older version of Android.

Let’s get to work.

From the Android app drawer, open the Google app. In the window that appears, tap your profile picture in the top right corner.

Google App

The Google app running on a Pixel 6 Pro.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

In the resulting menu, tap Search History.

Google App Menu

The Google app menu makes it quick and easy to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Before you can access the Delete drop-down menu, you must verify your identity. To do so, tap the Verify button and you will be asked for your PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint, or face scan (depending on how you have Android set up for the unlock process).

After successful verification, you should see a Delete drop-down menu.

Once you’ve verified that it’s you, the Delete dropdown menu will become available. Select the time period you want to delete (Delete Today, “Delete Custom Range,” “Delete All Time,” or “Auto-Delete”) and Android will empty the cache for that specified range. You won’t be prompted to approve the deletion, it will simply be done. Once deleted, that cache will be gone.

Also: How to clear the cache on your iPhone

From this same window, you can review your history and delete specific searches.

Check button in search history

You must first verify that it is you before continuing.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Auto-delete settings

If you prefer things to be done automatically, Google has made it possible to set your cache to be deleted automatically. To do this, go back to the same place where you performed the manual deletion and tap the Auto-delete (off) entry. In the resulting window, tap to enable Automatically delete activity older than , then from the drop-down menu, select the date range to be deleted.

Enabling automatic deletion

Enable automatic removal so you don’t have to worry about performing the process manually.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

You can choose between three, 18, or 36 months. Once you’ve made your selection, tap Next and then tap Confirm to finish the setup.

Also: How to clear the cache of the Opera browser

And that’s all there is to knowing about clearing your Google search cache (either manually or automatically). If you’re concerned about your online privacy, consider this a must-do. And remember, since you can only set auto-delete for a minimum of three months, you may want to come back to the screen regularly and manually clear your cache (to prevent your Android device from saving cached items that are no older than three months).

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