How to delete the data that Google has about our activity

How to delete the data that Google has about our activity

Why does Google store so much data about users?

Google, the great technology giant and best known for its search engine, knows almost everything about us. By just having a Google account activated on any smartphone, it is capable of monitoring a large amount of data about our day to day, vacations, business trips, purchases made, preferences and tastes, searches, voice commands... endless activities that surely you do not know that it can monitor.

The Google company bases a large part of its income on ads through its own search engine , as well as on many web pages where it also places personalized ads for each user . This customization of the ads is what you are looking for when you monitor us in this way, so you can know what we like and what last searches we have made on the Internet, to offer related ads on each website we visit. Basically, save these preferences to earn money.

This would not be possible without a large-scale monitoring program for each individual . Google maintains a complete history of each user with an activated Google account, and by default there are numerous activated “tracking” options, options that make Google almost more of you than yourself. This monitoring program is called My Activity , and we can consult it at this link.

What data does Google save about us?

In My Activity, there are numerous categories into which the information collected about us is divided. For example, in the Activity on the Web and Applications category, everything related to searches carried out in Google Chrome (saving day and time, as well as times carried out said action), searches in Google Maps, in the Play Store, searches by voice (even the audios and voice commands made are saved) and all this in a single category of My Activity. Obviously the history can be deleted from the beginning, but Google claims that thanks to this information collected we enjoy faster and more relevant searches, among other things.

In the Other Google activity section we can see more categories, such as YouTube History . In it, not only the videos seen and the searches carried out are stored, but also the videos that you liked and those that did not , as well as subscriptions, playlists, where you have been watching a video on YouTube and even advertisements that you have marked as irrelevant.

In the next category, Google saves the history of sites that you have visited over the years that you have had a Google account activated on a smartphone that you carry. Both the day and the specific site you visited are saved, discriminating between bars, monuments, tourist sites, information centers ... Even if you do not have GPS activated on your smartphone , only with mobile data Google already knows where you are (with a few meter error). In my case, I activate the GPS on a few occasions and, however, it has located me in places where it was not activated.

Come on, after all it is a history of our life since we use an Android smartphone, as long as we have not deleted this data, of course. Having already seen what Google knows about us and where it stores it, it is worth wondering if it is possible to delete all of Google's history , as well as prevent it from continuing to store information.

How to delete and deactivate Google activity history?

Surely you did not know about the existence of all the information that Google stores about us, and perhaps now it seems excessive and even intrusive. We are going to see how to delete all this data so that neither you nor Google have it. Although you may be interested in saving all this history to your computer before doing so , or wherever you want, using a file . For this we are going to go to Google Account, from the link provided before. There we give Data and personalization and we go down to where it says Download your data. Now we have entered Google Takeout, which allows us to save all the data that Google has about us in a file and download it. We go down completely and we give Next step, we select Export once and the type of file we want, as well as the maximum size of each generated file. Once it is finished we already have our data saved and we can proceed to delete it from Google.

For this, in the same section of Data and personalization we seek to Manage the controls of your account activity , a window will open. We have to deactivate all the sliders that are activated . With each slide you deactivate you will have to confirm that you want to do it.

Proceeding with the first one, deactivate the slider button and enter Delete deactivated. Inside you can select how old the files should be that are automatically deleted. This will not delete all the files, so we are now going to Manage activity and click on the three points to the right of the text box for searches. We give the option marked in red.

If we now select Since always, and then all the elements of the drop-down, we will have completely eliminated a good part of the data that Google has about us in relation to online searches, in the Play Store, Maps and YouTube. But we still have two other categories with which to do the same .

With the Location History, the same procedure is done in the first part, but in the second, things change. Once we have deactivated the location history we click Manage activity.

Google Maps will open to us with all the sites we have visited over the years. At the bottom right there is a wheel that allows us to delete the saved data from Google, as well as download a copy of it. We have already made the copy before, so we proceed to erase the history of places that we have visited and that Google knows.

It will ask us for confirmation, we accept and that's it. The next thing will be to deactivate and delete YouTube History , which in this case is to follow the same steps as those we did for the first section. Once done, we will have greatly reduced the amount of information that Google has about us, in addition to preventing it from acquiring more information over time. The latter is possible by having disabled the sliding buttons in each of the three categories, so from now on Google will not collect that information about us.

The last section of the Account Activity Controls window refers to the ads that Google shows us, whether we want to or not , on the various web pages we visit. This option cannot be disabled, it is responsible for Google acquiring large income from these ads. However, we can install some plugin like AdBlock or Adblock Plus to block Google ads .

How to delete only Google activity history?

On the other hand, if instead of wanting to delete everything and deactivate what Google stores from us forever, we want to delete only a period of time or only the stored data, from the My Activity page we click on Delete activity by.

If we select a custom period, we can choose a beginning and an end so that, between them, all Google history is completely deleted. If we select Since always, we will delete all the history of my Google activity without having to enter the sections one by one, as we have done in the previous section (which was necessary to deactivate the future storage of this information by Google).

Consequences of deleting all Google data

Once we have deleted all our data, having chosen the option not to continue monitoring us, it is worth thinking about what consequences this may have. It is clear that the most direct and obvious is that Google will not have access to our preferences, or to places visited, or tastes ... which will be reflected in less personalized searches .

The first thing is that the ads we see will not be relevant to us , they will not be based on our searches for products on the web or on the pages we have visited. That is, there will be random ads that Google has implemented by region or by time, and if they are relevant to us it will be pure coincidence.

Google will not prioritize , in the searches that we carry out through Chrome, pages that we usually visit , since it understands that these pages are "trusted" or priority and usually makes them appear on the first page of the search engine. Nor will it warn you about new questions that users have asked about places you have visited in the world , since you will have deleted this history completely and will not have knowledge of whether you have been or not, so it will not show them.

Similarly, when visiting YouTube we will not be able to resume videos where we left off , it will not prioritize videos from channels with favorable votes on your part nor will it show you recommended videos based on your history, since it will no longer store it. However, it will show videos related to the one you just watched, although not based on your preferences.

We hope this guide has been useful to you. We have tried to carry out a complete disconnection from Google without having to resort to the most radical option, which is to delete the Google account and which would bring with it many other consequences such as not having fullness on Android smartphones or bookmarks or favorites in browsers. In the way that we have treated it, you can continue using your Google account linked to any device but in a much more anonymous way .

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