Recap: Google has finally rolled out a “quick delete” setting that allows users to clear the last 15 minutes of history from its search app on Android. It announced the functionality about a year ago and released it to iPhones only a few months later.
In May 2021, during an I/O event, Google announced an array of features that would improve privacy controls for its ecosystem of apps. One of these was a setting that would allow users to delete the most recent 15 minutes of their search history from the Google Search app.
The option came out for iOS in mid-2021, but its release date on Google’s own operating system was still up in the air for a long time. Nearly a year later, that function is finally rolling out on Android.
At Google I/O 2021, Google announced it’d roll out an option to delete the last 15 minutes of your search history. This rolled out on iOS in July 2021 but was said to come to Android later. Well, it appears to now be rolling out!
Thanks to @panduu221 for the tip! pic.twitter.com/gdtAa1pIFo
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 18, 2022
In a statement to The Verge, Google spokesman Ned Adriance confirmed it would launch across all Android devices.
“We’re currently rolling this feature out on the Google app for Android and expect it to be available to everyone using the app in the next few weeks,” said Adriance while hinting it may be coming to other operating systems. [We’re] continuing to explore ways to bring this helpful feature to other surfaces.”
Users can access this setting by navigating to the Google app, tapping on their user icon, and selecting “Delete the last 15 minutes.” Doing so clears your recent search history on both the device and the My Activity page, which keeps a log of your activity on all Google products.
The feature can be helpful to those using unusual or potentially compromising search terms. As reported in March 2021, two-thirds of all Google queries are “zero-click searches,” lookups where users don’t navigate to another page listed in the query results. Zero-click searches are much more common on mobile devices than desktops, with 77.2% of mobile searches having no clicks.
Unfortunately, the feature does not work on Google’s other apps, such as YouTube. Additionally, there is no confirmation about whether this setting will eventually roll out to Google’s desktop search, so you might want to explore some Google search alternatives.
Image credit: Daniel Romero