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

Google Pixel logo on phone with Google logo on back

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Do you know your Android Devices keep your Google 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 websites can use that information to paint a very specific picture of you and your web usage, it can be seen as an invasion of privacy. This can be problematic if you accidentally search for the wrong thing, only to find related ads that fall into the “Why am I seeing this?” category. I’ve seen others’ eyes widen when an ad pops up on their phone that they shouldn’t or don’t want to see. For those who value privacy, it’s important to regain control over how much of your browser’s search history is saved and when it’s deleted.

Also: The best Android phones today

I’ll walk you through both processes — manually clearing the search cache and configuring Android to automatically clear cached data.

Also: How to Clear the Cache on Your Android Phone or Tablet

How to Clear Google Search Cache Manually

What you need: To do this, you will need an Android device connected to your Google account. I will show you how to do this on Pixel 6 Pro Running Android 14 with the latest security patches applied.

Also: How to Enable Notification History on Your Android

This process should work the same on most modern Android devices, but if you find that the instructions don’t apply to your device, you may need to do a little digging to find 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 resulting window, tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner.

Google Apps

Google apps running on Pixel 6 Pro.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

From the results menu, tap Search History.

Google app menu

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

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Before you can access the Erase drop-down menu, you have to verify that it’s you. To do that, tap the Verify button and you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint, or face scan (depending on how you’ve configured Android for the unlock process).

After successful verification, you will see the Delete drop-down menu.

Once you’ve verified that it’s you, the Delete drop-down list will become available. Select the time frame you want to delete (Delete Today, “Delete Custom Range”, “Delete Anytime”, or “Delete Automatically”). Android will delete the cache for that specified range. You won’t be prompted to confirm the deletion, it will be deleted automatically. Once deleted, that cache will be gone.

Also: How to Clear Cache on Your iPhone

Also from this window, you can review your history and delete specific searches.

Verify button below Search History

First, you must verify that it is you before continuing.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Set up auto delete

If you want things to be done automatically, Google has made it possible to set up your cache to be cleared automatically. To do this, go back to the same place where you did the manual clearing and tap Auto-delete (Off). In the resulting window, tap to turn on Auto-delete older activity and then, from the drop-down list, select the date range you want to clear.

Auto delete permission

Turn on auto-delete so you don’t have to worry about doing the process manually.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

You can choose from three, 18, or 36 months. Once you’ve made your selection, tap Next, then tap Confirm to complete setup.

Also: How to clear Opera browser cache

And that’s all there is to clearing your Google search cache (manually or automatically). If you’re concerned about your online privacy, consider this a must-do. And remember, since you can only set auto-clear for a minimum of three months, you may want to come back to this screen regularly and clear your cache manually (so your Android device doesn’t save cached items that are no older than three months).


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