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Preventing Google from Logging Web History.

Have you noticed that when you visit Google these days and repeat a search you've done in the past, Google will actually tell you when you last visited each page in the results? This occurs if you have a Google account. Services that qualify you for this are any Google service where you have a login, including Gmail, and a few you may not be aware of, including Blogger, YouTube, and Orkut. But if you don't feel comfortable having your web history logged, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The first thing you need to do is go to Google and see if you're signed in. If you are, your information will be in the upper right hand corner. If you're not, it should say “iGoogle | Sign in”. In this case, you will want to sign in.

I will assume you are logged in. In the upper right hand corner, click “My Account”. Under “My Products” click “Web History”. At this time, it may or may not ask you to install the Google Toolbar, and you'll have two options, “Enable Web History and Install Toolbar” or “Limit Web History to Searches.” We're going to go with the second option, “Limit Web History to Searches”. If you do not get this message, don't worry, just continue from this point forward.

You will now be able to view a lot of information about your search history sorted by date and time. Let's make this go away and stop it from happening in the future. On the menu on the left hand side, select “Remove Items”, select “Clear entire Web History »”, and confirm that you want to do this.

At this point Google will automatically stop collecting web history information from you until you go back to the web history options and tell Google to resume.

Of course, if you have more than one Google account, you will want to do this each one of them.

Enjoy the slight increase in internet privacy.
Posted on May 4th, 2008 - Updated on December 31st, 2010
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