Google My Activity: What It Is and How to Use It

September 11, 2022 • April Miller


Google My Activity is a powerful tool that lets you see and adjust the data Google has about your activity on their platforms. This can include everything from search history to the YouTube videos you’ve watched.

It’s important to understand what this data includes and how to delete it if needed, as well as the benefits of using Google My Activity.

What Is Google My Activity?

When you use Google services, you generate data that Google collects and saves in your Google account. The data includes everything from the websites you visit to the searches you make. Google My Activity is a hub where you can access and manage this data.

Google collects this information for a few reasons. It helps them to better understand what users are interested in and looking for so Google can improve their services, making them more relevant to users. Tracking user activity also helps Google comply with legal requirements and protect users from fraud and abuse.

Meeting Data Compliance Requirements

Google is required to comply with a number of legal requirements to protect user data. This includes:

  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The GDPR is a regulation in the European Union that strengthens and builds on the EU’s current data protection laws. It gives individuals more control over their personal data and requires companies to be more transparent about how they’re using this data.
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): The CCPA is a law in California that gives residents of the state more control over their personal data. This law is similar to the GDPR, but also includes specific provisions for children’s data and for businesses that collect data from consumers online.

What Can You Adjust Within Google My Activity?

One of the best features of this platform is its focus on privacy — you have control over which activities are stored and which are deleted.

You can adjust what information is saved in your activity history, and you can also delete your activity history at any time. Deleting your history will not delete the data already saved in Google’s servers.

Deleting your history is a straightforward process. To delete your history:

  • Go to
  • Click on ‘Delete activity by’ in the menu on the left.
  • Select the time period you want to delete and click ‘Delete.’

You can also delete your activity history on an individual basis by going to and clicking the ‘Activity controls’ tab. Under ‘Web & App Activity’, click ‘Manage history’ and select the time period you want to delete. Click ‘Delete’ and confirm your choice.

Google My Activity goes back to 2016, meaning you can review all of your activity from this period and earlier. If you want to delete data from before 2016, you’ll need to do so manually by going to and deleting it from the ‘Activity controls’ tab.

What Benefits Does Google My Activity Offer?

Google My Activity offers a number of benefits, including the ability to see the data being collected about you and the option to delete it if needed. It’s also a good way to keep track of your online activity and ensure your privacy is respected.

However, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t offer 100% protection from data collection. If you’re concerned about your privacy, be sure to read up on how Google collects and uses data. You can also take steps to protect your privacy by using a virtual private network (VPN) or disabling cookies in your browser settings.

How to Preserve Your Privacy With Google My Activity

When you’re using the platform, there are a few settings you may want to disable to ensure your privacy, including:

  • Your activity history.
  • Web and app activity.
  • Location history.
  • Device information.
  • Voice and audio activity.

Google My Activity is not a perfect solution. However, it’s a good tool to use in conjunction with other privacy-protecting measures.