How to delete your YouTube history and prevent it from following you

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YouTube is the world’s most visited video-sharing website and one of the Internet’s top pages. On average, each visitor spends about 20 minutes per day on the site.

It’s also owned by Alphabet, the umbrella company that operates the main Google search engine and handles most of our emails through Gmail. Trying to keep Google from knowing you is difficult given its ubiquity, but if you want to separate your YouTube habits from your bank details, search history, and work email, there are workarounds.

What YouTube knows about your viewing

What you watch on YouTube is very personal: seeking health advice can reveal your medical history; watching political videos can reveal your intention to vote. Your viewing may reveal your interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Unsurprisingly, Google’s eyes are everywhere. You can find out how ubiquitous it is by visiting the Data and confidentiality page your Google account, or the My activity page linked to your Google account.

If you watch YouTube while logged in to your account and haven’t turned off the YouTube history tracking option – which we’ll show you how to do later – then you’ll see all the YouTube videos you’ve watched. , next to other ways to interact with Google.

It’s probably a long list, of which YouTube is only a part. To view only YouTube activity, you can click Filter by date and product at the top of the page, then select YouTube only. This will show you all the videos you have watched.

Delete your YouTube history

You can also check your viewing history on the YouTube website itself. Visit your user library will show you a range of different bits of information about you. Along with your viewing history, you’ll also see any playlists you’ve subscribed to, anything you’ve added to your Watch Later list, and any videos you’ve liked. Additionally, this page shows how many channels you’ve subscribed to and how many videos (if any) you’ve uploaded yourself.

On Youtube Watch history page there are more specific tools you can use to manage the videos you have watched. You can clear all of your history using the bar that appears on the right side, or temporarily pause your watch history – useful for that guilty Taylor Swift frenzy shoot that you don’t want anyone to watch. other know. You can also delete videos that appear in your viewing history and that you no longer want to be associated with by by pressing the three vertical dots on the right side of any video that appears on the Watched Video History page and selecting Delete from the history of watched videos.

If you choose to delete part of your viewing history, this will repeat on all devices where you are signed in to YouTube. And it goes without saying that if you’re signed in on all devices, whatever you watch on your laptop or mobile device feeds into the recommendations shown on your YouTube app on TV, and vice versa. If you want to break that link, just log out of one or the other.

Stop YouTube from knowing where you are

YouTube also uses location data, when available, to show you personalized recommendations based on videos popular with people nearby. The company cites the example of showing you news videos relevant to where you are in the world. It collects this data in different ways depending on how you access YouTube.

If you are using your phone and the location is turned on, it will use your GPS data. If you don’t, it will identify your location by the access points you use to connect to the internet. If you are at home, it will use your IP address. If this does not suit you, you can deactivate your location history via the Your data on YouTube page.

Delete your YouTube search history

These are the videos you watch. But Google also tracks your YouTube search history. Dedicated google YouTube History page displays all your activities and allows you to turn your YouTube search and viewing history on or off.

Importantly, this page also includes an option to automatically delete recordings of your YouTube activity. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that this option is turned off by default, but you can choose to automatically delete the activity every three, 18, or 36 months. Just like your viewing history, you can also temporarily pause your YouTube search history.

All of this data is used, according to Google, to provide users with “more personalized experiences, like better content recommendations and the ability to pick up where you left off.”


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