How to delete YouTube search history

When you sign into YouTube, they can keep a record of everything you do on the site: what you watch, search for, even what you preview. This tracking allows the site to recommend new videos based on your tastes. But YouTube is part of Google, which raises legitimate questions about who has access to your data. Clearing your search history can be a good way to protect yourself, and YouTube is a great place to start.

Note that clearing this history means it’s only cleared from your device or browser; your data will still be stored on YouTube’s (or Google’s) servers.

How to clear YouTube history

  1. Visit YouTube, and log in.
  2. Click “” menu bar in the upper corner to open the YouTube menu.
  3. Select History.
  4. From here, you can either delete individual videos or your entire watch history.

Clearing both watch history and search history will remove recommended videos on the YouTube homepage. However, it will not clear favorited videos, or channels you subscribe to.

Advanced methods for clearing your YouTube history on multiple devices

If you want to do a more thorough sweep of your YouTube search history, try clearing history in the YouTube mobile apps, and on both your mobile and desktop browsers.

How to clear search history in the YouTube mobile app

  1. Open the YouTube app, and open Settings.
  2. Tap the Library icon.
  3. Select History Settings, then clear search history or your entire watch history.

How to clear YouTube search history on your computer

To delete your YouTube watch and search history on your laptop or desktop:

  1. Open YouTube in your browser.
  2. Open the Settings menu.
  3. Click History.
  4. Click Clear all Watch History and / or Clear all Search History.

How to use “Incognito” mode to avoid YouTube tracking

In the future, you can avoid having to delete your YouTube history by watching videos in Incognito mode, which is available in both the mobile apps and as a browser viewing option. To select this from the YouTube app:

  1. Tap your account.
  2. Tap the Settings menu.
  3. Turn on Incognito.

How to pause your YouTube search and watch history

Note that you can also pause your watch history or search history instead. To do this in your desktop browser:

  1. Open your browser and visit
  2. Click History.
  3. Click Pause Watch History or Pause Search History, and select Pause.

To pause watch history or search history in the iPhone app:

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Tap Library.
  3. Tap History.
  4. Toggle on either Pause Watch History, Pause Search History, or both.

Learn to use the “Your Data in YouTube” menu

If you’re logged in to YouTube, click your profile picture to open the Settings menu and find the Your Data in YouTube option. From here, you’ll have a number of options to control what info YouTube tracks. Among those are:

  • Manage your YouTube Watch History (to tell YouTube whether to remember what you watched, or to remember but then periodically auto-delete this watch history).
  • Manage your YouTube Search History (to tell YouTube whether to remember your searches at all, or to remember them but then periodically auto-delete).

Your Data in YouTube also lets you make some Google-wide data choices, such as location history and ad settings.

Watch YouTube in Brave for better performance and privacy

To see YouTube without annoying ads, and get faster performance, consider downloading the Brave browser and watching YouTube in Brave instead. Brave automatically blocks trackers and YouTube ads via Brave Shields.

Brave is a free download, and it only takes 60 seconds to switch.

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