How to delete history on an Android phone

When people say they want to delete (or “clear”) history on their Android phone, they might mean a few different things. There’s clearing your search history, your browsing history, or history from individual apps (like maps or YouTube). There’s also a difference between clearing local history (i.e. just the history stored on your phone) and clearing the history Big Tech companies collect and store; this latter history is much harder to delete.

In this article we’ll discuss some of the simple ways you can delete history on your Android phone.

How to clear browsing history

Each browser is different, and gives different ways to clear browsing history (the list of pages you’ve visited in your browser). Below we’ll cover how to clear browsing history on a few of the major browsers. But first, a few notes:

  • Clearing browser history is different from clearing search history; we’ll get to search history later in the article.
  • When you clear browsing history, you’re usually only clearing it “locally” (i.e. the history stored on your phone). Any browsing history Big Tech companies have tracked probably won’t be cleared.
  • Incognito (or “private”) windows do not block Big Tech from tracking your browsing history. They only hide it from other people who might use your phone or computer.

Clear Chrome browsing history on your Android phone

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Tap the “” (Settings) menu.
  3. Tap History.
  4. Tap Clear Browsing Data.

Clear Firefox browsing history on your Android phone

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Tap the “” (Settings) menu.
  3. Tap History.
  4. Tap Clear Browsing Data.
  • Note: While some browsers let you choose a specific time span to delete (e.g. past hour, past day, or all history), Firefox only gives the option to delete all history all at once.

Clear Opera browsing history on your Android phone

  1. Open Opera.
  2. Tap the radio dial (“Easy setup”) button.
  3. Scroll to Privacy & Security.
  4. Beside Browsing data, tap Clear.

Clear Brave browsing history on your Android phone

By default, Brave doesn’t track you. Your browsing history is only available on your phone, and only visible to you. This means you won’t need to clear browsing history as often with Brave. But if you do decide to clear browsing history:

  1. Open Brave.
  2. Tap the “” (Settings) menu.
  3. Tap History.
  4. Tap Clear Browsing Data.

How to clear Google search history on your Android

Google is available in all browsers, and it’s the most widely used search engine. Unfortunately, Google also tracks nearly everything you search. And while they make it fairly easy to delete this search history, you’re often only deleting it from your phone. There’s no telling how Google has used this data, stored it, or who else may have it.

With this caveat in mind, here’s how you can clear Google search history:

  1. Open your web browser, and navigate to google.com.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Search history.
  4. Select the search history you’d like to delete. You should see options to clear all history; history for a specific day or time range; or history for a specific activity.
  • Note that you can also visit google.com, tap Settings, then tap Your data in Search.

How to delete history in other apps

Many other apps on your phone will also keep their own history of your activity—you can easily delete this history as well. Below are some instructions for clearing history on two popular apps.

How to clear Google Maps history on your Android

Google Maps tracks your search history, specifically recently searched locations. To delete this search history from Maps:

  1. Open the Maps app.
  2. Tap your Google profile picture.
  3. Select My data in Maps.
  4. From here, you can clear Location History. You can also choose to Pause location history to temporarily prevent Google from tracking your info.

How to clear YouTube history on your Android

YouTube’s privacy and search settings work the same as Google Maps and Google Search, since they are all Google companies.

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Tap your Google profile picture.
  3. Select My data in YouTube.

From here, you can control two primary search options: your YouTube search history, and your YouTube Watch history. For more information on what exactly each one does, check out this guide to deleting YouTube history.

How to never have to clear history again

Most often, people want to clear history to ensure Big Tech companies don’t collect it or store it in an unprotected way. Unfortunately, if you use Big Tech like Google, that collection and storage is already happening.

One of the easiest ways to stop this is to use a browser / search engine combo that doesn’t collect your data in the first place. Brave is just that.

But what about the other mobile apps (like Facebook or YouTube) on your phone? Brave has you covered there, too: Just access all those sites and services in the Brave browser. In this way Brave is your new “super app,” giving you full access to nearly every online service, but doing so in a way that’s private and secure by default.

Switching is easy: Just download the Brave browser. It’ll default to Brave Search, and you’ll be treated to an independent technology that safeguards your info…by not collecting it in the first place. With Brave you can browse privately, search privately, and ditch Big Tech. All in a single click.

Get started with Brave!

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