If you’ve never looked into the search history of your YouTube account, you might be shocked by the number of videos and searches in that archive. The good news is, they are easy to delete individually or in bulk. We will show you how to clear YouTube History whether you’re on a laptop, desktop PC, or mobile device.
What’s in your YouTube History?
The first thing you’ll want to understand about YouTube’s watch history is that it’s designed to keep tabs on anything you view. You don’t have to like or share a video to have it end up in your history. Anything you search for when signed into the service is noted by YouTube, which can be an issue for various reasons.
Google has come under fire for its privacy practices and tracking numerous times. That includes the COPPA settlement for YouTube and an early issue with Viacom in 2008. Even if you aren’t concerned about privacy, there could be embarrassing videos you watched a decade ago that you don’t want to reappear.
Clearing your YouTube history can take care of that issue, and the company gives users a lot of control over how they achieve that. You can wipe out everything with one click or carefully prune your search history to remove anything you’d like.
How to Clear YouTube History on Computers
You can clear YouTube history on Mac, Windows, and Linux-based PCs through any web browser. The history is tied directly to your Google/YouTube account, so log into the account you want to manage.
1. Sign In
Go to youtube.com and tap the Sign In icon on the right-hand side of the page.
2. Access History
On the left side of the page is a row of icons with Shorts, Subscriptions, and Library. Scroll until you see History and select it.
3. Watch History
Now you should see your watch history starting with the most recent videos you’ve viewed. Under the section that says History Type, choose Watch History and then Clear all Watch History.
4. Clear YouTube Watch History
Once you click the Clear button, a new window will ask you to confirm your selection. The process will also clear your watch history from every device tied to your YouTube account. When you are sure, select Clear watch history to wipe out the search history on YouTube.
How Clear YouTube History on Android and iOS
The process to clear YouTube histories on mobile devices is the same as it is on PCs. The location of the menus is a bit different, however, on Android or iPhone smartphones and slates.
1. Open the YouTube App
Open the YouTube app on your smartphone or tablet and make sure you’re signed into the account you want to manage.
2. Access Settings
Look for your profile icon in the app, which should be in the top right of the window. Tap on it, and choose Settings from the new menu.
3. History & Privacy
From this section, select History & Privacy. You can choose clear watch history or search history from the new options. Confirm your selection to clear the YouTube history for your account.
Managing YouTube History
Deleting your entire watch or search history from YouTube is a drastic but necessary step for some. Especially when you consider how much information it logs, and how long YouTube has been around. If you don’t want to lose everything, managing your history may be the better option.
One easy way to remove recent searches from your history is to use the search bar. Clicking in that section opens a drop-down menu with around a dozen of your last searches. To clear one of these, select Remove next to the search.
The process is similar on Android or iOS. For Android, use the search bar to locate the video or term and then long-press to bring up an option to remove it. With an iPhone or iPad, you’ll simply swipe instead of pressing and holding. You can also pause your YouTube search history from a mobile, which is useful if you’re looking into certain subjects but don’t want to muddy up your account.
To pause YouTube search history, you’ll need to tap your profile icon and head to the Settings menu. Choose History & Privacy to access the submenu. You can set the toggle to pause your watch or search history. You can also manage all activity from this section, access blocked contacts, or manage Google ad settings.
Another trick is setting YouTube up go automatically delete your search or watch history. You can set the time, but you don’t do this from YouTube, but from your Google Account. When you access this page, click on the Data & Privacy section. Scroll down until you see a section labeled History Settings, and select YouTube to bring up Activity Controls.
You can now set your YouTube history to stop tracking things you search for or alter sub-settings. That includes an Auto-delete option, which allows them to automatically delete your history every 3, 18, or 36 months.
YouTube will go down in history as the top video-sharing site of all time, but your search history doesn’t have to follow the same course. If you’re ready to delete your history and want to remove your account completely, this guide can walk you through that process.