How to Clear Your Digital Footprint: Search History & Social Media Data

We spend a lot of our online time searching for the answers to simple questions and complex queries. Sometimes, we make searches that we wish to keep private, things like personal medical advice, financial enquiries about investments and future securities etc. It is understandable that some users may feel uncomfortable with the fact that their search history is kept online in the hands of a third party.

What makes things worse is when the searches are used to serve personalized ads, which will be available for anyone using your machine to see. In this post, we are going to show you how to delete your search history from the more popular sites on the Internet, to better safeguard your privacy. Also included are tips on how to opt out of having your searches tracked on these services.


If you are logged into your Google profile when making a search query or clicking a link on the results page, your choices will be logged in, to give you better results in future searches (and of course, to serve you better ads). If you want to opt out of this, you can remove your searches from your profile.

Google Web History

How To Delete Your Searches

Go to the Google Web History page to view every single query you ever made on their site. You can remove select searches, or all of your past searches.

To remove all of your search queries, click on the box next to the Remove Items box and then click Remove Items. If you would like to delete individual items, tick those items before clicking Remove Items.

Google Web History Remove Item

After this, to make sure that Google doesn’t record your web history, you can turn off your Web History by clicking the Settings in the top right corner and select Turn off.

If you do not want Google advertize to you based on your searches, consider turning personalized ads off.


If you have ever looked up someone, or a business page on Facebook, your searches will be saved in your Activity Log. Your friends will not have access to what you have searched (or who you have stalked), but Facebook, and whomever happens to have access to your account, does.

How To Delete Your Searches

To delete your Facebook search queries go to your profile page and click View Activity Log. On the left side of the page, click More and then Search. Here you can see every single search you have made on Facebook. To delete them all, click Clear Searches.

Facebook Search History


Accidentally searched for Justin Bieber’s latest single and want that search query removed from your search history? It is relatively easy to remove your search history from Youtube.

How To Delete Your Searches

All you have to do is go to Search History, located under Video Manager. From here, you can choose to delete either individual searches, clean house, or make sure YouTube doesn’t record your searches by choosing Pause search history.

YouTube Search History

To ensure that nobody gets access to your search history, delete your Watch History, which can be accessed when you click your profile picture. Again, you can choose to clear individual videos, the whole playlist or turn off logging.

YouTube Watch History


Twitter will keep only the most recent searches in your history so deleting these queries isn’t as important as the other services listed in this post but if have a pressing need to remove your search history, here’s how to do it.

Twitter Search History

How To Delete Your Searches

On the site, click on the search box and the option to Clear All to remove all search queries.

On the iOS app, click on the search lens and beside Recent searches there is an x button. Tap on it to bring up the Clear menu.

On Android, you can manually remove each search query by pressing the x next to the query.


Unfortunately, Yahoo doesn’t have an option that allows you to delete your previous search history. The only thing you can do here is to make sure that Yahoo will no longer log any of your search queries in the future.

How To Delete Your Searches

To turn of your search history on Yahoo, go to their Search Preference menu and under Keep search history, select Search history off.

Yahoo Search History

While we’re at it, you might want to opt out of Yahoo’s search-based advertising, where in addition to your previous search history, they will look into your computer’s browsing history to serve up personalized ads. To do so, go to Yahoo’s Ad Interest Manager and click Opt Out.

Yahoo Ad Interest

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Microsoft’s Bing gives you an easy way to delete your entire search history and at the same time to make sure it will not record them in the future.

How To Delete Your Searches

Simply go to Bing Search History and from there you will have the option to Clear all of your search history and Turn off logging.

Bing Search History

Again, while we’re at it, we should turn off personalized ads for Bing because as with Yahoo, Bing will look into your computer’s browser history for advertising purposes.

Go to Microsoft personalized ad preference and from here you will be provided tools to better manage your privacy and data.

Microsoft Personalized ad