How to turn on Auto Delete for Google to automatically delete your older data

How to turn on Auto Delete for Google to automatically delete your older data

Default data retention practices at Google have been changing since they first introduced the auto-delete feature for logged location history, search, voice, and YouTube activity in June 2019. In the beginning, users had to manually visit their My Activity page and configure the new settings. A year later, in June 2020, it was changed so that whenever new users joined the platform, auto-delete would turn on by default.

Unfortunately, older users will not have this feature activated automatically. This guide lists the steps you need to follow to turn on auto-delete for your Google Account via a computer or smartphone.

Configuring Auto Delete on Windows or macOS

To begin the auto-delete setup process, open Google Chrome or a browser of your choice and visit Google.com. Then follow the steps listed below:

  • Click on the humanoid figure in the right top corner to log into your Google Account.

google home page user login

  • Once logged in instead of the figure, you will see your profile picture or initials of your name. Now, click on your profile picture and then Manage your Google Account.

an image showcasing how to manage your google account

  • On this page, click on Manage your data & personalization.

how to manage your google data

  • Under Activity controls, click on Web & App Activity, Location History, YouTube History, or Manage your activity controls.
managing youtube history saved to your account

For representative purposes, we have chosen YouTube History. You can choose either of the three.

  • Now click on Auto-delete. Alternatively, you can also manually remove information by clicking on Manage activity.

Please Note: If you turn off the toggle (marked in green), no data will save to your account.

setting the time limit for auto delete on data

  • Select if and when you want Google to delete your data and click on the blue-colored next button — you can choose between 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months.

google auto delete time limit

We recommend setting up your data to delete at least within 18 months, though the more informed user would likely set this to 3 months or have the option to collect data turned off entirely.


Configuring Auto Delete On Your Phone

Next, you will find the steps required to configure auto-delete on your smartphone.

Android

To begin, open the Google App and follow the steps listed below:

  • Tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner and click on Manage your Google Account.
  • On the next screen, tap on Manage your data & personalization.

Auto Delete through Google App on Android

  • Here, locate Activity controls and tap on Web & App Activity, Location History, YouTube History, or Manage your activity controls.
  • Now, choose Auto-delete. Alternatively, you can also manually remove information by clicking on Manage activity.
  • Select if and when you want Google to delete your data and click on the blue-colored next button — you can choose between 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months.
Auto Delete time frame through Google App on Android

For representative purposes, we have chosen Web & App Activity.

Please Note: If you turn off the toggle (marked in green), no data will save to your account.


iOS

To configure auto-delete on iOS, open Safari or a browser of your choice and visit Google.com.

  • Click on the humanoid figure in the top-right corner to log into your Google Account. Once logged in, you will see your profile picture or initials of your name.
  • Now tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner and press Manage your Google Account.
  • On the next screen, tap on Manage your data & personalization.

Auto Delete through Safari on iOS

  • Here, locate Activity controls and tap on Web & App Activity, Location History, YouTube History, or Manage your activity controls.
  • Now, choose Auto-delete. Alternatively, you can also manually remove information by clicking on Manage activity.
  • Select if and when you want Google to delete your data and click on the blue-colored next button — you can choose between three months, 18 months, or 36 months.
Auto Delete time frame through Safari on iOS

For representative purposes, we have chosen Location History.

Please Note: If you turn off the toggle (marked in green), no data will save to your account.


With the amount of data harvested by applications, be it a game or a social media service, control being put back into the hands of users is the right step to take. While Google should have ideally enabled this for all accounts, we hope that more technology giants take their cue and join in by offering features like auto-delete while keeping in mind the interests of both parties involved.

About author

Aryan Surendranath
Aryan Surendranath

A 20-year-old whose interest is peaked when someone says the word 'Ecosystem'. When not doing any writing related to technology, you may find Aryan filming videos, doodling or diving into RPGs.