How to clear Google search cache on Android and why you should do it

Did you know that your Android device keeps your Google searches so that many sites and services can use that data to personalize ads and other types of recommendations? For many, that’s fine and this level of customization makes the platform much easier to use. However, there are others who view this as an invasion of privacy. These users like to keep control over how much of their search history is saved and when it is deleted.

Fortunately, for those who like more control over their mobile platforms, Google allows not only manually deleting this data but setting devices to delete search cache automatically.

I’ll walk you through the process of both – manually deleting the search cache and configuring Android to delete saved data automatically.

To do this, you will need an Android device connected to your Google account. I am going to take a look at my go-to Pixel 6 Pro running Android 12 with the April security patch applied.

Let’s get to work.

How to manually clear Google search cache

From the Android app drawer, open the Google app. in the resulting window (Figure A), tap on your profile picture in the upper-right corner.

Figure A

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Google app that works on Pixel 6 Pro.

From the resulting menu, tap Search History (Figure B).

Figure B

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The Google Apps menu makes it easy to quickly delete the last 15 minutes of your search history.

If you click Delete Last 15 Minutes, it will immediately delete anything you searched for in the last 15 minutes. If you need to delete more than that, tap Search History. in the next window (Figure C), tap Verify at the bottom of the screen.

Figure C

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You must first verify your identity before proceeding.

To complete the verification process, you will be asked for either a PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint or face scan (depending on how Android configured the unlock process).

After the verification is successful, you should see Delete dropdown (figure d).

figure d

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After successful verification, a delete dropdown is provided.

Click on the Delete dropdown menu to reveal the available options (Figure E).

Figure E

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Android 12 cache deletion options available on Pixel 6 Pro.

Select the time frame you want to delete (today, custom, or all the time) and Android will empty the cache for that specific range. You will not be prompted to agree to the deletion, it will. Once deleted, the cache disappears.

Auto delete setting

If you prefer to do things automatically, Google has made it possible to set the cache to be deleted automatically. To do this, go back to the same place where you performed the manual deletion and click on the automatic deletion entry (Off). in the resulting window (shape and), click to enable older auto-delete activity and then, from the drop-down list, select the date range to delete.

shape and

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Enable automatic deletion so you don’t have to worry about taking care of the process manually.

You can choose from 3 months, 18 months, and 36 months. Once you have made your selection, click Next and then click Confirm to finish setup.

And that’s it to delete the Google search cache (either manually or automatically). If you are concerned about your online privacy, consider this as a must. And remember that since you can only set auto-delete for at least 3 months, you may want to regularly go back to the screen and delete the cache manually (to prevent your Android device from saving cached items that are no more than 3 months old).

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