Control what data Google uses to show you ads

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Keeping you in control of your data is our priority. In My Ad Center, you can control and update what info Google uses to show you ads, including:

  • Info from your Google account
  • Categories used to show you ads
  • Activity used to show you ads
  • Areas where you’ve used Google

If you’ve turned off personalized ads, your info isn’t used to personalize ads on Google sites, like Search and YouTube.

Learn more about how to turn personalized ads on or off.

Control your Google Account info

If personalized ads are on, some of your Google Account info is used to show you ads that are relevant to you and to make sure they follow local laws and our policies. For example, if your Google Account info shows that you’re under 18, when you’re signed in to your Google Account, your ads are never personalized.

The Google Account info used to show you ads includes:

  • Your gender
  • Your age range
  • Your language preference

To update your Google Account info:

Go to your Google Account

Learn more about changing your Google Account info.

How categories are used to personalize ads

You can see which categories you’re currently getting ads for in My Ad Center’s Manage Privacy  tab. When a business places an ad, it often chooses which categories of people it wants to show their ads to. For example, a roofing service may choose to show its ads to homeowners rather than renters.

Your activity on Google sites and apps is used to infer which categories are most relevant to you — and then to show you ads meant for people in that category. Sometimes our estimates are wrong, and you can update or turn off any category.

For example:
Let’s say you use Google Search to look for diapers for a toddler. Based on this, Google might estimate that you’re interested in other products meant for people in the category “Parents of toddlers.”

Control what categories are used to personalize ads

Update a category

When you update a category, your changes will be saved within My Ads, and you may start to see ads meant for people in that category in a few days.

To update a category:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy .
  3. Under Categories used to show you ads, select the category you’d like to control or update.
  4. Select the option that fits your interests

If you turn off personalized ads, all of your category info will be deleted and won't be used to personalize ads.

Go to My Ad Center

Turn on or off a category for ads

When you turn off a category, your info for that category will be deleted and that category won't be used to show you ads.

To turn on or off a category for ads:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy .
  3. Under “Categories used to show you ads,” select the category you’d like to turn on or off.
  4. Turn on or off that category.

If you turn off personalized ads, all of your category info will be deleted and won’t be used to personalize ads.

Go to My Ad Center

Verify a category for ads

To verify that you are interested in ads meant for a category:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy .
  3. Under “Categories used to show you ads,” select the category you’d like to verify.
  4. Select Verify.

If you turn off personalized ads, all of your category info will be deleted and won’t be used to personalize ads.

Go to My Ad Center

How your activity on Google is used to personalize ads

Your saved activity can be used on Google for both personalized recommendations and personalized ads.

Personalized recommendations use your activity to give you faster searches, better recommendations, and better experiences in Maps, Search, and other Google services. For example, if you use Google Search to look for “chocolate cake,” and then search again for “how to make…” Google might recommend “how to make chocolate cake.”

Learn more about how to find and control your Web & App Activity.

Personalized ads use your activity to help show you more relevant and interesting ads on Google services like Search and YouTube. For example, if you search for a video about running on YouTube, on a future visit, you might see an ad for running shorts.

Learn more about how to turn personalized ads on or off.

Control what activity is used to personalize ads

With My Ad Center, you can control if your activity is used to personalize ads. You can turn on or off:

  • Your Web & App activity for ads
  • Your YouTube History for ads
  • The areas where you’ve used Google

If you turn off personalized ads, none of your activity is used for ads.

Control your Web & App Activity for ads

To control your Web & App Activity for Ads:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy
  3. Under "Activity used to personalize ads," select Web & App Activity.
  4. Turn on or off Use Web & App Activity to personalize ads.
  5. Confirm your selection

This setting affects the ads you see on Google Search and YouTube.

When you turn off Web & App Activity for ads, it won’t be used to help personalize the ads you see. Turning off Web & App Activity for ads, however, does not turn off personalized recommendations on Google services like Search.

Go to My Ad Center

This setting affects the ads you see on Google Search, YouTube, and Discover. 

When you turn off this setting, your saved Web & App activity won’t be used to help personalize the ads you see. Your Web & App activity may still be saved to your Google Account, and you may still get personalized recommendations on Google services.

Learn more about how to turn off or delete your Web & App Activity.

Control your YouTube History for ads

To control your YouTube history for ads:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy 
  3. Under "Activity used to personalize ads," select YouTube History.
  4. Turn on or off Use YouTube History to personalize ads.
  5. Confirm your selection.

Go to My Ad Center

This setting only affects the ads you see on Google Search and YouTube. 

When you turn off this setting, your YouTube History won’t be used to help personalize the ads you see. Your YouTube History may still be saved to your Google Account, and you may still get personalized recommendations on Google services. 

Learn more about how to view or delete YouTube History.

Control if the areas where you’ve used Google are used for ads

When you use Google service, Google estimates the general area that you’re searching from and saves that info with your Web & App activity. These areas where you’ve used Google help show you more relevant ads. You can turn on or off using these areas for personalized ads at any time.

For example:

  • If “Areas where you’ve used Google” is on and you search for coffee, you might see an ad for a local coffee shop.
  • If “Areas where you’ve used Google” is off and you search for coffee, you might see an ad for a coffee shop in a different town.

To control whether the areas where you’ve used Google may be used for ads:

  1. Go to My Ad Center.
  2. Select Manage Privacy 
  3. Under "Activity used to personalize ads," select Areas where you’ve used Google.
  4. Turn on or off Use areas to personalize ads.
  5. Confirm your selection.

Go to My Ad Center

This setting affects the ads you see on all Google sites and apps.

When you turn off Areas where you’ve used Google for ads, it won’t be used to help personalize the ads you see. The area’s where you’ve used Google may still be saved to your Google Account, and you may still get personalized recommendations on Google services.

Learn more about how to manage the areas where you’ve used Google.

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