Save & manage search activity

Now that the Web & App Activity setting is removed from the Google Admin console, your users can save and manage their search activity for Gmail and Google Drive with Google Workspace search history. Users can still use Web & App Activity. They can manage it on their My Activity page for additional Google services that you turn on for them.

How search history works

Your users control the Google Workspace search history setting. They can turn it on or off. If it’s on, when a user enters text in the Gmail or Google Drive search bar, suggestions from their search history appear so that they get quicker searches in Gmail and Drive.

For most new users (except Google Workspace for Education users under 18), Google Workspace search history is on by default. Web & App Activity is off by default for new Enterprise edition users.

Users can turn their personal Web & App Activity or Google Workspace search history settings on or off and manage their saved activity on their My Activity page. In the future, Google Workspace search history might encompass search history in more Google Workspace services.

How is search history different?

Previously, as an admin, you controlled who used Web & App Activity across Google services by turning it on or off in the Admin console. Users could also control certain features in Web & App Activity. Now, users control the search history setting. They get search history suggestions for Gmail and Drive.

Search history FAQ

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How long does Google retain Google Workspace search history data?

By default, Google deletes this data after 18 months. However, your users can change the deletion period to 3, 18, or 36 months, or to never delete data. Additionally, users can delete some or all of their saved activity at any time.

Will existing Web & App Activity search data still be available in Google Workspace search history?

Yes, user searches from Google Workspace services stored in Web & App Activity transitioned into Google Workspace search history when it launched.

Can users delete or opt out of Google Workspace search history?

Yes, users can see and delete search data or opt out of Google Workspace search history. For details, go to How users turn search history on or off.

Why the change to Google Workspace search history?

We removed the Web & App Activity Admin console setting because, as an additional Google service, Web & App Activity data was not subject to Google Workspace data-processing commitments.

Google Workspace search history data is part of Google Workspace core services and is subject to Google Workspace data-processing commitments.

For more information, go to Data protection & privacy.

As an admin, can I control the search history for additional Google services?
  • You can turn additional Google services on or off to control search history settings. You can also restrict access to these services using organizational units or access groups.

    For more information, go to Turn on or off additional Google services.

  • Since Google Workspace search history launched, the personal Web & App Activity user control only collects search information from additional Google services that you, as admin, turned on.
  • Users who have Web & App Activity turned on will continue to have their searches and activity from other Google services saved to their Google Account.

Related topics

How does Google Workspace search history differ from smart features?

Smart features provides region-specific controls for data processing and sharing. Google Workspace search history enables users to save and manage their search activity. Learn more about smart features.

How can I or my users learn about Google Workspace search history?

If Google Workspace search history is turned on:

  1. Sign in to your managed Google Account.
  2. Go to My Activity.
  3. Click Other activityand thenManage Google Workspace search history.
  4. Select a topic for information about search history.
As an admin, do I have control over the history setting for Google Search?

Yes, you can turn the Google Search and Assistant setting on or off for users to control search history data collection for Search. For details, go to Turn Search and Assistant on or off for users.

Data protection & privacy

Google Workspace search history is a Google Workspace core service and is subject to the Google Workspace Agreement. Google never uses your data in Google Workspace core services for advertising.

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Does Google Workspace search history affect Google’s GDPR compliance?

Google Workspace search history does not affect our compliance with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There is no change to how Google Workspace data is collected, managed, or provided to users. Google Workspace search history is subject to the Google Workspace Agreement. For more details, go to Google Workspace legal and compliance resources.

When Google Workspace search history is turned on, what data does Google use?

Google Workspace search history includes search activity in Google Workspace services and is subject to the user data protections that Google Workspace provides. Google never uses data in Google Workspace core services for advertising. Users can delete their search data, export it from their accounts, and opt out from data collection.

Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace search history is turned off by default for Google Workspace for Education users under 18. Users can turn the setting on.

For more information, go to Control access to Google services by age.

How users turn search history on or off

Have your users follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Activity.
  2. Click Other activityand thenManage Google Workspace search history.
  3. Click Google Workspace search historyand thenTurn On or Turn Off .

For details on using Web & App Activity, visit Find and control your Web & App Activity.

Related topics

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