Search and browse privately
You’re in control of what information you share with Google when you search. If you want to search and browse the web more privately, here are some tips.
Note: Most of these tips work when you're using a browser, but not in the Google app on your Android phone or iPhone.
Search and browse privatelyStep 1: Open private browsing mode
If you want to browse the web without saving your past searches and other activity, you can use your browser’s private browsing mode.
How private browsing works
- Searches you do, sites you visit, and files you download aren't recorded in your browsing and download histories.
- All new cookies are deleted after you close your private browsing window.
Learn how to use private browsing
- Safari (computers)
- Safari (iPhones and iPads)
- Internet Explorer
- Firefox (computers)
- Firefox (Android browser)
Note: There isn't a private browsing mode if you're using the Google app on your Android or iOS device.
Once you’re in private browsing mode, make sure you’re signed out of your Google Account. Follow these steps to check if you’re signed out of your browser:
- Visit any Google page, like google.com.
- Look in the top right corner of the page.
- If you see the blue Sign in button, you’re already signed out of your account.
- If you don’t see the blue Sign in button, click your photo or email address > Sign out.
Note: If you're using the Google app on your Android or iOS device, you won't be able to change this setting. If you would like to use Google on your phone in private browsing mode, please use your device's web browser and follow the above steps.
Your search and ad results may be customized even if you're signed out. For example, your results may be customized based on which results you click on, including links to apps.
To turn off this type of customization, follow these steps:
- Make sure you're signed out of your Google Account.
- Open the Search Customization settings page.
- Turn the setting off. This will turn the setting off for anyone who uses the same browser and device as you unless someone signs in.
Note: If you're using the Google app on your Android or iOS device, you won't be able to change this setting because you aren't searching on a browser.
Delete your past searches & browsing activityDelete past searches or stop saving them
Delete recent history
Your searches, pages you visit, and other web activity may also be stored in your browser or the Google Toolbar. Learn how to delete your history on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Toolbar, and Firefox.
Delete past browsing history
Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.