You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Will Now Let You Auto-Delete Viewing and Search History

YouTube is letting users set their accounts to automatically clear the list of videos they’ve watched and search for after preset time periods, as part of several new privacy and security features Google has launched.

YouTube users have been able to clear their history manually, but with the new controls they can set that data to automatically delete after either three or 18 months. The feature follows Google’s May rollout of the ability for users to automatically delete Location History and Web & App Activity (which includes things users have searched for and browsed). The new controls are accessible via myactivity.google.com.

In addition, users can disable YouTube history by “pausing” it. YouTube says doing this “may limit or disable more personalized experiences across Google services”; for example, users will not see recommendations for videos or creators based on videos they have watched or searched for. Of course, Google would prefer that people not disable or delete YouTube history — because that inhibits its ability to serve targeted ads.

“As technology evolves, so do people’s expectations for security and privacy,” Eric Miraglia, director of product management in Google’s Privacy and Data Protection Office, wrote in a blog post. “We look forward to building protections that aim to exceed those expectations, and will continue sharing regular updates about this work.”

Other new Google privacy and security features include “incognito mode” for Google Maps, which means locations users search for will no longer be stored by the internet company. Google launched incognito mode for the Chrome browser in 2008 and added it to YouTube earlier this year.

Google Assistant also is getting new privacy features. Those include the ability to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account by issuing voice commands like “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.” (If you’re deleting more than one week’s worth of data, you must access the Google account settings web page.) Google is rolling that out in English next week and in all other languages next month.

Google also has launched Password Checkup, a new feature that with a single click tells you if any of your passwords are considered weak or whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites. It also will alert users if Google has discovered any passwords have been compromised (e.g., via a third-party data breach).

Here’s what the new YouTube history-deletion controls look like:

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Sonos Q4 Results: Revenue, Losses Grow,

    Sonos Acquires Voice Assistant Startup Snips for $37.5 Million

    Smart speaker maker Sonos is getting ready to take a more active role in voice control: Sonos announced the acquisition of Paris- and Tokyo-based voice assistant startup Snips Wednesday. Snips had been developing a platform to launch dedicated voice assistants for smart speakers and other devices. Sonos spent $37.5 million in cash on the startup, [...]

  • Ramin Arani - Vice Media

    Vice Hires Fidelity Veteran Ramin Arani as CFO (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vice Media Group appointed Ramin Arani, a 26-year veteran of Fidelity Investments and an early adviser to Vice, as its new chief financial officer. Arani, reporting to CEO Nancy Dubuc, will lead all financial and accounting functions for Vice Media Group. Following Vice Media Group’s recent acquisition of Refinery29, Arani will also work to unify [...]

  • Jim Cornette

    Jim Cornette Resigns From National Wrestling Alliance After 'Offensive' On-Air Statement

    Professional wrestling mainstay Jim Cornette has resigned his position with the National Wrestling Alliance. “Effective immediately: Jim Cornette has resigned from the National Wrestling Alliance,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday. “As an announcer on the November 19th edition of ‘NWA Power,’ Jim made remarks during a singles match between Nick Aldis and [...]

  • Sarah Silverman

    As TV Consumption Shifts, Streamers Struggle With How to Apply Programming Standards

    When she launched her ultimately short-lived Hulu talk show  “I Love You, America” in 2017, Sarah Silverman wanted to make a point. This wasn’t a traditional broadcast or cable talk show with content restrictions or language limits — and so she experimented with that freedom on her very first episode. “Because we can — we’re [...]

  • Chelsea Ursin, Host of Dear Young

    'Disgraceland' Host Expands iHeartMedia Partnership With Slate of New Music Podcasts

    Jake Brennan, the creator and host of popular podcast “Disgraceland,” and his business partner Brady Sadler have launched Double Elvis Productions, a new audio-driven media company that will create original entertainment properties. Its initial slate of projects include four music-focused podcasts in partnership with iHeartMedia and as part of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. The first on deck [...]

  • Disney-Plus-mobile-app

    Disney Responds to Disney Plus Hacked Accounts: 'No Evidence of a Security Breach'

    Thousands of Disney Plus accounts have reportedly been hacked and stolen — and offered for sale on underground cybercrime forums. Disney has now responded, saying only a “small percentage” of the service’s 10 million-plus users have seen their usernames and passwords compromised and that Disney Plus systems were not breached by hackers. “We have found [...]

  • Tony Parker159th charity wine auction at

    Tony Parker to Be Ambassador for Game Shakers Awards at Esports BAR Cannes

    Former basketball star and entrepreneur Tony Parker will be the ambassador for the third edition of the Game Shakers Awards during Esports BAR Cannes, the three-day conference hosted by Reed Midem, the organizer of MipTV, Mipcom and Midem. Set to take place Feb. 11, 2020, the Game Shakers Awards is a competitive section bringing together [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content