How to Clear YouTube Search History
It’s easy for many of us to go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and start searching all types of interesting and fun videos. Everything you search and watch on YouTube is remembered. The platform uses this data to recommend other videos and nudge you in the direction of specific channels they believe you might like.
But that can be problematic if you don’t want to get recommendations based on your search history. Or you simply don’t want anyone else to see the stuff you searched on YouTube. That’s why we’ll explain how to clear your YouTube search history from any device.
How to Clear YouTube Search History on iPhone, iPad, and Android
The YouTube app is available for iOS devices and Android devices. The good news is that it’s identical across devices, so the process of clearing history on any of them will be the same. So, here’s what you need to do to erase the search history on the YouTube mobile app:
- Launch the YouTube app on your device and tap on the profile picture in the top right-hand corner. Make sure you’re signed in to your account.
- Tap on “Settings” and then “History & privacy.”
- Tap on “Clear search history.”
- A pop-up screen will appear, and you need to confirm your choice by tapping on “Clear search history.” Or “Cancel” if you’ve changed your mind.
Remember, the search history related to your account will be deleted across all devices.
How to Clear YouTube Search History on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook
Windows, Mac, and Chromebook users can enjoy YouTube by accessing it via one of their browsers of choice. All three support Chrome and Firefox.
But regardless of which browser you’re using, the steps to clearing the search history remain the same. So, here’s how you permanently delete search history in any browser on any OS.
- Open YouTube in any browser and log into your account.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, under “History type,” select “Search History.”
- Then select the “Clear All Search History” option.
If you don’t want to delete an entire history at once, you can check the search history list and delete individual searches by clicking on the “X” next to them.
How to Clear YouTube Search History on TV, Roku, Fire Stick, Xbox, and PS4
When it comes to the YouTube app for smart TVs, game consoles, or media streaming devices, the process is identical. So, whichever of these devices you’re using to watch YouTube, the following steps will apply:
- Launch the YouTube app.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select the Settings cog.
- From the pop-up menu, select “Clear search history.”
- Confirm your selection.
And just like that, the search history connected to your account will be cleared.
How to Clear Your YouTube Watch History
If you want a completely fresh start with your YouTube account, you can also erase your watch history. Perhaps there’s too much stuff there already, and you’re having a hard time combing through it.
The steps are very similar to the process of clearing the search history. In the YouTube app, you have to go to Settings>History & privacy and select “Clear Watch History.”
If you’re using YouTube via browser, then select “History” from the left pane on the left-hand side of the screen followed by “Watch History,” and then “Clear All Watch History.” There is a little trash can icon next to it as well.
In the YouTube app on gaming consoles, smart TVs, and streaming devices, the steps are the same, except you’ll select “Clear Watch History” instead of “Clear Search History.”
How to Pause Search History on YouTube
YouTube gives you the option to pause both your search and watch history. That means that when you enable this feature, every video you search or watch won’t be recorded in your history. And the platform won’t use it to give you recommendations.
The “Pause search history” option on the web and the toggle switch in the YouTube app is in the same location where we’ve previously cleared the search history and watch history. When you’re ready to allow YouTube to continue recording your activity, you can disable this feature.
1. How Do You Recover Deleted Search History From YouTube?
Unfortunately, there is no way to recover the deleted search history from YouTube. Once you use the clear all history option, all your searches are gone forever.
2. What Is YouTube Incognito Mode?
If you’ve ever used Incognito Mode on a browser, then you probably know what the purpose of this feature on YouTube is.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIt allows users to search and watch videos without leaving any trace of this activity. You can watch as many embarrassing videos as possible without anyone finding out. For now, this feature is only available in the YouTube app on Android. You can enable it by following these steps:u003cbru003eu003cbru003e• Launch your YouTube app and sign in to your account.u003cbru003e• Tap on your profile picture, and from the menu, select “Turn on Incognito.”u003cbru003e• You’ll receive a message that “You’ve gone incognito,” and you can tap “Got it” to continue.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAll the videos on the home page won’t have anything to do with your account, nor will the recommendation be related to it. It’s important to remember that if you’re inactive, the incognito mode will shut off after 90 minutes.
Organizing Your YouTube History
There are times when you want to erase the entire YouTube history and start over. Other times, all you want to do is erase a few items from the list. Maybe someone used your device, and you don’t want their search or watch history to impact your future recommendations.
Understanding the YouTube algorithm is complicated enough as it is but, hopefully, you now have all the steps you need to manage your search history on YouTube, regardless of which device you’re using.
Which device do you use to watch YouTube? And do you clear the search history often? Let us know in the comments below.