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How to delete your Gmail search history

Nuke those persistent annoying search results that keep popping up.
By
January 28, 2022

When you search Gmail, it gets added to your search history and shows up in autocomplete in future searches. While this is usually a useful timesaving feature, you may get annoyed when some old searches appear. The simple solution is to delete your Gmail search history, which you can do on mobile devices and the desktop.

Read more: How to delete all emails in Gmail

QUICK ANSWER

To delete Gmail search history on a mobile device, go to Gmail Settings. Tap on your account and select Clear search history. On the desktop, enter the Gmail search term you want to delete, and then click the X next to it to wipe it from your search history.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to delete Gmail search history (Android and iOS)

Deleting search history on a mobile device is an all-or-nothing affair. Unlike the desktop method, which we’ll look at shortly, deleting any search history items on the Gmail mobile app is the equivalent of hitting the nuclear button. You either wipe it all or none at all. You can’t select certain ones to keep and certain ones to delete.

If you don’t mind this, here’s how to wipe the entire lot in one fell swoop.

Click on the three horizontal lines at the top-left of the screen, and scroll down to Settings.

gmail labels ios

Now tap on the email account you want to wipe the history for.

gmail account changer

Scroll down to Privacy and tap on Clear search history.

gmail app clear search history

Gmail will then warn you that they will wipe the search history across all devices logged into your Gmail account. If you’re fine with that, click Clear.

gmail clear history confirm

How to delete Gmail search history (desktop)

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to get a bit more granular and only select some searches for termination, then you’ll need to put your phone to one side and head to a desktop computer.

Open up Gmail on a desktop device and type in the search term you want to nuke. On the right, you’ll then see an X. Click that to remove the search term from your history.

gmail clear search history desktop

How to delete Gmail search history in batches (desktop)

The previous method only lets you delete search terms one by one. But what if you want to go on a real crusade and purge lots of Gmail search history at the same time? There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

To do it this way, head to My Google Activity and log into the Google account in question.

my google activity

Under the Search your activity box, click Filter by date & product.

My Google Activity search filter

Now scroll down the box, select Gmail, and click Apply. That way, they will remove all non-Gmail search results. Note that newer search results may take a while to appear on the list. Also, note that if you’re using Google Workspace Gmail, you’ll need to select Google Apps, not Gmail.

google activity search filter 2

You’ll now see your filtered results. To delete, click the big X to the right of each search result, and work your way down the list, ticking and deleting as you go.

gmail search history delete

Or, if you want to delete by time period, click the Delete dropdown menu to the right of Filter by date or product. Gmail will now present you with periods you can delete by. Click one to nuke everything between those dates.

gmail search activity delete all