Due to a convenient button that allows them to remove their previous 15 minutes of activity, mobile Google Search users have been able to make humiliating or just private searches vanish from the service’s search history without jumping through hoops. This capability was initially released for iOS in2021, and then it made its way to Android in the beginning of the previous year. The search engine appears to be working on the similar auto-delete setting for browsing history in Google Chrome on Android as part of its ongoing effort to convince people that it takes their privacy extremely seriously.
A new, merged contribution in the Chromium source has a feature flag that indicates clearing your recent searches will soon be as easy as tapping a button (via ChromeStory).
To decide how much history you want to delete from Chrome on Android (all-time, four weeks, seven days, 24 hours, or one hour), press the symbol in the app’s upper-right corner, then tap “History.” Finally, tap “Clear browsing data…” Each site you’ve visited may be removed from your history individually. Selecting the “Clear browsing data” menu item will erase all of your recent or all-time web history with a single tap.
In practise, the difficulty of remembering such a sequence of operations may prevent you from doing what is otherwise a simple task. Having a button to waste 15 minutes of your life on Chrome is convenient, since it can be tapped in a moment of panic after you’ve searched for something seemingly harmless only to be confronted with horrifying results. Or maybe you’ve been up to more in those 15 minutes than you’d want to admit (don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody!)
It’s possible to lock Incognito tabs using a fingerprint or faceprint if you’d prefer not remove your searches totally to protect your privacy from third parties.
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