Did you know YouTube maintains a list of every search you’ve ever made via YouTube’s search box?
And did you know they also maintain a list of every video you have ever watched on their site?
This might not seem like a big deal to some folks, especially if the things they search for and the videos they watch aren’t controversial in any way.
However, you might consider it a huge deal if you go to great lengths to protect your online privacy.
If privacy is important to you, I can certainly understand why you might not want everything you search for and watch on YouTube to be stored in a history file.
Luckily, YouTube has made it very easy to clear your existing “Search History” and “Watch History” files and then disable them altogether if you’re inclined to do so.
Just follow the steps below for the device you’re using…
If you use YouTube in a web browser on a computer:
1 – Visit YouTube.com and log in to your account.
2 – Click the Menu icon in the top-left corner of the window (it looks like three horizontal lines stacked atop one another).
3 – Click the History link in the left-hand column. Your account’s “Watch History” should now be displayed on the screen.
4 – Click the Clear All Watch History link in the right-hand column, then click Clear Watch History in the box that popped up. Your Watch History should now be empty.
5 – Click the Pause Watch History link, then click Pause.
6 – Click the Search history link in the right-hand column. Your account’s “Search History” should now be displayed on the screen.
7 – Click the Clear All Search History link, then click Clear Search History in the box that popped up. Your Search History should now be empty.
8 – Click the Pause Search History link, then click Pause.
If you use the YouTube app on a mobile device:
1 – Open the YouTube app and log into your account.
2 – Tap your Channel icon (that’s the small profile picture that everyone sees when they view your channel).
3 – Tap Settings.
4 – Tap History and privacy.
5 – Tap Clear watch history.
6 – Tap CLEAR WATCH HISTORY to confirm your choice.
7 – Tap Clear search history.
8 – Tap CLEAR SEARCH HISTORY to confirm your choice.
9 – Tap Pause watch history.
10 – Tap Pause.
11 – Tap Pause search history.
12 – Tap Pause.
That’s all there is to it. Your search and watch histories on YouTube should now be empty and YouTube shouldn’t be collecting that data in the future (unless you decide to turn those features back on at some point).