Google Gives Users Ability To Instantly Nuke The Last 15 Minutes Of Searches
This new "Quick Delete" feature was first mentioned at Google I/O, and allows you to eradicate the last 15 minutes' worth of searches by tapping just one button. This is a more immediate option than Google's existing automatic search history deletion options, which currently defaults to 18 months. There are also existing options to automatically delete your search history along with Web & App Activity after three months or 36 months.
While this is a nifty feature to have to cover your digital breadcrumbs instantly, it's limited in availability at this time. For now, only iOS users that have the Google app installed have access to the 15-minute search timebomb. Google says that the feature will roll out to the Android Google app before the close of 2021. There is no indication of the timeframe for a rollout of the 15-minute deletion option for desktop users.
"Maybe you share a device and want to make sure others who use it can't go into My Activity and look at your Search history," writes Google Search Product Manager JK Kearns. "We're deeply committed to making sure you can do that safely, and with the privacy you expect."
Of course, you can always go in and manually delete any offending searches from your history, but that can be time-consuming depending on how voracious your activities were. Still, we're happy to see Google give users another option to keep private information locked down; even the initial rollout isn't as expansive as we would have hoped.