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How to delete your Gmail search history

How to delete your Gmail search history

min read

If you’re looking for the lowdown on how to delete Gmail search history, you’ve come to the right place. When you use the search bar in your inbox to find emails based on topics or names, Gmail remembers your recent searches. They get added to your search history and show up next to a little magnifying glass icon like this.

A screenshot fo the Gmail inbox showing the Gmail search history

Whenever you start typing something into the search bar, often these words or phrases will autocomplete. This feature is helpful in certain situations, but annoying in others. So how do you delete your Gmail search history so every new search feels like a search from scratch?

That’s what we’ll cover in this blog post. But first, let’s briefly talk about why you would want to delete your Gmail search history in the first place.

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Why would you want to delete your Gmail search history?

Most people set out to clear their Gmail search history for one of four reasons:

  1. To declutter their Gmail search bar
  2. To avoid embarrassment
  3. To prevent compromising professional interactions
  4. To exercise the art of letting go and reduce their digital noise

No matter how big or small the reason for wanting to clear your search history in Gmail, here’s how to tactically make it happen across multiple devices.

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How to delete Gmail search history on a desktop

  1. Open your Gmail inbox.
  2. Begin typing the topic you want to expunge.
  3. Hover your mouse over the undesired search topic.
  4. A small x should appear on the right side of the search topic.
  5. Click the x to clear that topic from the history.
A screenshot of the mail inbox showing the search history and the "x" icon at the right corner of the search bar which means "delete" or deletion of a search topic once clicked

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How to delete Gmail search history on an iPhone

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Click into the search bar, which says “Search in mail.” Before you start typing anything, the most recent searches will automatically populate.
  3. To delete your undesired search queries, simply put your finger on them and slide to your left to move them to the trash. You’ll see an underlying red bar with a trash can appear, and you can be confident you’ve deleted those search queries.

What about removing search history in bulk on an iPhone?

To delete more than one search query at once, follow the steps below. Keep in mind that deleting more than one topic is an all-or-nothing affair on the phone.

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Click on the three bars in the upper lefthand corner.
  3. Scroll down in the left-hand toolbar and click Settings.
  4. From there, scroll down some more to find the Privacy category.
  5. Click Clear search history. A popup will ask you if you are really, really sure you want to do this.
  6. Click Clear to delete all email searches across all of your devices.
A screenshot of the UI inside the Settings section of the Gmail app in iPhone, showing a pop-up window confirming the deletion of all email searches

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How to delete Gmail search history on an iPad

This process is actually identical to the process of clearing search history on an iPhone. Once again, take note that deleting more than one topic at a time is an all-or-nothing choice.

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How to delete Gmail search history on an Android

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Tap your profile picture or initials.
  3. Select Search history.
  4. Choose how much you’d like to delete:

a. For everything, choose Delete and then Delete all time
b. For a certain time period, choose Delete and then Delete custom range.
c. For a specific day or activity, just hit the x next to that date or item.

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Bonus: How to delete search topics across all Google products 

  1. Head to your My Google Activity page. This page is a one-stop shop for reviewing your activity on all Google products, including Gmail.
  2. Click Other activity on the left-hand side menu.
  3. Scroll down until you see Google Workspace search history.
  4. Click on the link that says Manage Google Workspace search history.
A screenshot of My Google Activity's Other Activity section showing the portion where you can click "Manage Google Workspace Search History to delete the search history according to dates
  1. On this page, scroll down until you see a list of individual search topics. These will be bracketed by date. You can delete specific searches, delete entire days, or delete entire date ranges.

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Delete, declutter, and destress

We mentioned a few reasons you might want to clear their search history. Maybe you’ve got too many suggested results. Maybe there’s the possibility of embarrassment or compromise. And maybe it’s just an effort to digitally declutter your life.

No matter your reason, hopefully you learned here how to delete your Gmail search history and better manage your inbox.

There are other better ways to manage your inbox, streamline your workflows, and track your open rates within Gmail, too. With Streak, you don’t have to go to a separate CRM to juggle your sales pipelines and conversations. All of the tools you need are embedded right in Gmail. Try it for free today if you’re interested.

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