Google has rolled out its new privacy feature for search that lets you instantly delete your last 15 minutes of search history on mobile.

Google is now giving users a way to put extra protection around the searches saved in their accounts.

Announced in a blog post, the new search history protection feature restricts access to My Activity in the Google app. That section stores a user’s search history, or what Google calls “Web & App Activity.”

When the setting is enabled, additional information like an account password or two-factor authentication is needed to view search history data. Google is positioning the feature as a good privacy practice for those who share their device with others.

A second tool called quick delete brings a ‘Delete last 15 mins’ option in the app that lets you quickly clear your Web and app activity history for the last 15 minutes in case you need to share your device with someone else.

The feature was first announced at Google I/O in May and is now making its way to iOS devices and will debut on Android later this year.

An image of a mobile phone showing the option to delete the past 15 minutes of Search history on a user's Google profile

The option can be found in the Google app on iOS when you tap on your profile.
According to The Verge, as far as the desktop is concerned, options to delete your search history are “limited to setting your history to auto-delete every three, 18, or 36 months (18 months is the default for new accounts), or deleting searches by hand.”

“People around the world turn to Google Search to find information and make important decisions. We’re deeply committed to making sure you can do that safely and with the privacy you expect, wrote JK Kearns, a Google executive.

The feature will be useful for users who share their devices with other people and don’t want to go into settings to manually delete the history. Google also offers an incognito mode for searching and an auto-delete feature, but this new option makes things a bit simpler.

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