How To Quit Using Google

Joel Lee 01-03-2013

quit using googleGoogle has been under a lot of fire in the past year or two for their questionable policies regarding privacy Google Will Share Your Browsing History On March 1st [News] Read More . Personal privacy has always been a huge issue for people and the fight takes on a whole new appearance when dealing with the Internet’s openness. To some people, companies like Google have gone too far, leading them to shun the company altogether.


So what can you do when Google encompasses a ton of products and services all around the world and you want to escape their control? When complaints and protests don’t work, the best way to speak your mind is to quit using Google – quit using their products and services. But with a company as pervasive as Google, this can be extremely difficult.

I personally like many of Google’s offerings, but if you’re one who wants to quit, I’ll show you the main steps that you need to take to release yourself from their grip. Beware, though, that some people who have tried to quit Google have ended up loving the company all the more.

Log Out of All Google Services

The first step to not use any of Google’s services is to not use any of their services. The easiest way to do this is to log out of all of your Google accounts and never log back in again. Recently, Google has been consolidating a lot of their services under one account (Google Plus, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) so logging out of one tends to log you out of them all.

If you find yourself tempted to log back into these accounts, then you’ll want to take a more drastic measure: delete your Google accounts. Deletion is always a scary action because it’s so final, but if you’ve certainly made up your mind 100% that you want to quit using Google, account deletion may be necessary to keep you on track.

quit using google


How do you delete your Google account?

  • Log into your Google account.
  • Navigate to the Account Settings page.
  • Click on the “Close account and delete all services…” link.

My recommendation is that you do not delete your Google accounts if you feel any sort of hesitation at all. Google is pretty all-encompassing and you might feel a lot of regret if you ever decide to return to Google one day.

New Search Engine: DuckDuckGo

Now that you’ve freed yourself from Google’s grasp, you’re going to have to find alternate services to use. Since Google’s main service is Google Search, what can you use instead? Well, considering that most people will quit using Google due to the privacy concerns, you’ll want to use a search engine that doesn’t impede on privacy.

stop using google


When talking about privacy, the search engine that often comes to mind is DuckDuckGo. It’s not a very good name (certainly not as easy to say as Google) but it has some great policies in place: your searches are never tracked, your data is never stored, and DuckDuckGo never shares any information with any other party ever.

If DuckDuckGo isn’t enough for you, then you may want to try either WolframAlpha 5 Weird & Wonderful Uses For Wolfram Alpha Read More for (sheer search power) or Bing Greater Than Google: The Best Bits Of Bing When we think of searching the Internet, we without a doubt think “Google”. And why not? It’s a fantastic search engine and has some great features. But even before the idea of writing this article,... Read More (for familiarity). WolframAlpha has a bit of a learning curve, though, so it’ll take some getting used to. Bing on the other hand… well, it’s Bing.

New Email Service: Hotmail or GMX

Gmail is arguably the second most popular Google service in the world. It was the first to pioneer free email storage limits in the gigabytes and it has made impressive strides in the world of web-based mail. However, it’s an unsettling thought knowing that the world’s most powerful information company has access to all of your email exchanges.

stop using google


If you use Gmail and you want to quit Google, you’ll need to find an alternative. Luckily, both Hotmail Easily Do A Complete Overhaul Of Your Hotmail Inbox, And Maintain It Have you seen or used Hotmail lately? Despite its rough past, it’s pretty nice and it surely gives Gmail a run for its… well, I was going to say "money" but both are free. Which,... Read More and GMX will give Google a run for its money in the realm of free email.

A lot of you will instantly reject the Hotmail recommendation with a disgusted gag, but you really ought to check it out – especially if you haven’t used Hotmail in the last year or so. They’ve overhauled the design, making it extremely user-friendly, pleasant to the eye, and just a flat-out enjoyable experience.

As for GMX, it’s the “free email service you’ve been waiting for.” The web-based interface is rather good, they offer unlimited email storage, attachments can go up to 50 MB, and your privacy is guaranteed with encryption. If you’re still wary about it, just know that over 13 million people already use GMX so obviously they’re doing something right.

New Video Sharing Site: Vimeo

Though YouTube wasn’t originally a Google creation, they did buy the site back in 2006 and have made it into what it is today: the central hub for user-generated videos. Ask any of your friends if they know what YouTube is; I bet you’ll have an impossible time finding even one who doesn’t know!


stop using google

So if you want to completely quit Google, you’re going to have to quit YouTube, too. Now that’s a daunting idea. Google Search and Gmail are personal services, but YouTube is a worldwide phenomenon. Quitting that is going to be extremely hard.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many video-sharing sites that are as good or popular as YouTube. The closest one, in my opinion, is Vimeo. Other contenders include Blip.TV (mostly focused on webisodes, web shows, and web series) and Veoh (which doesn’t have many restrictions at all).

New Maps and Directions: Bing or MapQuest

With the recent debacle involving Apple and their Maps app Is Apple Maps a Reliable Navigator Yet? After replacing Google's navigation, Apple Maps endured a rocky start, heaps of criticism and some very funny jokes – but has all been forgiven? Read More , a lot of people have reevaluated the usefulness of Google Maps. As it turns out, Google Maps is one of the best, if not the best, map services in existence today. If you want to quit Google, you’re going to have to give this up, too.

how to quit using google

As far as I’m concerned, there are only two map services that can compete: Bing and MapQuest.

For as much slack that Bing receives, their map service is actually pretty good. The satellite images are arguably better than the images in Google Maps: more crisp and at a clearer angle. Their maps are prettier, too. The downside is that Bing’s “Search Nearby” is nowhere near as good as Google’s, but that’s no surprise.

MapQuest used to be really popular before the advent of mobile GPS apps and Google Maps. In recent years, though, they’ve completely revamped their interface into something more modern and fresher. It’s not as feature-rich as Google Maps, but it’s pleasant to use and holds a lot of promise.

New Web Browser: Firefox or Opera

How can we talk about leaving Google without abandoning their web browser? Chrome has become such a household name in the last five years and a lot of users will immediately install it after a fresh format of their computers. However, if you want to be consistent, then yes: you do need to replace Chrome if you want to forever quit using Google.

quit using google

My recommendation is Firefox, which you’ve probably heard of already. Even though I personally prefer Chrome over Firefox, it is a strong alternative. After all, you don’t become an internationally-recognized name without doing something right along the way. If you detest Firefox, then my next recommendation is beautiful and sleek Opera.

One additional note here: If you really want to quit using Google, you also need to stop Google from tracking you through their Analytics program. Fortunately, Google provides browser extensions that prevent Analytics data from being collected (it’s called the Opt-out Browser Add-on). However, if you don’t trust Google to block themselves like that, you could always use something like Ghostery AdBlock, NoScript & Ghostery - The Trifecta Of Evil Over the past few months, I've been contacted by a good number of readers who have had problems downloading our guides, or why they can't see the login buttons or comments not loading; and in... Read More .


If you want to quit using Google, then these are the main steps that you need to take. Seems impossible, doesn’t it? In the process of writing this article, I had to take a deep breath and process just how much of my daily life revolves around Google’s services. It was quite a shock, I’ll tell you that much.

I couldn’t imagine a world without Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, or Google Maps, but if this is the road that you’ve chosen, I wish you good luck. If you’re already on this road, then please share your experiences with us in the comments.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hong
    August 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Ironically, this website is using Google Analytics...

  2. Ed S.
    February 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    P.S. J. Wilson, I would like to copy your comment and post it as mine. I don't trust MS one bit. Especially because they try to shout as loud as possible about how good they are. Fix your crappy operating systems and stop saying that Chromebooks aren't laptops, or that you're better than Apple. You're not, microsoft, not even close :-)

  3. Ed S.
    February 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I love Google and their services. It's an incredibly useful environment. Especially Gmail, Google Voice, and Google Maps. Yes, they do machine-read your crap, that's why I only keep my emails on their servers and nothing else. And yes, they do track you across all services, that's why I'm never logged in with my account when I use Maps or YouTube. And I don't use Google+ or FB, because my everyday life belongs to me, so I don't blast it all over the internet. Now, everybody is complaining about Google, but most people use facebook and twitter, and put their lives out there on a platter for everybody to see, and somehow that's ok, huh? LONG LIVE GOOGLE!

  4. He who will remain un-named
    January 23, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    These last few years I feel like Gene Hackman living in a Faraday cage and constantly looking up. The big data companys are out of control and buying off our government officials in the FTC and FCC. Both Google and FB are working out elaborate spy sattelite arrays and high altitude drones. The excuse is to be the benefactor to bring internet to every corner of the planet. By co-incidence they can now see and record every move a human can make. So.. trust google? NO and i have done whatever possible to never use any google service. I avoid FB as well. But how does one truly know what every possible method is out there to track you? the individual must do this, no agency is going to stand up for your rights to freedom and privacy. How do you explain this to your senator when his whole campaign ran on a google service, FB or twitter? The only real power we have is to stop using the services so it hits these companies in the pocketbook. Personally I don't make a dent - there are too many sheep that like to have google direct them. Perhaps eventually people will catch on? Just out of curiosity who really buys from an ad shown on a google search or in FB? I have to ask. I have neverbought any item from such an ad.

  5. kob
    December 27, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Is there a replacement for Google Analytics?

  6. a2z
    June 20, 2013 at 2:24 am

    GMX IS gmail.... I've had it for about 3 minutes. Only to find the exact format as gmail.
    Let's face it, google has their hooks in ALL of the net.
    I think the best way to quit google would be to try my surfboard out on the ocean.

    • NitroNilz
      December 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Haha, millions of people don't use google.
      U really don't need them!

  7. Richard Borkovec
    March 5, 2013 at 3:04 am

    You forgot one of the biggest ones: Android. These are pretty easy to get used to (minus YouTube), but giving up Android is harder than any of these.

    • Muto Lachen
      January 26, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Oh, just make a Github commit to KDE Plasma Mobile to support your current phone model! Yeah... That may take some time.

    • Farrid
      June 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Nope, Android is open source, so you could install a custom ROM like LineageOS for example (formerly known as CyanogenMod) without installing any Google apps and you're good to go.

  8. Gary Mundy
    March 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Very interesting but the big questions is should I switch? In the end it boils down to do I trust or think any other company will be any more trustworthy with my personal info.

    • Joel Lee
      March 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      A very good point. It's all about trust. And as far as I'm concerned, even though Google is a MASSIVE company that has its tendrils creeping into every corner of the Internet and they've made a few blunders in the past, I still trust them more than I would some other company.

    • John Wilson
      March 5, 2013 at 2:14 am

      I do need to add the point that Microsoft's services track users as much as Google's do. And I've come to trust MS far less than Google or, even Facebook, where my privacy is concerned. Ultimately, though, I'm responsible for guarding my own privacy where any web site is concerned. Should that choice come down to ditching Google I will. I'm not, at this time, convinced that it does. And yes, Joel, they've made a few blunders and, like any other company they will do so again. In the past they've fixed the blunders as fast as a huge company like them are able to there really hasn't been any malicious actions on their part that I'm aware of.
      And they aren't anywhere near as much of a privacy threat that Facebook is by design.
      Of course the ultimate in Internet security is not to use the Internet at all. And I don't see that happening any time soon! ;-)

  9. Greg
    March 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I'm shaking. Quit Google??? That's like trying to quit smoking, it's HARD to do man!

  10. John Thomas
    March 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Also give a try for email, and for searching.

  11. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    March 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I'm usually not logged into my account when I use GSearch. Even when I do, I never allow it to track my history. It's petty, I know, since my data is still being collected anyway, but much better than nothing. Vimeo is certainly a very good place, but it emanates more serious feel and since it's a place for creators, serve more original contents than Youtube. Still, if you need to laugh at silly videos and whimsical trend, Youtube is a place to go. So Gsearch, Gmail, and Youtube. The rest I can live without.

  12. Junil Maharjan
    March 3, 2013 at 6:53 am

    The question is could we stop using google services when it has one of the best services as well as has the most of the mobile phone market which uses its services to make most of the phones services.

  13. Meena Bassem
    March 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Seriously, quit google? dude, why isn't this post about "How to quit using microsoft products"
    it would be much easier for you.I'm already in progress, using a mix of both chrome and firefox, using none of microsoft products but windows 7, and i currently have ubuntu desktop 12.04 installed inside windows using wubi, and i started to like it.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:06 am

      The switch from Google is less about competency or product quality, but more about trust and privacy. I'm actually impressed by the quality of Google's products over the years and the privacy issue doesn't affect me much (yet?).

    • dragonmouth
      March 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      "Seriously, quit google? dude, why isn’t this post about “How to quit using microsoft products”

      Quitting MS (and Fruitco) is a cinch unless you are addicted to gaming. Switch to Linux or BSD. There is very little in the way of apps that MS provides that is not available on a *nix platform. One thing that is definitely NOT available on *nix is user lock-in.

      Google unfortunately more insidious and pervasive. Google is like your friendly corner drug dealer. Keeps offering new addictive convenience features. Before you know it, you are entangled too deep to extricate yourself.

      • Meena Bassem
        March 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        well, for someone not interested in gaming, i guess i won't really need microsoft products. and ubuntu works pretty fine with me

  14. Jacques Knipe
    March 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I'm currently doing the opposite, trying to replace all my non-Google apps and services with the Google alternatives for a more streamlined experience. When I take the time to read the new privacy policy and other Google problems I might switch but like the saying goes, 'what you can't see (or know) doesn't hurt you'.

  15. Garris Rago
    March 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Even though I am not going to leave Google as I don't feel their policies affect me personally in such a detrimental way, I think is a good article for those who do and just in general showing that there are infact alternatives to Google which is not the be all and end all of internet services.

  16. Kahlan Nightwing
    March 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Unfortunately my Church and I both use Google Drive a lot...and my Church isn't likely to switch, so I'd be forced to come back to use that. Are there alternatives to Google Drive? I like that you can make the files right there on the site.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Microsoft has SkyDrive. You could try Dropbox or SugarSync, though they may not be as feature-rich as Google Drive.

      • Unknown ...
        March 4, 2013 at 4:15 am

        MEDIAFIRE. It has been redesigned with great tools. I think it can do lot more than G.Drive.

        MUO is the source

  17. Gaurav Rajak
    March 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for for post,because of google search spams have increased.

  18. Anwaar
    March 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    What do I do with my Android phone and apps.
    You have the right to unsubscribe from all Google services.
    Android is the fast growing Smartphone OS and the largest globally.
    You don`t raise any issues about smartphones.
    I am all for taking on Goliath (If that is what is required) but post a complete strategy

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Phones are more difficult due to the small number of actual competitors. If you don't like Android and don't want to go iPhone, your only real choices are Blackberry or Windows Phone (imo).

      • Anwaar
        March 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

        Black berry or windows is to me like no choice .I like Adndroid `s level of customisation

      • LL
        July 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

        But if you chose Android, better to buy a Fairphone !

  19. Paul Crane
    March 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Was this article payed for by Microsoft's multimillion dollar campaign against Google?

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

      I totally wish I was paid a piece of that multimillion dollar pie for writing this article. Alas, as I mentioned in the article intro: "I personally like many of Google’s offerings, but if you’re one who wants to quit, I’ll show you the main steps that you need to take to release yourself from their grip." This is just an article aimed to address a real issue.

      (But if Microsoft wants to pay me, I'm open to it. You hear that, Balmer??)

      • NitroNilz
        December 6, 2017 at 9:34 pm

        But isn't the issue privacy and data abuse?
        Why don't you recommend alternatives that RESPECT It's users?
        Honestly: Microsoft and Duckduckgo?

  20. Sandeep
    March 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

    There is no viable option for Youtube.
    For rest of services it can be managed, but I will miss Gmail spam filter.

  21. Choon Khai
    March 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I'm not particularly picky with my information on online. The information I "gave" is used for other services to generate profit, I wouldn't mind too. The information is free, my safety is not compromised, and as long as I (and my information) remain anonymous, I don't mind them taking free information to make their service better.

  22. Andi Meyer
    March 2, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Seriously? Moving from Google to services provided by Microsoft to get more security and privacy? And then the you recommend hotmail, a service being replaced by as we speak.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

      As far as I know, and are the same service with a rebranding. And in case you overlooked it, I also recommended GMX for privacy freaks.

      • dragonmouth
        March 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

        Do you know if I can import my e-mails from GMail into GMX Mail?

        • Unknown ...
          March 4, 2013 at 4:06 am

          That's hard. You've to forward them. And because Gmail put emails like a thread, that's why it's hard. You "can't" forward whole threads. You have to do it one by one.

        • dragonmouth
          March 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

          Thanks for the info.

          Why should Google make it easy to leave their womb?! Google is like a roach motel - e-mails go in but they can't come out. Google is like an alligator - it's easy to keep the 'gators jaws from opening but it is next to impossible to open them when they clamped shut around you.

  23. Pranav Mahajan
    March 2, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Wow people want to quit google??
    even if these services are alternatives google services are integrated
    and i dont mind adds as i have purchased many services which i value today through google ads

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 8:00 am

      It's an issue of trust, really. If you trust Google, then their integration of various services is quite a boon. Really convenient.

  24. Unknown ...
    March 2, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Your article a bit made my mind to quit Google. I many times have thought to quit it as my account is filled with some annoyances. There are many services which I've never used or just touched it and they ended up in listing in my dashboard like Adsense, Analytics, Friend Connect, iGoogle, Latitude, Orkut, Product Search and Webmaster tools. I have no business with any of these services. There are many others which Google say not available in dashboard. I think if I delete my account entirely with every single service I will feel some comfortable. I can then make a fresh account or whatever decision I'll make. But I'm kinda proud of that I'm Google user from half of 2010 (I still have that first default email of Google). This can be used to show others. When people see that 'on blogger since xyz' or 'joined YouTube in xyz year' It's a small happy feeling and can be increased after few more years. So I actually want to delete my Google account and I don't care about thousands of comments I've made on Youtube or whatever history I've in my account but just the fact I'm an old Google user (or will become) always stop me from deleting my account.

  25. cobic
    March 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    this is great and all, but what do you do if you've done all of the above, but can't yet ditch the android phone you're locked with 'coz of the f*#kin carrier-contract ? huh ?

    • Unknown ...
      March 2, 2013 at 12:58 am

      yeah! I never thought that I've an Android :) One has to quit it too to quit Google.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Well, if you're locked in by a contract then there isn't much you can do, is there? You can pay the early termination fee if you're really serious. Otherwise, you can just ride it out.

    • Anonymous
      August 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      What platform would you use if it were NOT Android? Get a custom ROM, root your phone, and ride it out. If you have Jelly Bean, don't use Google Now (it wastes battery anyway.)

  26. Anonymous user
    March 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm Same Google Results but (probably) no logging.

    Browser: Even FX is better than Chrome now. Chrome eats 2 GB RAM with 5 Tabs and Firefox "only" 1.5 GB and well Opera not even 500 MB...

    Also I never ever had problems with Firefox before. With Chrome with each *stable* release new errors. Now the latest 25 release does not sync anymore, etc.

    Cannot understand why people want to stick with Google products.

    • Mark
      March 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      ixquick does not deliver same results as google though. Don't know where you got that idea from. Also, reasons to use google: Google Search, GMail, YouTube, translate, maps. Best of their kind. I don't use these 2, but I've heard they're good: chrome and blogger.

  27. Roman
    March 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Google is a very convenient thing. However, it is very easy to live without their maps, search and GMail - coz there are good alternatives for that (bing maps, bing search or there are many many search engines, and there are many mail servers). Youtube on the other hand is something not as easily replaceable.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Definitely true. Youtube is so pervasive that leaving it is almost impossible unless you completely forego user-created videos altogether. Dilemma!

  28. John
    March 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Nice article Joel I quit Google last year which also meant dumping Android as I was sick of the poor security of Android and Google and of the poor quality of Android apps that wasnt a big deal. I like the Hotmail (now called Outlook) and GMX email services

    Another search engine you might like is they have a very good privacy policy.

    So for me its good riddance Google go spy on someone elce ;-)

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

      That's the first time I'm hearing of IXQuick, but if it can provide adequate competition to services like DuckDuckGo, then I'm all for it!

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      March 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      It's such a shame because I'm interested in Android. It's certainly a nice platform to play with as opposed to iOS' closed system (Windows Phone isn't much better). Can someone take over Android project and breaks it free from Google's clutch?

      • Anonymous
        August 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

        Android is open source (unlike iOS and Windows Phone) so if you dare you can get a Nexus device, root it, and install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod. In other words, the Cyan team has already taken over Android in a way - they are the most popular Android ROM out there. If your device has Carrier IQ spyware preinstalled on it, you can rest assured CyanogenMod has taken it out.

  29. Richard Steven Hack
    March 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Google has extremely irritated me in two areas: the Chrome browser and Google+.

    Google made a stupid design decision with Chrome for Linux. They switched to a native file picker WITHOUT enabling it to save the associated files attached to an HTML Web page. How inutterably STUPID was that? It was unbelievable and I had to ditch Chrome, which I had been using over Firefox for a short while due to problems I was having with Firefox. I found a way to fix the Firefox issues and switched back to Firefox.

    Then I discovered that when editing posts on Google+, the editing was extremely jerky and almost unusable in Firefox - but worked FINE in Chrome! Obviously this was deliberate since I see no reason Mozilla would have handled Google+ editing differently in Firefox than in Chrome. So I deleted my Google+ in disgust at this obviously deliberate Google machination to get people to use Chrome.

    Otherwise, I have no problems with Gmail. But it's nice to know about GMX as an alternative.

    However, today I notice that Google Feed Reader is sending me articles in CHINESE! This Chinese hacking thing is getting serious! LOL :-)

    • Mark
      March 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Well, regarding the browser, you use Linux, so it's a user error obviously.

      And Firefox and Chrome treats things differently, so because you say it's jerky in Firefox, it doesn't mean Google did it deliberately. It makes sense for them to start out focusing on making their services work in Chrome, before making it work perfectly in other browsers.

    • Michael
      April 25, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Seriously. The (in)ability to save a web page in "complete" mode was the deciding factor for you to ditch Chrome? How often do you use this feature? Why are you saving the web on your local harddisk?

      Google+ being jerky in FF and not in Chrome is very likely due to the vastly faster JavaScript engine in Chrome. FF has always been jerky on Linux, because they use Gecko and not the faster and more widely used WebKit engine used in Chrome for example. Don't blame Google bad design decisions by the Mozilla team, that's just plain ignorant.

  30. Julian Altshul
    March 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    If you don't want to do anything so drastic as to delete your entire account, you can tweak your account settings so that Google doesn't store so much of your data. For example, Google can save your search history and keep a record of all your Maps searches - or not, if you disable those options. If you also block Google web-tracking as described in the article, that will further reduce the info you share with Google.

    • Unknown ...
      March 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

      I think even if you pause or delete your Google History, Google will still record your queries otherwise how will they give "personalised results".

      • Julian Altshul
        March 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        I think you'll find that if you don't allow Google to save your search history, your results will not be very personalised. For example, I visit Make Use Of most days, but when I typed the word "Make" into the Google search box, this website didn't come up at all - not in the top 30 search results. (I didn't check any further.) It would almost certainly be the number 1 result if it was personalised to my browsing habits.

        • Michael
          April 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

          While Google may not know who you are, it can still place a cookie on your pc and use that to get to know what you are searching for, over time. It should be no problem personalizing search results based only on a cookie.

        • Julian Altshul
          April 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm

          That's true. I use "do not track" and block most cookies too, using DNT+. But I guess a majority of users aren't going to block anything, due to not caring or not knowing how to do it - or both.

    • Joel Lee
      March 3, 2013 at 7:56 am

      I think the reason people switch away from Google is due to a lack of trust. They don't trust Google to handle their data in an ethical way. Without this trust, it's easy to rationalize that Google will still record and track your data even if you choose to "opt out" in the settings. So I guess if you're at the point where you're considering leaving Google entirely, these settings won't do much for you. :(

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        March 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        This is the sad part. With Facebook and Google in tandem, your online life is more or less on someone else's hands.

      • Julian Altshul
        March 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        I think Google must still record all searches in aggregate - but I do believe that by turning of the personalised settings, they won't associate my searches with me personally. But your point is good - I trust Google (to some extent, at least) so I do still have some trust in their ethics. If I didn't have any trust at all, I guess I'd use other providers. Though why would I trust them any more than Google?

    • a2z
      June 20, 2013 at 2:29 am

      I don' believe this to be true. One may read some place in google docs.
      But take for example. You can delete your comments again and again and again. They still keep coming back.
      I've been deleting the same comments (activities) for years on a for the most part, a daily basis.. Just yesterday, when you click that "show more" button, some posts I made 11 months ago popped back up~!
      You can run, but you can't hide.....

    • a2z
      June 20, 2013 at 2:32 am

      today, I find youtube/firefox/adobe or who ever, removed the "right click-stop download" button...
      I'm pretty much done with the net Man has lived for thousands of years without it, Surely I'm still smart enough to do the same.