How To Fix Your YouTube Viewing History

Photo: Pixieme, Shutterstock

We’ve all probably clicked on a video out of morbid curiosity — maybe to “hate-watch” a particular music video or catch a cringe-worthy moment from a public figure you particularly dislike. Watch enough of those, and suddenly YouTube is autoplaying and recommending videos you don’t like, potentially even replacing the topics and channels you prefer to see.

By cutting items out of your YouTube history, you can reduce the number of unrelated recommendations—and you can even pause YouTube’s history collection entirely.

How to delete YouTube’s watch history and past searches

Desktop:

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, YouTube
  1. Go to YouTube, and log into your account if you aren’t already.

  2. Click “History” in the left sidebar menu.

  3. In the History tab, click “Watch History” from the History Type column. Click “Clear All Watch History” to delete previously watched videos. You can delete single videos one at a time, delete history from specific dates/times, or delete everything in one big swoop.

  4. You can also delete your YouTube search history from this menu by ticking the “Search History” option in the History Type column, then clicking “Clear All Search History.”

Mobile:

  1. Open the YouTube app

  2. Tap the “Library” tab, then tap “History.”

  3. In the History feed, tap the three-stacked dots then tap “History controls.”

  4. From here you delete and manage your watch and search histories.

Pausing YouTube watch and search history

The watch history menus on both mobile and desktop also have options to turn your watch history and search history on and off. These little toggles will come in handy for when you anticipate watching lots of videos that you may not necessarily want to be added to your account history—if you don’t feel like using your browser’s incognito mode, that is.


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