MacBook Pro 16-inch M1 Max review The Facebook Papers: How to read all MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro review MacOS Monterey is here World Series 2021: How to watch Guardians of the Galaxy game review

Google's been recording you. Here's the easiest way to delete your voice history

Find your My Activity page and purge it of all those awkward Google Home or Google Nest voice searches.

google-home-mini-17

Improve your privacy with a few clicks.

Chris Monroe/CNET

People were understandably freaked out when reports surfaced in 2019 that Google and Amazon were giving human contractors access to audio clips from their customers' Google Home (now Google Nest) and Echo devices. Google has since made a change, requiring you to opt in to having voice searches recorded in the first place -- and opting in also allows for human review, though audio is anonymized. (Google does this to improve personalization across its platform.)

If you don't remember whether you opted in or not, or if you opted in and now regret it, it's worth taking time to see what Google's recorded about you. Even though Google changed its stance on recording voice searches, the rest of your Google ecosystem activity might still be getting saved for posterity, no opt-in required.

You can find all of your Google activity, from Google Maps navigation to search engine queries, in the My Activity section of your Google account. You can read a list in the Google Home app or actually listen to your own voice search history (if it has indeed been recorded). Fortunately, you can easily purge your account of all these recordings. 

Delete your Google Assistant voice recordings on your PC

1. Go to myactivity.google.com on desktop. If you have multiple Gmail accounts, make sure you're signed into the one associated with your Google Home device.

2. Click Web & App Activity

3. Choose Manage Activity

4. Click Filter by date & product.

5. Check Voice and Audio in the list of Google Products and click Apply.

From there, you can view a chronological list of all the commands you've given your device. You can manually tap the X to delete commands one by one, or you can set a date range to clear a larger set of commands.

Delete your Google Assistant voice recordings on your phone

Unfortunately, you can't filter by date and product in the Google Home app yet. You can only filter by date, so you either have to delete commands one at a time, delete everything or your web activity gets lumped in. It works on mobile browsers though. 

1. Go to myactivity.google.com on mobile browser. If you have multiple Gmail accounts, make sure you're signed into the one associated with your Google Home device.

2. Tap Filter by date & product.

3. Scroll down and tap Voice & Audio.

From here, it'll work the same as if you were deleting recordings on desktop.

jot-google-home-mini-1
Chris Monroe/CNET

How to turn off voice and audio activity

You can stop Google from saving your voice recordings and audio activity through your Google account settings. However, it will cause voice searching with Google Assistant (including Google Home speakers) to stop working until you re-enable it.

google-home-update-2
Chris Monroe/CNET

Here's how to do it on PC: 

1. Go to myactivity.google.com

2. Click the settings bars in the top left. 

3. Select Activity controls in the menu. 

4. Toggle Include Audio Recordings on or off. 

5. Google will ask if you're sure and tell you a bit more about what pausing voice and audio means. If you still want to do it, click I Agree. If you don't, click No thanks. 

Here's how to do it on the mobile app (you can also follow the PC steps and do it on mobile browser): 

1. Open the Google Home app.

2. Tap the profile icon in the top right.

3. Tap My Activity.

4. Tap Saving Activity.

5. Toggle Include Audio Recordings on or off. 

Ready to clean up the rest of your digital footprints? Here's how to find and delete everything Google has collected about you and how to lock down your Google Nest privacy settings. Plus, five smart speaker settings to change right away and every Google Assistant command.

Now playing: Watch this: Google's new Nest Hub knows how well you slept
5:25