3 ways to disable personal results in Google

Summary:If you're tired of Google showing you personalized results instead of true search results, try one of the following three methods.

Did you know that when you search for something in Google, your results are personalized by default? That means that the search results you see when performing certain queries aren't results in their truest, most unbiased form! After receiving a few emails recently inquiring about a way to disable this, I'm now going to show not just one method, but three; two of them being short-term solutions, and the third, long-term.

[Related: 10 Google search secrets]

To start, I recorded a short video showcasing all 3 methods. If you can't see the video or you would rather read the solutions, I provide all three methods down below.

Method 1: After performing a search, locate the following two buttons:

Click the one on the right (the globe) and your results will refresh to yield unpersonalized results. This is a short-term solution, because as soon as you close the search window, Google will default you back to personalized results.

Method 2: After performing a search, on the left hand side, look for the "More search tools" link, then click it. From the links that drop down, click "Verbatim." As with the method above, your results will refresh to yield unpersonalized results. This is also a short-term solution for the same reason as the method above.

Method 3: This method will allow you to permanently prevent personalized results and is my preferred way to search Google. To start, go to Google's home page, do a search for something, then look for this button in the upper right-hand side of the page, click it, then select "Search settings:"

Once you're on the preferences page it takes you to, look for the following section on the page:

Click the circle next to "Do not use personal results," then scroll down and click the save button. A window will tell you that your preferences have been saved. Close the window, then open a new one to perform a search. Your results should now be unpersonalized from here on out!

So, that's that. To note, the second method does a bit more than just showing unpersonalized results. It also takes absolutely no corrective actions, such as if you misspell a word in your search query. Verbatim searches for EXACTLY what you type in the search box. If you can't think of a good use for that, it's probably not the tool for you -- sans preventing personalized results, that is.

What other kinds of Google features drive you crazy? Let me know in the comments below and, if I receive enough responses from all of you, I'll cook up a post with solutions for numerous headaches at once. Happy Googling!

Update: Some weird script stuff was happening with method 3 when I tried linking you all directly to the preferences page, so I edited the post to walk you through the few extra steps needed to get there. Thanks for those who left comments letting me know of your issue!

-Stephen Chapman

Related Content:

Topics: Browser, Google

About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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