​Now you can download your entire search history from Google

Earlier this year, Google quietly rolled out a new feature that lets users download their search history.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

With just a few clicks, anyone can now download their entire Google search history - that's every query ever made while the user was signed in.

To download the archive, Google Search users need to sign in and go to their Google Account History page, then click on the gear icon and select Download.

As the file is potentially sensitive, Google urges users to read its warnings, which are "not the usual yada yada". Google advises that the archive shouldn't be downloaded on a public computer and, if it is to be exported to another cloud storage service, that the user reads their export policy in the event they want to take their files elsewhere in future.

Google will send an email to notify a user when the download is complete, with a link to the data, which will be transferred to a Takeout folder in Google Drive. The user will find a .ZIP archive folder containing a series of .JSON files containing searches over quarterly periods.

Takeout is the feature that lets Google users download archives of multiple products, such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Photos, +1s, Hangouts, Calendars, and more. The feature launched in 2011 under its Data Liberation Front initiative, but it historically didn't include Search and still doesn't include Google Wallet.

The new capability was first spotted by the Google System blog, which noted that Google started testing the archive download feature for Search last year.

Google's product forums show that people have been using the feature, with mixed success, to download their history since at least February. Google told Venture Beat that it released the feature in January.

Other companies that allow users to download and store an archive of their activities include Facebook and Twitter.

Two things worth noting are that downloading search history only gives the user a copy of their archive held by Google and doesn't delete the history from the users Web & App Activity page. Google provides instructions how to do that here.

Read more

Editorial standards