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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# please god no
You can now see everything you've ever googled in one place

DO YOU REMEMBER what the last thing you googled was? What about the first?

You probably don’t – but Google does. And not only that, but the internet giant also stores all your searches too.

Now, for the first time, Google has quietly introduced a feature that will allow you to see everything you’ve ever googled in one place.


The search engine actually rolled the feature out in January but with zero publicity. It only surfaced when it was spotted in a blog devoted to all things Google a few days ago.

So from the mundane (“how to get to Heuston Station”) to the well, less mundane (“am I normal?”), Google has stored it all. Great.

However, this being Google, there are a couple of caveats. It won’t show what you’ve searched for in incognito mode, for example. More importantly, it will only include searches you’ve made while you were signed into your Google account.

If you want to carry out the slightly surreal trawl through your own head and access all your searches, go to Google History, sign in to your Google account, click the Settings icon in the top right, and hit ‘Download’.

You’ll be brought to this slightly unusual pop-up screen which warns you to be careful about not opening this on a public computer. If you’re happy to go ahead with it, click Create Archive.


The actual process will take a few minutes and you’ll receive an email once the zip file containing the searches is ready to be downloaded.

The files are delivered in JSON format, so you will need to open them in a plain text programme or extension – and even then, they’re quite ugly and will require some digging to trawl through.

After that, you can decide what you want to do. If you don’t want Google to keep your search data, you can delete your history, and/or turn off the ‘save search history feature’ in the settings on Google History. It means you won’t get search results that are tailored to your habits any more – which could be worth the trade off, depending on how much you care about how much Google knows about you.

In the spirit of full disclosure… 

I downloaded my archive to check that it works, and it was like taking a trip back in time. My searches document certain periods of my life, so I can figure out when I was in college (“how to write an essay quickly”), for example, or when I was just dossing around on the internet (a representative sample includes: “papa roach lyrics last resort”, “pictures of julianna margulies hair” “how to make guacamole”).

The search revealed the very first things I searched for – but only from when I was signed in with a Google account. So my first five searches, all dating from July 2008, were:

1. “arc de triomphe”

2. “defamation on the internet”

3. “how much does an internet moderator get paid”

4. “banking 365″

5. “”

I’m not sure what that says about me at the time, to be honest, except that I was spending a lot of time on the internet and I’m only glad that it’s not more embarrassing.

Feel free to share your first or most recent Google searches in the comments (but please, keep it clean…).

Read: This Irish kid’s doodle will appear on the Google homepage > 

Read: It’s not just small businesses being punished after ‘mobilegeddon’ >

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