Google Search History Gets Easy Button for Android, iPhone

Google's new search history link helps U.S. users of desktop computers and Android and iPhone smartphones rapidly surface Websites they've visited. The tool requires users to have their search history turned on.

Google Aug. 3 added a search history link a new search history link to help U.S. users quickly return to Websites they've already visited.

Think of it as an easy button for accessing search history. However, it only benefits desktop and Google Android and iPhone smartphone users who have enabled search history in their Google accounts.

While this is something some users have been reluctant to do for fear of leaving more digital footprints or breadcrumbs on Google's servers, it also provides a major convenience at a time when relocating favorite destinations, especially from mobile phones, can be a chore.

To enjoy the search history link, users must sign into their Google accounts from a desktop, iPhone or Android smartphone and click or tap the history link at the bottom of the Google homepage.

Those who have enabled search history for their accounts should see a combination of all of their searches done from computers or smartphones while they are signed in.

Mobile searches are marked with a phone icon to differentiate them from desktop searches. Searches conducted from desktops or laptop will surface screenshot thumbnails to help users recognize and return to the right sites quickly.

To remove any Websites in the search history, users can tap the "Edit" button at the top of the page and delete individual search queries.

To stop recording search history, users will select the "Do not save searches" option under "Settings" on the home screen and choose "Save." Again, users who do this will sacrifice convenience for privacy and peace of mind.

Google has been trying hard to keep a log of users' searches, which can help the company's search advertising designs.

The company risked the ire of privacy advocates in December by making its personalized search results available to all of its users, whether they are signed in or not.