How to remove your personal information from Google search
- A new form allows you to ask Google to remove your personal information from search results.
- Google asks for examples of websites where your personally identifiable information appears and then reviews them.
- You can ask Google to write down your phone number, address, bank details and more.
Sometimes it seems like Google knows everything. And while this is great for finding that one actor whose name you can never remember, it’s a problem when your personal information leaks online.
Fortunately, Google now offers a form you can fill out to delete this personal information.
How to ask Google to remove your personal information
In the past, Google has only removed your personal information from the internet if you could show that you were at imminent risk. Now you can ask them to remove sensitive information even if you’re not at imminent risk of doxxing or identity theft.
In order for Google to take action, the information you wish to remove must fit into one of these categories:
- Sensitive government identification numbers (ID numbers) such as the US Social Security number, etc.
- Bank account and credit card numbers
- Pictures of your handwritten signature
- Images of ID documents
- Medical records and other classified information
- Personal contact information (phone numbers, home address, email addresses)
- Pictures of people under the age of 18, even if they are not clear
When they find a site that hosts this type of information, they don’t take the site down, they remove it from search results—either from all search results or just from searches that include your name.
Note that asking Google to delete your personal information doesn’t mean it will definitely do so. If they believe that personal information about you does not fit into their categories online or has been shared through a “public record” such as a news outlet or government agency website, they may deny your request.
When you’re ready:
1. Go to this Google support page and click the blue Start a removal request button below.
2. Use the page that appears to choose what you want Google to do with your information and where it is located. The options you should choose are:
- Remove information you see in Google searches
- In Google search results and on a website
- No rather not.
3. Select the category your personal information falls into. If you’re trying to remove data from multiple categories, you’ll need to fill out this form multiple times.
4. Once you have selected all options, a new form will appear asking for your full name, country and email address. You must also provide the exact URLs of the websites where your information appears, a link to the Google search you can use to find your information, and screenshots of the information wherever it appears.
Depending on what you’re trying to remove, you may also need to provide additional information, such as your bank account information.
5. Check the box that asks for your electronic signature, then click on it Submit.
Once you’ve submitted your request, you’ll receive an email letting you know that Google has received it.
In the next few days, Google will review the request and ask you for more information if it needs it. Eventually, you’ll receive an email explaining either what Google did to remove your information or why your request was denied.
If your application is denied, you can always resubmit it with additional materials to support your case.