Home Pricing

How to remove your name & personal info from Google Search?

Your private data is all over the internet—just Google it. If you’re a journalist or own a business, you may want some of your personal information to be easily found. But most of us feel uncomfortable seeing our age, home address, phone number, or bank account coming up in a search result, publicly available to anyone snooping around.

In recent years, Google has tried to address users’ concerns about their online privacy and the permanence of personal information on the internet by introducing several privacy management tools. The latest update, rolled out in August 2023, makes it easier to request the removal of existing “results about you” and keep track of new ones. But it comes with limitations. 

Read on to find out how to remove your personal information from Google searches. We’ll take you through all the options, including the most radical ones. 

Updated on: March 1, 2024

In short, to remove your data from Google you have the following options:

  1. Remove your data from data brokers sites
  2. Delete your social media profiles (or make it private)
  3. Send a removal request to Google
    • with the “removal request” tool.
    • straight from Google Search Engine Result Page
  4. Levarage region specific data removal tools
    • US only: Remove info from Google using the new “Results about you” dashboard
    • EU only: Leverage your right to be forgotten 

If you want to remove an image of yourself from Google, follow this guide instead.

The whole process is summarized by this image:

Let’s look at each step in detail.

Step 1: Remove your data from data brokers sites

Search for your name on Google and you’ll find that most of the hits are to data brokers, social media platforms and people search sites.

The easiest way to remove this information from the search results is to delete it at its source. 

Deleting personal information from data brokers and people search sites is crucial to preventing the widespread dissemination of your sensitive data. These platforms compile extensive profiles that include highly personal content, making it easy for anyone to access and misuse such information.

Go to each site that has a report or listing on you and opt out. 

Incogni has detailed, step-by-step guides to help you remove your data from some of the largest people search sites in the industry. These guides will make opting out easy, but be warned: to get your personal information off all of them can take hours. Listings on data broker sites, including people search sites, have a tendency to reappear over time. So you’d need to repeat the opt-out process regularly to keep your data off these sites.

To really put a spanner in the works of data brokers that deal in your personal data, try a subscription to Incogni’s automated data removal tool. It’ll send out dozens of opt-out requests at a time. It’ll also perform regular sweeps of these data brokers to ensure your data stays out of their hands.

Removing your data doesn’t have to be complicated

It’s easy for data brokers to find and sell your most sensitive information. Taking your data off the market should be just as easy! For just $6.49 per month, Incogni sends out hundreds of recurring opt-out requests*.

Don’t waste any more time opting out one by one. Let us deal with data brokers, so you don’t have to!

Use DATA-REMOVAL-MAY at checkout to get an additional 10% discount.

* See the full list of data brokers Incogni covers here.

Step 2: Remove social media or set it to private

Removing highly personal content from social media sites is essential to protect your privacy and digital identity. Such content, if left unchecked, can be exploited by data brokers and malicious actors, potentially leading to privacy breaches and identity theft.

There are two options:

  1. Delete your social media accounts, and the related search results will disappear soon after. Not only will your social media profiles disappear from Google’s search results, but all other search engines as well.
  2. If you don’t feel ready to delete your social media profiles, you can try setting them to “private” instead. Changing your profile names from your real name to pseudonyms may also help, as would deleting any personal information like your date of birth and contact details.

Removing social media profiles, should leave mainly people search sites in your Google search results.

Dedicated guides to making social media (more) private:

Step 3a: Remove personal information from Google search with Google removal tool

Find out where exactly your personal information appears by running a thorough search.

1. Run an advanced Google search

Begin by typing your name with quotation marks in the Google search bar. Look through the results and make notes of anything you’d like to have removed. Check your past names and nicknames, too.

Next, review past Google results by checking “cache.” On the same results page, click on “tools” and select the time range. Update your list. You will need URLs and screenshots of websites for the next step.

2. Navigate to the Google removal tool page. Scroll down halfway and click on “start removal request.”

Opt out of Google step 1-0

3. Click on the edit icon to the right of “what do you want to do?”.

Opt out of Google step 1

4. Select “remove information you see in Google Search.”

Opt out of Google step 2

5. Select where you found the information that you want to be removed.

Opt out of Google step 3

6. Click on the edit icon to the right of “the information I want removed is:”.

7. Select “in Google’s search results and on a website.”

8. Indicate whether you’ve contacted the site’s owner.

Opt out of Google step 4

9. Under “have you contacted the site’s website owner?”, select “no, I prefer not to.”

10. Choose what content you want to remove.

Opt out of Google step 5

11. Under “I want to remove”, select “personal info, like ID numbers and private documents.”

12. Choose the personal information you want to remove from Google Search. A list of types of personal information will appear. 

Opt out of Google step 6

13. Choose the personal information you want to remove from Google Search.

TIP: Include only personal information you’ve actually found in the Google Search results, you’ll be asked for URLs and screenshots in the next step.

14. Fill in the URLs and screenshots of the websites on which your personal data appears and submit the removal request form

Opt out of Google step 7

15. Place a check next to “yes, the offending content is live on the website” and proceed to fill in the rest of the removal request form.

16. Once you’ve finished pasting in your URLs, typing in your search terms, and uploading representative screenshots, check the declaration at the bottom of the form and click “submit.”

Take your data off PSS and hundreds* of data brokers with Incogni

Your data is worth more than oil in the digital age and data brokers are making bank at your expense.

Subscribe to Incogni for just $6.49 per month and get: 

  • A fully automated data removal service
  • Recurring removal from 159+ data brokers
  • Regular progress reports

Use DATA-REMOVAL-MAY at checkout to get an additional 10% discount.

* See the full list of data brokers Incogni covers here.

Step 3b: Remove personal information from Google Search straight from the Google Search Engine Result Page

1. Run an advanced Google search and and click the three dots next to the result you want to remove

Begin by typing your name with quotation marks in the Google search bar. Look through the results and make note of anything you’d like to have removed. Check your past names and nicknames, too.

Next, review past Google results that display your personal contact info.

2. Click the “remove result” button. Another menu will appear.

3.Click the arrow next to “it shows my personal contact info”

4. The next two screens explain the process. Click “continue” each time.

5. Click “continue” to confirm your email address or “switch account” to use a different one.

6. Enter your info and what you want to remove

Enter your name and select the type of contact info you would like removed from the drop down menu. Fill out the exact contact information you want removed and click “continue.”

7. Click “send” to send your request.

8. Selecte the reason for the removal request

If your contact info is shown with the intention of harming you, you can select this reason from the list. 

9. Click “start removal request”

You will be taken to a new page explaining how to remove PII or doxxing content. Click “start removal request.”

10. Describe your request.

You will be asked to describe your request. Select one of the reasons from the list, select your country of residence, and click “next.”

Select one of the reasons from the list, select your country of residence, and click “next.”

12. Answer additional questions regarding your request. Click “next.”

13. Fill in your contact information

14. Add details about the content containing personal information, including the URLs and screenshots.

Once you’ve finished pasting in your URLs, typing in your search terms, and uploading representative screenshots, check the declaration at the bottom of the form and click “submit.”

Bonus Step (US only): Remove info from Google using the new “Results about you” dashboard

Google introduced a limited version of the “Results about you” tool in 2022 to help users find results that contain their personal data. After the August 2023 update, the feature also allows users to submit removal requests and track any new information about them that pops up in searches. That said, the tool is only available (in beta version) if you live in the US. The rest of us will have to wait for the next update. Here’s how it works.

1. Access the “results about you” tool

To access the tool, you can either tap on the account photo in the top right corner and select “results about you” or go to goo.gle/resultsaboutyou.

Results about you step 1: How to access results about you dashboard
Image credits: Google.

2. Select “get started.”

Results about you step 2: click get started
Image credits: Google

3. A new window will open. Click “next”.

Results about you step 3: click next

4. Fill in your personal details and click on “continue.” 

Results about you step 4: fill in your details and click continue

5. Select how you’d like to be notified about the results (email or push notification).

Results about you step 5: Set your notification settings

6. On the following screen, you will see information about what happens next. Click “next“.

Results about you step 6: What happens next screen. Click "next".

7. Click “I’m done.”

Results about you step 7: We are taking a look screen. Click "I'm done".

8. Wait until Google comes back with results (it takes around 2-4 hours).

Results about you step 8: Check your results

You can track the information collected in the “Results about you” dashboard. You can also change the personal information you provided for the search by clicking “settings.”

9. Send a removal request

Once Google comes back with results, you will see them in your “Results about you” dashboard. To submit removal requests, click on the three dots next to the result in question and follow these steps:

  1. Select why you want to remove the result and click “continue.”
  2. Enter your contact information. Click “continue.”
  3. Read the note on how removal works and click “send.”
Results about you step 9: send removal requests

You can now track the progress of each of these requests in the “Results about you” dashboard.

Bonus step (EU only): Leverage your right to be forgotten 

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest judicial authority, ruled that Google is considered a “data controller” according to the European data protection directive and, as such, must answer data removal requests from individuals. It was a landmark decision that significantly impacted data privacy and online information removal. Here is how you can leverage this right. 

The right to be forgotten – what is it?

The “right to be forgotten” is a legal concept that allows individuals to request the removal or delisting of specific search engine results that contain their personal information to protect their online privacy. Also called the right to erasure, it originated in the European Union and is primarily associated with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is applied in EU member states and has also influenced discussions on data privacy and online rights in other countries and regions worldwide. 

Find out more about the right to be forgotten on our blog.

How to submit a Personal Data Removal Request

Navigate to the personal data removal request form and follow these steps:

  1. Select the “country whose law applies” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Fill in your full legal name and email address.
  3. Select whether you are acting on your own behalf or someone else’s.
  4. If it’s someone else’s, state your legal relationship with this person.
  5. Check the box “yes, there are previously filled requests” if this is not the first request you are submitting.

In this next section, you will identify which information you want to remove and where it’s located.

  1. Enter the URL of the content containing the personal information you want removed.
  2. Explain the reasons for removal. 

TIP: Follow the suggested prompts: “This page is about me because [state the reason],” and “This page should be removed because [explain why].”

  1. If you want information removed from multiple places, click “add new group.”
  2. Enter the name which, when used as a search query, produces the results you would like to delist. If there is more than one name, put a forward slash (“/”) between them.

Scroll down to acknowledge the three statements and sign the request.

  1. Check all three boxes with legal statements.
  2. Add the date and write your full name and surname as a signature.
  3. Send in the form by clicking “submit.” 

Who can request to delist content under data protection laws?

A personal data removal request can be made directly by individuals or on behalf of someone else. This can be anyone as long as they can confirm that it is legal for them to do so; for example, a family member, client, friend, or attorney. 

How does Google decide whether to remove your info?

On Google’s right to be forgotten overview page, we read that each request is manually processed by a professional reviewer. The final decision is informed by several factors, “none of which is absolute.”

  • Your role in public life.
  • Where the information comes from.
  • How old and relevant the content is.
  • The effect on Google’s users.
  • Truth or falsehood.
  • How sensitive or private the content is.

Google alerts for monitoring new results

Well done. You have taken all the steps to remove your personal information from Google search results, got some of the content delisted, and perhaps even said goodbye to some of your social media accounts. But what if new results appear after the cleanup?

You can get notified whenever a new result on a topic appears in Google search results. Use it to monitor new results about yourself. Here is how to create a Google alert.

  1. Navigate to https://www.google.com/alerts
  2. Enter your name and surname in brackets in the search box
  3. If you have a Google account, click your name under “me on the web.”
  4. Click “show options.”
  5. Select how often you’d like to receive alerts and where you’d like to receive them.
  6. Click “create alert.”

Take your data off PSS and hundreds* of data brokers with Incogni

Your data is worth more than oil in the digital age and data brokers are making bank at your expense.

Subscribe to Incogni for just $6.49 per month and get: 

  • A fully automated data removal service
  • Recurring removal from 159+ data brokers
  • Regular progress reports

Use DATA-REMOVAL-MAY at checkout to get an additional 10% discount.

* See the full list of data brokers Incogni covers here.


What information can be removed with the Google removal tool

On April 27, 2022, Alphabet announced a long-awaited feature allowing people to remove personal information from Google’s search results. Alphabet has lowered the bar for having results removed from its Google Search product—good news if you value your privacy.

It’s not all good news, though. Not every piece of your personal information that shows up on Google is eligible for removal, and there are no strict eligibility criteria—each removal request is evaluated by Google.

To be more specific, you can submit a request to remove “select personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content” from Google’s search results. Only information that “creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms” is eligible, though.

This could include content that could bring reputational harm, like explicit images and videos or Deepfake pornography. What Google calls “irrelevant pornography” is also included: pornography not featuring you but with which your name is somehow associated.

The personally identifiable information that may be removed on request includes:

  • Contact information such as physical address, phone number, and email
  • Government-issued ID numbers (like Social Security numbers)
  • Bank accounts and credit card numbers
  • Handwritten signatures and images of ID documents
  • Restricted, official records, like medical documents
  • Confidential login credentials.

Read more about what Google considers as PII here.

What cannot be removed from Google search results

Keep in mind that it may not be possible to completely clear your name from Google’s search results. The company has already said that it won’t remove search results for public records, so unless you can get a public record suppressed, it’ll continue to appear in the search results.

Google search results cannot typically be removed for the following types of content:

  • Publicly available information
  • Legal and government documents
  • Information with public interest
  • Information posted by others
  • Protected speech and artistic expression.

Also, remember that although Google can delist an entry from its search results, it cannot remove this content from the original place where it was published. People won’t find it in Google, but they will be able to see it if they use another search engine or access the website directly.

The limitations to removing your personal information from Google

As Michelle Chang, Google’s Global Policy Lead for Search, explains in her blog post, there are limitations on what personal information Google is willing to remove from its search results.

The tech giant won’t remove personal information if it deems doing so would limit “the availability of other information that is broadly useful, for instance in news articles.” Google also won’t remove information that appears as part of the public record on government or other official websites.

The biggest disappointment people are likely to feel with the Google removal process comes from a misunderstanding of what the Google removal tool can and can’t do. It removes your personal information from the search results, but can’t affect the sites that have your information.

Something else to keep in mind is the fact that Google Search is just one of many search engines out there. Google absolutely dominates the market, but its questionable business practices have led to the rise of alternative search engines.

When you remove personal information from Google, you leave most other search engines untouched. The only exceptions here are search engines that draw their results from Google Search, like the more privacy-respecting StartPage.com. Something like DuckDuckGo.com will be unaffected.

The only way to get your personal data off every search engine is to have it deleted at the source—more on this below.

Next steps

To really put a spanner in the works of data brokers that deal in your personal data, try a subscription to Incogni’s automated data removal tool. It’ll send out dozens of opt-out requests at a time. It’ll also perform regular sweeps of these data brokers to ensure your data stays out of their hands. What else do you need to disappear completely from the internet? Check out this post.

FAQ

Why might I want to remove personal info from Google?

There are many good reasons to remove your personal info from Google’s search results. A quick search for your name might bring up contact details that you’d rather keep private. A website might be sharing documents or information that someone could use to defraud or impersonate you.
Personal information like this can be used to discriminate against you, harass you, attempt to scam you, stalk you, or even steal your identity. If you’re active online under a pseudonym, your personal information can be used to dox you, revealing your real identity.

Does Google allow you to remove personal information?

Google will graciously allow you to remove some personal information from its search results, but only under certain circumstances. Use Google’s information removal tool to request that pages containing particularly sensitive information be de-indexed from its Google Search results pages.

How to remove your name from Google Search?

To remove your name from Google search do the following:
– Click the three vertical dots next to the search result.
– Select “remove result” from the menu.
– Select the reason and follow the Google search removal process.

How many times has my name been googled?

There’s no way to tell exactly how many times your name has been searched for on Google. It’s reasonable to assume that Google keeps some sort of records like this, but they’re not publicly available. What you can do is set up a Google Alert to see when your name is mentioned and indexed online.

How can I hide my address online?

You can hide your address online by both getting it removed from the public record and stopping it from being shared and published elsewhere. You might not be able to get your address removed from every public source, but you can at least stop data brokers from keeping it in circulation.

How long does Google keep personal information?

Google used to openly keep personal information on file indefinitely. Since 2019, though, the tech giant has offered the option for users to have these data points automatically deleted after either three or 18 months. These settings are on by default for new users. There is no way to confirm that they work.

How long does it take for Google to remove personal information?

Google doesn’t commit to a timeline when it comes to deleting users’ personal information from its servers. It claims that complete deletion usually takes place about two months after the request is made, including a month-long recovery period during which the process can still be reversed.

Does Google have of my personal information?

Yes, Google has your personal information. This is especially true if you’ve ever logged into a Gmail, YouTube, or Google Search account; used the Chrome browser; logged into a stock Android phone; or used a Chromebook laptop. You need not be logged into a Google product to have your data harvested.

Can I see if my name was Googled?

No, you can’t see if your name was looked up on Google Search. Google doesn’t offer this option, either to users or other companies. The best you can do is set up a Google Alert, which will let you see when your name (or other details) is published online and indexed by the Google Search crawler.

How do I control Google results for my name?

You can’t fully control what results Google Search shows for your name. You can, though, get individual webmasters to remove or de-index content, Google Search to de-index results, and you can displace unwanted results by flooding the search engine results pages with optimized positive content.

How do I block my name from being searched on Google?

You can’t block people from searching for your name on Google, but you can limit what results they find when they do. Delete your social media profiles or at least set them to private. Take down any mentions of your name wherever possible. Have your data removed from people search sites.

Is this article helpful?
YesNo
Scroll to Top