Amazon sells a lot of great stuff, and if you use the shopping service you’ll notice it gradually gets to know you based on your browsing activity. If you’ve ever opened the app to the “your recommendations” section, you’ll know that Amazon not only keeps track of your purchases but also every product you’ve ever so much as glanced at.
(We first looked into this topic a few months back, but in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal the average person is much more concerned with online privacy – so we thought it warranted a second look.)
These recommendations can often be genuinely helpful, highlighting interesting products you wouldn’t otherwise have thought to search for. But there are plenty of reasons you might not want Amazon tracking your every online interest.
Maybe you’ve been looking for a surprise gift and don’t want your significant other to find out. Maybe you’re sick of seeing targeted ads based on your browsing history. Or maybe your recommendations have been out of whack ever since you clicked on that weird product link in a Buzzfeed article.
Whatever the reason, you’ll be pleased to know that Amazon allows users to delete items from their personal history. Here’s how to do it.
Amazon keeps track of everything you look at, whether you buy it or not. Though you can’t dig into a historical archive of everything you’ve ever viewed, it’s pretty straightforward to take a look at a list of recently viewed items and remove any or all of them.
In the Amazon app for iOS, tap the “three-lines” menu icon in the top left of the screen and select Your Account. From the next menu, choose Your Recently Viewed Items. Here, you can press the Remove button to delete individual items from your history.
Alternatively, you can press Manage in the top right and then Delete History to remove everything from this list in one fell swoop. You’ll also see the option to toggle off the browsing history feature altogether, so it won’t keep track of future product views.
Delete saved searches
On top of the browsing history itself, you may want to remove any record of past searches. To do this from the app, simply tap into the “what are you looking for?” search box at the top.
You’ll see a chronological list of recent searches; press the X to the left of any entry to delete it.
It’s worth noting that Amazon’s recently viewed items and search history are unique to each device you browse Amazon on. If you use the app on an iPhone and an iPad, for example, you’ll need to follow the above steps twice – once for each device.
Similarly, you’ll need to manage your histories on any computer that you’re logged into Amazon on. On the computer, go to Amazon’s website and press Your Amazon from the top menu. You’ll then see a Your Browsing History option from a sub-menu, from which you can delete items in much the same way as described above.