How to delete Google Assistant voice recording data

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Here's how you can delete Google Assistant voice recording data.
Image: Cody DeBos | The Burn-In

Believe it or not, every time you use Google Assistant, the tool records everything you say. It also records background noise during those interactions. Though recordings of you asking for directions to the nearest restaurant aren’t exactly interesting, the thought of that information residing on a hacker-susceptible server is slightly unnerving. Besides, Google doesn’t really need your voice.

Fortunately, there is a way to delete all of the recordings created by Google Assistant. Actually, there are a few ways to do so. You can also prohibit Google from saving these recordings in the first place if you’re willing to part with voice searching through Google Assistant-enabled devices. We won’t cover that last part in this article since most people aren’t willing to make that trade-off.

However, if you’re ready to delete your Assistant’s voice recordings, read on.

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Deleting Google Assistant Voice Recordings on a PC

While there are several ways to delete your Google Assistant’s voice recordings, the easiest is to use a computer. You’ll need to navigate to myactivity.google.com and sign in to the Google account you use with Assistant.

From there, select the option to “Filter by date & product.” In Google’s My Activity tool you also have access to data collected by other services like Maps as well as your regular search history. To delete voice data, you’ll need to select the “Voice and Audio” option and then hit “Apply.”

This brings you to a page listing every recording collected by the Google Assistant. If you want, you can click on one and actually listen to yourself asking a question or making a request. Of course, hearing yourself on a recording is always appalling. From this page, you can hit the trash can icon next to a certain date. You can also click on the three-dot menu in the search bar and select “Delete Results” to permanently erase all of your voice recordings.

Deleting Google Assistant Voice Recordings on a Phone

If you’d rather not use a PC, deleting Google Assistant recordings from a phone is also an option. Unfortunately, the capability isn’t yet baked into the Google Home app. So, you’ll need to fire up a mobile browser and navigate once again to myactivity.google.com.

From there, just follow the steps listed above to delete your voice recording data. The process is nearly identical but may look a little different depending on which device you are using.

Asking Google Assistant to Delete Voice Recordings

If navigating menus on your device is too much to handle, you can also use the Google Assistant itself to delete its voice recordings. The irony isn’t lost on this one.

Nonetheless, deleting your voice data with Assistant is as simple as uttering a few choice phrases. You can say, “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” if you accidentally activated it while making conversation with someone else.

If there are purposeful interactions you want to delete you can say something like, “Hey Google, delete my last conversation.”

You can also ask the Assistant to delete activity from a certain period of time, such as today or the past week. Deleting individual interactions or massive amounts of data will require you to log in to a computer, but letting Google take care of the general deletion requests is a quick and easy alternative.

With these three strategies, you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing that your voice isn’t being stored on Google’s servers. As always, it’s a good idea to periodically do a quick privacy checkup using Google’s online tool to ensure that your personal data is being used only in the ways you approve.

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