Privacy Checkup: review your Google privacy settings

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 3, 2016
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Google

Privacy Checkup is a free tool by Google that lets you review and adjust privacy and account related Google Account settings.

Basically, it enables you to verify that the information that is revealed about you on the Internet matches your expectation.

To get started with Google's Privacy Checkup tool, visit this web page on the official Google My Account website.

Please note that you need to sign in to a Google Account before you can use the tool. It displays a short description of what is has been designed for on start, and a "start now" button to get started with the review.

Google Privacy Checkup

Google privacy checkup

The tool walks you through the following six steps, each with one or more preferences or options.

  1. Choose what Google+ profile information you share with others
  2. Help people connect with you
  3. Manage what you share on YouTube
  4. Manage your Google Photos settings
  5. Personalize your Google experience
  6. Make ads more relevant to you


Choose what Google+ profile information you share with others

This step is about the Google profile and the information it contains that are visible to others. It allows you to take a look at the public profile to review the information that is publicly visible currently, and to edit what others see about you.

For instance, you may disable tabs like photos or reviews on your public profile to hide them, or edit your shared endorsement setting.

Shared Endorsement refers to your activities, e.g. reviews or likes, being used throughout Google products and services.

Google sometimes displays your reviews, recommendations and other relevant activity throughout its products and services. This may include shopping contexts, like the Google Play music store, and ads. Your profile name and profile photo may appear with your activity.

Help people connect with you

You are asked to review the connected phone number -- if there is any -- in this step, and decide whether others may use it to find you across Google services. Additionally, you may enable or disable the option that helps others find you by name, photo or other information that you have made visible on Google.

Manage what you share on YouTube

privacy checkup youtube

The third step is only relevant if YouTube is being used. Review how likes and subscriptions are handled on the site (private or public), whether you want your YouTube activity to show up automatically in your channel feed, and review privacy settings for videos and playlists.

Manage your Google Photos settings

You may configure Google Photos to remove geo-location information automatically when they are shared via links.

It needs to be noted that this setting affects only photos shared by link, and not all the photos that you upload to Google Photos or make available using the service.

Personalize your Google experience

The next step allows you to control activity, history and device information, and whether they are recorded by Google or not.

You may enable or disable the following controls in this step:

  1. Web & App Activity.
  2. Location History.
  3. Device Information.
  4. Voice & Audio Activity.
  5. YouTube Search History.
  6. YouTube Watch History.

Make ads more relevant to you

The last step enables you to manage your ad settings, and here specifically whether interest-based ads are turned on or off.

Closing Words

It takes a couple of minutes to review your Google Privacy settings using the Privacy Checkup tool and it may be very well worth the time.

If you have made modifications in the past, you will notice that they are reflected by the tool already so that you can skip them after verifying that they have not changed.

Privacy Checkup is but one of the several services that Google makes available to its users. You may also want to check out the new Account management page and the About Me page.

Now You: How often do you verify privacy settings of important accounts?

Google Privacy Checkup: review your privacy settings
Article Name
Google Privacy Checkup: review your privacy settings
Privacy Checkup is an online tool that Google has created that Google users can make use of to review their accounts visibility on the Internet.
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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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