How to minimise targeted ads on social media: Google & YouTube

Last modified
11th November 2021
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Google dominates online search. The company also owns YouTube and Android, with the latter reportedly making up nearly 75% of the global smart phone market share. PI has written about the numerous problems that come from corporate concentration and the use of data by monopolistic companies, and there are numerous examples of Google's failure to protect its users.

Below is a set of steps you can take if you wish to minimise ad targeting when using Google.

1. Go to and sign in

2. Click on Google Account

On mobile you can go to Settings > Google and click Google Account

3. Click on Data and Personalisation (Link when signed in)

On mobile, scroll to the right to Data & Personalisation

4. Scroll down to Activity Controls

How it looks on mobile

5. Click (tediously) one-by-one and pause

6. If you have a YouTube account tied to your Gmail account, this is where you pause that too. After you’ve paused all activity scroll further down to Ad Personalisation

7. Click “Go to ad settings”

On mobile scroll down and click Go to settings in “Ad personalisation”

8. Toggled off!

How it looks on mobile

You can also tweak your settings to prevent Google from using personal information it gleans from other forms of activity.

Toggle the button next to show personal results to grey.

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