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Keep Your Google Speaker From Logging Searches With Guest Mode

You can now enable a new “Guest Mode” on Google’s smart speakers and displays, like the Nest Audio, and make sharing your devices less of a privacy risk. The feature blocks Google Assistant from saving any commands and questions you feed it—normally useful for getting your digital helper to know you better, but problematic if you’re in a situation where multiple people are badgering your digital assistant.

Any commands your smart speakers hear while Guest Mode is turned on are kept out of both your Google Assistant’s recording history and Google Account. (Guest Mode doesn’t block third-party apps or other Google services like Google Search, Maps, or YouTube from collecting data, however.) Guest Mode also prevents Google Assistant from suggesting personalized information—like calendar events, reminders, or favorited media—in any results it shares.

There are obvious data privacy benefits to Google Assistant’s new Guest Mode, but its best use is right in the name: it lets your guests use your smart speakers without their interactions being logged. It also means you don’t have to constantly delete unrelated (or unwanted) voice searches out of your Google Assistant recording history.

To turn on Guest Mode, simply say, “Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode.” To turn it off, say, “Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode.” Google Assistant can also give you more information about the feature by asking “Hey Google, tell me about Guest Mode.”

Should you forget to turn Guest Mode on before searching for something you don’t want saved, you can easily delete the command from Google Assistant’s history by saying “Hey Google, delete my last recording,” or say “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you.”

You can also ask your smart speaker to delete the last day, week, or month of recordings as well. This will wipe all data from the request window of time—which is effective, but could be overkill if you just need to clear a command or two.

Instead of the scorched-earth approach, you can manage Google Assistant’s full history in your Google Account Activity and delete specific older recordings from the list. You’ll also find settings to auto-delete your Google Assistant data after a specified length of time.

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