Jack from Grayson, GA is annoyed at what he sees as a long search history on his Google Maps.  He writes “I use Google Maps a lot and I have this huge history of searches built up and I cannot figure out any way to delete them. I have scoured the internet, but everyone talks about doing it on a phone and I am on a computer. Also, they say to click on the little arrow in the blank search window and there is an option to use at the bottom of the previous search items, but there is nothing at the bottom of mine. I have tried everything including deleting all my browser history and that didn’t do it either. I’ve tried it in Classic Maps and the New Maps which I really don’t like. Is there a way to delete it or will it just grow to infinity?”

google-maps-crop

Hi, Jack (something that I will never say to you if I run into you on an airplane).  Thanks for the great question.

What you’re seeing is actually not a search history, like in Google.  What it is, rather, is a list of suggestions based on what you’re typing.  As you can see from the progression below, if I were searching for my friend’s house in Sun Lakes, Arizona, I would get a bunch of unrelated results until I entered enough information for it to find Sun Lakes.

1

Personally, I just ignore the suggestions nine times out of ten.  I also find them distracting.  Although there is a way to turn them off, I’ve just never bothered.  But if you want to do it, here’s how.  Click on the lines next to your search box.  Over the last couple of years, this has pretty much become universal for “menu”.

2

Near the bottom of the page, you’ll see SEARCH SETTINGS.  Click this.

3

This will, of course, open your search settings options.  The second option is GOOGLE INSTANT PREDICTIONS.

4

This will give you three options for displaying predictions:

1)  When your computer is fast enough.  Google will determine if your computer can display the results without slowing it down significantly.  If it can, it will, if it can’t, it won’t.

2)  Always show instant results.  Computer speed be damned, it will display the results no matter how much it slows down your machine.

3)  Never show instant results.  I think that this is the one that you want.  It will turn predictions off, and you’ll never be bugged by them again.

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer