I have a feeling that YouTube tries to personalize and control the videos I see on YouTube and also try to gather my information such as real IP address, location, etc. Sometimes even after I logged out, they still try to do that using the gathered information (Maybe using IP address? ... IDK). I understand why they try to do that. However, I do not like that. I like to have a common global (English) video recommendations. Not a personalized one. So, how can I stop YouTube (Google) tracking me and giving me personalized recommendations..?

Searched result: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=law

YouTube search history Full-Size Image: https://i.sstatic.net/DjELR.jpg

I have already deleted my all activities on Google and disable (pause) all activities including YouTube Search History, YouTube Watch History, Device Information, Location History, etc.

I also use a VPN connection and I have already added _optout_nomap to WiFi SSID. But I still feel like they are tracking me.

  • 2
    Whether they're tracking you or not, the order of search results changes constantly, so you shouldn't expect the same same results on each search. Refresh the results page with cache bypass and you will see that it changes.
    – AFH
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 17:27
  • 1
    Double check that all cookies are disabled. Cookies are their #1 method. Sometimes I notice myself getting tracked and usually is because I turned on cookies to be able to use some web site, then I forgot to turn them off again afterwards. Also, restrict Javascript to the bare minimum (googlevideo and youtube only). Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


There are a zillion ways for Google to track you... I discover a new one every day. Apart from the ones you mentioned, here are a few additional ways (which are not necessarily related to your problem with Youtube, and certainly not exhaustive, but which might still be helpful):

  • Stop using closed source software, especially and obviously Google Chrome. You never know what they really record, leak, share, sell. Open source apps' code can be reviewed independently, which is usually better as far as privacy is concerned.
  • Browser fingerprinting. Cookies are just the tip of the iceberg, there are other ways to fingerprint your browser. You can test your browser here. If you use Firefox, I recommend this very good extension, that allows you to either block or - even better - fake the canvas fingerprinting.
  • Stop using as your DNS, since it belongs to Google. Once again, it basically means that they can know every website you visit... Fortunately, there are some safer alternatives, like Quad9 or (well, so they say).
  • You might want to stop using Google search engine, and try DuckDuckGo instead, which is a very solid alternative, and doesn't spy on you.
  • You can also install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, which helps you block unwanted trackers, especially Google Analytics, which is used by most websites.
  • Obsolete, but worth mentioning: Gmail. Google admitted a few years ago that they read your emails. Apparently, they stopped doing it last year.
  • Also worth mentioning: be careful with the browser extensions you use. Some mine bitcoins secretly, some pretend they remove ads but actually replace them with others, some probably steal your personal data...

I also recommend this very interesting thread on Reddit, cutting Google out of your life.

Goog luck!

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