I left myself signed in to my work Gmail account on my personal computer. I am not using Chrome. I had an internet session that was not suitable for work. At all. This included Google searches and YouTube searches.

Will my employer be able to identify what I have been searching?

  • 3
    Oh boy, I did a lot of research and it's hard to find the answer. You'll need someone who himself has an administrative Google Apps account.
    – Shahar
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 19:48

3 Answers 3


Short answer: no, your Google Apps admin can NOT see your web search or YouTube history.

I'm a Super-Admin (highest level) for my company under Apps for Business, and I can't find any YouTube or web history activity via my Admin console.

What I can do is see a log of email going in and out, and enable or disable Chrome history syncing for my users (but can't see the contents of the history).

If you have a corporate VPN or something like that which you were connected to at the time of your NSFW browsing, you might have been accessing the Internet via your company's network, which they could certainly inspect, but other than that I'd say you're in the clear.

(Note also that if your device was supplied by your company, and not personally owned, you can't guarantee it doesn't have software on it which reports usage back).

I also found this Google Apps forum thread, confirming that admins can't access your history: http://productforums.google.com/d/topic/apps/oS1_LnvfzX0


I've looked into this in the past (out of curiosity, not in an attempt to actually access this information) as a Google Apps admin for a previous company. The answer is that the only way for an admin to access this information would be if they changed your password and logged in as you. For this to happen they would almost definitely need a very good reason (e.g. suspicion of wrongdoing, needing to access information stored in your inbox/Google Drive in your absence), and you would know that it had happened because your original password would no longer work.

Web/search history is certainly not something that Google Apps admin are alerted about or be able to view logs of, even in aggregate.

For absolute peace of mind, you can delete your own search history (and the record of websites you visited) by visiting this link: http://www.google.com/history

Finally, even if your search/web history could be read by your employer, from a moral standpoint you haven't done anything wrong. You weren't actually at work or in the presence of colleages, nor were you using their resources to access this content. I don't think a reasonable employer would hold this against you if you explained what happened.


Potentially, they can see anything if they have the time to snoop or if they have a "watchdog" program monitoring your account. I have been through this adventure and learned that even when you think you have deleted your "activity," they still have a way to explore if they want. This is especially be the case if you frequently do such research. If you have just one or two such queries, probably nothing to worry about. Most techs have little time to monitor these activities so programs tend to be used. If you are on the workplace network, they have a log of site lists. I am still not sure if the Admin console has a way to snoop.

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