How to limit Google ad tracking

Google tracks quite a bit of data in order to build an ad profile for you. The company keeps track of topics that you're interested in, as well as those that don't hold your interest. You can add and remove new topics at anytime, but what if you want to stop this personalization altogether? Well, there are ways to do that to.

Google also provides easy access to a tool that lets you opt-out of ads personalization not only from Google, but from sites that partner with Google for advertising data, as well as other ad networks. There's even a Google plug-in that you can add to Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer (on Windows, of course) that maintains your preferences for Ads Personalization, whether you want it on or off.

Here's how you manage all of that.

How to turn off Google Ads Personalization

This one is fairly easy, and really just requires the flick of a switch and the click of a button.

  1. Head to Google Ads Settings when you're logged in to your Google account.
  2. Click on the blue switch (which is probably set to its right-most position) next to Ads Personalization.

    Go to Google Ads Settings, click on switch

  3. Click Turn Off.
  4. Click Got It.

    Click Turn Off, click Got It

This will turn off personalized ads for you, and will also delete the topics that you like and don't like. If you turn ads personalization back on, Google will need to build that part of your profile back up.

How to turn off Ads Personalization for Google's partners and other ad networks

Even if you turn off ads personalization for Google and its services, websites that partner with Google for ads may still show you personalized advertisements. Google provides a link to a handy tool that helps you turn off ads personalization for these partners, as well as other ad networks.

  1. Open this AdChoices in your browser of choice and wait for AdChoices to finish its automatic scan.
  2. Click Continue.

    Open AdChoices, click Continue

  3. Click Opt Out of All to opt out of all ads personalization for the sites in the list presented and wait for AdChoices to finish opting out.
  4. Click Try Again if there are any participating companies that didn't process your opt-out request.

    Click Opt Out of All, click Try Again

How to install Google's Ads Settings browser plug-in

Google provides a plugin (for some browsers) that keeps you Google Ads Personalization settings intact as you use your browser, in case you didn't turn off ads personalization on the Google Ads Settings page. Unfortunately for Safari users on Mac, Google only makes this plugin available for Chrome, Firefox, while Windows users can also get the plug-in for Internet Explorers.

Use the following links in their corresponding browsers in order to install the plug-in.

Questions?

If you want to know more about limiting Google's ad tracking, let us know in the comments.