If you’ve ever seen an ad and thought “Why the heck am I seeing this?” you’re not alone. Google personalizes the ads you see based on your Google account’s activity — and sometimes, that can lead to weird results.
Fortunately, if you want to see ads that are more relevant to you, you can change what Google thinks it knows about you. On the flip side, if you’d rather Google not use your browsing data to target ads at all, you can easily do that, too.
Note: if you’re signed in to your device with multiple Google accounts, personalized ads are usually based on your “default account,” which is the one you signed in with first. So before you get started, make sure you’re using your primary profile.
Edit your info or interests
If you want to see personalized ads, but aren’t happy with the ads you currently see, you can modify your Google account’s traits and interests.
- Go to your Google account > “Data & personalization.” Find and click on “Go to ad settings” (it’s in the “Ad personalization” section).
- Toggle “Ad personalization” on (if it’s off)
- Under the toggle, you’ll see a list of items. This will include traits that you gave Google when you created your account (such as your age), advertisers whose websites or apps you’ve visited, and interests that Google has determined based on your account activity. To update a trait, click on it and press “Update.” To remove one of the interests or advertisers, click on the item and press “Turn off.” (Note: If you previously had ad personalization off and are just now turning it on, you may not see much in the way of interests until Google has had some time to witness your activity.)
If you want to put back something you’ve removed, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “What you’ve turned off.” You’ll see a list of everything you’ve turned off or removed.
- Click an item
- Select “Turn back on”
Turn off personalized ads
If you don’t want to see ads that are personalized to you at all, you can opt out of seeing them entirely.
- As before, go to your Google account > “Data & personalization” > “Go to ad settings”
- Toggle the switch next to “Ad Personalization” off
Google may still personalize your ads based on your location or the website you’re visiting at the time, but you’ll no longer see ads based on your browsing activity.