The Privacy Setting You Need To Change On Your New Android Phone

Google uses a vast network of sophisticated trackers injected into dozens of its services and millions of partner websites to serve you targeted ads (via Google). The trackers follow you across the internet from one website to the next, collecting detailed information about your browsing activity, interests, preferences, device info, and personal data. Using these details, Google generates a unique advertising ID for you and only shows ads from specific advertisers.

The system makes the ads you see more relevant, but it also invades your privacy. By default, Google can track a staggering amount of your private data. It creates an endless stream of data points used to identify you and closely follow everything you do online, but you can disable personalized ads from Google to undermine this invasive tracking. On desktop, you'll need to install a dedicated extension to do so, but Android has a built-in feature that quickly and easily lets you opt out of targeted ads.

How to change ad personalization settings on Android

Stopping personal ads doesn't block ads. Google still shows you ads on its services like Google Search and YouTube, plus the ads you typically find on third-party websites or apps will continue to pop up — they just will not be tailored to your preferences. To start, you should delete the advertising ID linked to your Google account. You'll have to log into your Google account if you haven't already.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Go to Google > Ads.
  3. You'll see two options: Reset advertising ID and Delete advertising ID. Resetting keeps ad personalization enabled but creates a new ad profile for you. Tapping "Delete advertising ID" disables personalized ads.

You can also turn off ad personalization across all platforms where you're logged in with your Google account. The same goes for ads from over 2 million websites and apps that partner with Google (via Google).

  1. Navigate to Settings > Google > Manage your Google Account.
  2. Tap the Data & Privacy tab and find "Ad settings" under "Things you've done and places you've been".
  3. Toggle the Ad personalization switch to turn it off.

This disables personalized ads shown on Google's services, but to control other tailored ads from the company, tap Advanced and uncheck "Also use your activity...," then opt out of personalized ads on apps and websites affiliated with Google's ad program. Check out our guide on how to increase privacy on your Android for more methods you can utilize.