Android Market How-to: Clearing the Android Market Search and Download History

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The Evolution of the Android Market

The Android Market has gone through various phases of development. Although still lagging behind the iOS version in terms of both efficiency and the number of applications available, the Android Market has been improving steadily. Find out whether these improvements have also had their effect on the ability to clean search and download history in the market.

How Do I Clear Search History in the Android Market (Froyo Devices)?

There are a variety of ways of clearing the search history in the Android Market. The first, and easiest, method only works with Android version 2.2 (Froyo), and is fairly straightforward. The steps are as follows:

  • Go to the settings screen by pressing menu, and then settings from the home screen.
  • Once there, open the ‘Applications’ settings menu. Here downloaded, running and all applications can be managed centrally within Froyo.
  • Go to ‘Manage Applications’ and select the ‘All’ Tab.
  • Select the ‘Market Application’. This should be easy to find, especially when organizing the app list alphabetically.
  • Once you find it, select the ‘Clear Data’ and ‘Clear Cache’ buttons, after which all Market search history is erased. You will find an indication of successfully completing the procedure when after re-opening the market app, you have to accept terms again.

How Do I Clear Search History in the Android Market (Non-Froyo Devices)?

The above-mentioned method will not work for devices that run on older versions of the Android system. Especially for the handsets that still work on version 1.5 and 1.6 of Android an alternative method is needed to clear the Android Market search history. This can be done with a third party application called ‘HistoryEraser’ (for Android 1.6 and upwards), or ‘MarketHistoryEraser’ (for Android version 1.5). Erasing the search history is an easy task from here on:

  • Within these free applications, select the ‘Google Apps’ button.
  • Select the ‘Market Search Histories’ option and press ‘OK’.
  • Now the Android search history is erased.

The ‘HistoryErase’ Application is also useful for erasing other kinds of search history, such as call log, contacts, the standard browser or other Google apps, like Google Maps and YouTube.

How Do I Clear the Download History of the Android Market?

Unfortunately, clearing the download list is not possible with Android, either by default or with any third party application. What Android does do by default is that when deleting an app, it will disappear from the download list after 24 hours.

There is, however, a workaround for this, which is fairly complicated, but anyone desperate for an empty download list has no other option. Please note that this method is really a trial-and-error procedure, so results may vary:

  • Firstly, make a backup of the applications you want to keep, using a backup app, such as MyBackup Pro or Titanium Backup.
  • Go to Settings - SD Card & Phone Storage - select ‘Factory Data Reset’.
  • After the phone has gone back to the default settings, restore the applications, which will then be installed on the phone but do not appear in the ‘Downloads’ list of the market app.

Even though the download list will be empty, there are obvious disadvantages to factory resetting your handset. When installing new applications or updating existing ones, the applications will appear in the download list as before, so a new factory reset would be required. While this is far from ideal, unfortunately it is currently the only method available to clear the downloaded history in the Android Market. Perhaps this issue will soon be solved with the upcoming release of Android 2.3, or ‘Gingerbread’. We will keep our fingers crossed.