From Google Now to the Google Feed and now to Google Discover. Not only has this feature received new names but it’s also evolved its function. Some love it but some people hate it. For those who dislike it, I will be showing you how to disable the Google Discover feature from suggesting content from the feed.
Now, I don’t really want to get into the history of what Google Discover is because I have previously done that in a different article. If you’re curious about how this came to be then I suggest you read that article as I spell it out for you from start to finish. Instead, I want to tell you how to disable the suggested articles feature.
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I will say that this has evolved from an older feature that was called Google Feed and the Mountain View tech giant has made it quite difficult in the past to disable. To give you a bit of insight, I have had to do two previous tutorials to show how to turn it off because Google removed the toggle at one point and made everyone use a workaround to disable it.
Google Discover is Easy to Disable Now
This feature started off being easy to turn off when it changed from Google Now to the Google Feed. Since the feed was just part of the whole Google Now package, they had a toggle that was dedicated to the feed. This is essentially where we are back to today.
However, during the transition, the toggle was removed and it made things so much worse. It’s one thing if people don’t like a feature because they can usually go in and turn it off. However, when that isn’t possible the user feels the feature is being forced on them and that really irritates them.
Again, you can go through the previous times I’ve written about this feature for a history lesson. Now that it has officially been rebranded to Google Discover, I wanted to do one (hopefully) final tutorial to show you how to turn off the suggested articles that many refer to as the feed.
Time needed: 3 minutes.
How to Disable the Google Discover Suggested Content Feed?
- Swipe the Home Screen to the right until you access the Google Discover page
- Tap your profile picture in the top right corner
- Select the Settings option
- Now tap the General option at the top of the list
- Then tap the Discover toggle to turn the feed off
When you go back, you’ll want to refresh the feed to see that it has been disabled.
If you are familiar with the original way of disabling the Google Feed then this will feel right at home for you. However, if you had to do the workaround method then this will be completely new. At the time when Google removed the toggle, it left its users (myself included) confused.
It just didn’t make sense to prevent people from turning off the feature unless they wanted to force it upon them. Which, as you can see from other smartphone OEMs (hello Bixby) and other tech giants. . .they tend to feel they know what is best for their user base than the user themselves.
Sometimes this is for monetary gain while other times this is for tuning a specific algorithm. For example, with Google preventing people from turning the feed off, they pushed people to use it. This allowed them to collect a bunch of data on what people like (scrolled passed) and enjoyed (tapped on to read).
And that is just speculation. It could have been removed as part of the rebranding phase itself. Only Google themselves truly knows but thankfully things are back to normal.
Easily Disable the Google Discover Feed
As you can see from the guide above, it only takes 6 individual steps to turn the Google Discover feature off entirely. And this is with me pulling it apart in a complete step by step process. If you know where certain things are then you could skip some steps entirely and do it that much faster.
As you can see in the video, you will most likely need to do a swipe down to refresh in order to make the suggested content go away. That doesn’t mean it’s required in order to disable the feature though. Those suggested articles are just cached and will be there until it’s cleared.
You could clear it by diving into the Google Apps cache page, you could reboot the smartphone, or you could simply do a swipe down to refresh as I did. However, even if you choose to ignore all three methods of clearing that cached data, the background service is completely disabled once you tap that toggle to turn off Google Discover.
The Google Discover Page Remains
As nice as it is to disable the background service that Google runs hunting down content to suggest to you, the page will still be there when you swipe the Home Screen all the way to the right. We can actually get rid of this page (and I will do a tutorial on that in the future) but for now, the page will simply remain blank.
Since it has a button at the top that gives you access to other parts of the Google App, I figure that it will be a good idea to keep these two tutorials separate. I understand that most people will want to remove the Google Discover page entirely but some will not and I don’t want to force anything on people.
So in the near future, I will be doing a guide on how to remove that page and I will go ahead and link to it here for those who are interested in doing that as well. I have completed that tutorial and you can find out the details by following these instructions.