How to Look Up Previous Searches on Your Computer

By Lita McLeary

Updated September 28, 2017

i Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox automatically save Internet searches on the computer. This is to keep a record of the searches so that you do not have to type the keywords in case you need to search again. Looking up previous searches on your computer is also good way of monitoring your children’s Internet activity to keep them from accessing websites that may contain inappropriate content.

Open a web browser. This will automatically direct you to your default homepage, which is usually a search engine. Typically, when you use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN or AltaVista, the web browser automatically stores that keyword searches as temporary files.

Click on the search bar and use the down arrow of your keyboard to view previous searches. This is the easiest and most accessible way to view your past searches. They usually pop up in alphabetical order.

Type the first few letters of your search topic. The computer stores your previous searches, so typing the first few letters will yield a few searches starting with the specific letters that you key-in. For example, if you start to type “A” in your search bar, your computer will show previous searches starting with the letter A.

Check your Internet history. Aside from viewing your past searches, you can also view the websites visited. If you are using Internet Explorer, navigate to the browser toolbar and click on “View,” then select “Explorer Bar.” Select “History” and wait for the History window to appear on the left side of the screen. If you are using Mozilla Firefox, click on the "History" tab and then "Show All History." This will show a list of your search history according to the date you visited them.

Use third-party software such as “MyLastSearch” as an alternative to quickly finding all of the previous searches. Download the software, extract the installer from the file to a local drive in your computer and run the .exe file. Upon running the file, the software automatically scans the Internet history and cache of all your web browsers. After scanning, the searches will be displayed in the main window.


Ensure that the saving of your browsing history is enabled. If it is disabled, it can prevent you from checking searches done in your computer.

Aside from "MyLastSearch," you can use other similar software such as "View Internet History Software."