How do I Check a Computer's Complete History?

By Melanie Fleury

Unlock the history of computer usage.
i monitor with padlock image by patrimonio designs from

Keeping track of the history on your computer is an important way to monitor the use, especially if you have children in the home that are allowed to be on the internet. Monitoring where they have been and what sites they have seen is one way to make sure that they are safe and secure. There is also software available that can check the history of anything that has been done on your computer, including downloads and items that have been saved to your hard drive.

Click on the web browser that you have installed on your computer. Many people use Internet Explorer or Mozilla. The browser will open.

Click the button for "History." Depending on your browser, it may be located in a different place. For Mozilla, it is the middle tab on the top of your screen. For Internet Explorer, it is on the left hand side.

Click on the option that you would like to view. You can view all history at once, see the sites that have most recently been visited, or view a list of tabs that have been open.

Click on Start at the bottom left of the desktop screen on your computer. Click on Programs, Accessories, System tools, and Disk Clean Up, which will tell you if there have been items that are stored in the temporary internet files. Click on Temporary Internet Files and then you will see the option to view the files. Viewing these files will allow you to see anything that has been downloaded to the computer.

Download software that can track your computer's history, including websites visited, software used and files downloaded. Snapshot Spy is marketed towards those that are looking to monitor what their children are doing. Soft Activity's monitoring software can watch your entire network, making it suitable for employers who want to observe employee activity. Spies Online can monitor activity and keystrokes that the user has made (see links in Resources for all of these.)

Click on the monitoring software that you have installed to check the entire history of anything that has happened on the computer.