How to View My Computer's History

by Nick Peers

All major Web browsers -- Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 36, Google Chrome 41 and Safari 5 -- save the Web browsing history. You can review the history at any time if you suspect someone has accessed potentially dangerous websites or if you can't remember the URL of a Web page you enjoyed in the past. You can organize the history, use the search feature to find specific items or delete specific Web pages.

Internet Explorer

The Favorites icon and the Favorites pane.
1

Launch Internet Explorer and click the **View favorites, feeds and history** icon -- it looks like a star -- to display the Favorites pane. Alternatively, press **Alt-C** to bring up the pane. Then select the **History** tab to view the history.

The Organize drop-down box, the View by Date options selected.
2

Select one of the options in the **Organize** drop-down box to organize the history. You can choose from **View by Date**, **View by Site**, **View by Most Visited** and **View by Order Visited Today**.

A sample search through Internet Explorer's history.
3

Select **Search History** from the **Organize** box if you wish to search for a specific Web page. Type the search query into the **Search for** field and click **Search Now** to search the history.

Deleting a page from the history.
4

To delete specific items from the history, right-click any page and select **Delete** from the menu. The item is deleted immediately.

The Delete Browsing History option in the menu.
5

To delete the entire Web history in Internet Explorer, click the **gear icon**, select **Safety** and click **Delete browsing history**. Alternatively, press **Ctrl-Shift-Del**.

Check the History box, click Delete and confirm to erase the history.
6

Check only the **History** box in the Delete Browsing History dialog and then click **Delete**. The history is deleted permanently; you can't recover it after you confirm your action.

Mozilla Firefox

Clicking the History icon in the Firefox menu.
1

Click the **Firefox Menu** button and then click the **History** icon to display the History pane.

The Show All History button at the bottom of the History pane.
2

Click the **Show All History** button at the bottom of the History pane to open the Library window. The History tab is selected by default.

The Library window and sample Web pages.
3

Select how much of the history you wish to see from the left pane -- **Today**, **Yesterday**, **Last 7 days** or **This month**. The Web pages are displayed in the right pane.

Conducting a search and deleting a page from the history.
4

To search through the history, type the query into the **Search** field. To delete pages from the history, right-click an item and select the **Delete This Page** option.

Clearing the history from the Clear All History dialog.
5

Delete the entire history by pressing **Ctrl-Shift-Delete** to display the Clear All History dialog. Select only the **Browsing and Download History** box, select a time range from the **Time range to clear** drop-down box and click **Clear Now**. To delete the entire history, select **Everything** from the drop-down box.

Google Chrome

Opening the History page in Google Chrome.
1

Click the **Chrome Menu** button and select **History** to open the Chrome History page. Alternatively, press **Ctrl-H** to open the page.

Searching through the history in Chrome and deleting a few pages.
2

To search through the history, type the query into the **Search field** and then click **Search History**. To delete specific pages, check their boxes and then click the **Remove selected items** button. To delete the entire history, click the **Clear browsing data** button.

Deleting the history in Chrome.
3

Check only the **Browsing History** box to avoid deleting other data. Select the time range to clear from the **Obliterate the following items from** drop-down box. To delete the entire history, select **The beginning of time** from the drop-down box. Click the **Clear browsing data** button to erase the history.

Safari

Finding the history in Safari for Windows.
1

Click the **gear icon** and select **History** from the menu to open the History section of the Collections page. Alternatively, press **Ctrl-H* to view the history.

Conducting a search and deleting one of the results.
2

Search through the history by selecting the **History** option in the Search section and then typing the query into the **Search** field. The history is filtered as you type. To delete a specific page, right-click it and select **Delete** from the menu.

The Clear History option in the History menu.
3

To delete all the browser's history, press **Alt** to display the menu bar, select **History** and click **Clear History**.

Erasing the history.
4

Click the **Clear** button to confirm your action and erase the entire history. This action is permanent and cannot be undone.

Tips

  • In Google Chrome, all visited Web pages are displayed in the Chrome History list in chronological order.
  • The "Ctrl-H" keyboard shortcut displays the history in all four major Web browsers, including Safari.
  • The "Ctrl-Shift-Delete" keyboard shortcut displays the option to erase the history in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. The shortcut doesn't work in Safari.

Warning

  • Erasing the history in any of the Web browsers is permanent. You can't recover it in most cases.

About the Author

Nick Peers has been writing technology-related articles since 2003. His articles have appeared in dozens of technical publications, including MSN UK, CNET, BBC Who Do You Think You Are, LifeHacker UK and TechRadar. He holds a Masters in information technology degree from the University of East London.

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