How to View My Computer's History

by Nick Peers
Image courtesy of Mozilla

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

Step 1

The Favorites icon and the Favorites pane.

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.

Step 2

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

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**.

Step 3

A sample search through Internet Explorer's history.

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.

Step 4

Deleting a page from the history.

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

Step 5

The Delete Browsing History option in the menu.

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.

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

Step 1

Clicking the History icon in the Firefox menu.

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

Step 2

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

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.

Step 3

The Library window and sample Web pages.

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.

Step 4

Conducting a search and deleting a page from the history.

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.

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

Step 1

Opening the History page in Google Chrome.

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

Step 2

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

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.

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.


Step 1

Finding the history in Safari for Windows.

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.

Step 2

Conducting a search and deleting one of the results.

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.

Step 3

The Clear History option in the History menu.

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

Erasing the history.

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


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


  • 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.


Photo Credits

  • Image courtesy of Mozilla

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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