How to Look Up Past Ads on Craigslist
By David Wayne
Updated April 06, 2018
When you post ads on Craigslist from an account, your ads are stored on your account page as long as your account is active. You can look up active or expired ads by signing in to your account and searching the chronological list of ads. To find past ads posted by another person, use a Web archive tool to view cached Web pages.
Find Ads Posted From Your Account
Visit Craigslist, click “Account” and enter your username and password when prompted (link in Resources). Your account home page displays a list of ads dating back to your account activation. While it does not provide a search bar, you can narrow your results by category and status. Click the “Category” menu and choose a category to display only ads posted to that category. Click “Active” or “Inactive” to display only active or inactive ads. Look at the Posted Date column to find an ad posted on a specific date.
View Past Craigslist Search Results
Visit a site such as Internet Archive, Archive.is or Screenshots to search for past Craigslist pages or images
Example, NYC Apartment listings 6/21/2016: http://web.archive.org/web/20160621100750/http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/aap
(links in Resources). To use Internet Archive, enter “www.craigslist.org” (without quotes) in the Search box, then select a past date from the calendar. You may have to try a few different dates until you find an archived Craigslist page that meets your criteria. Alternatively, enter the Web address of a specific listing in the Search box to land directly on that page after choosing a calendar date. Archive.is and Screenshots work differently than Internet Archive by returning a sorted list of results instead of a collection of calendar dates. If Archive.is contains the ad you're looking for, you can find it by entering the ad's specific Web address in the Search box. If Screenshots contains the ad, you can find it by searching for a specific keyword. When using either Archive.is or Screenshots, click a thumbnail preview in the search results to view the full-size image of a Craigslist ad. You can follow past links from pages returned by Archive.is, although Screenshots provides only images without clickable links.
David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.