How to Find Old Craigslist Personals

by Steve McDonnell
LWA/Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Getty Images

If you're writing a personal ad for Craigslist and remember reading an ad from someone else that you'd like to copy and modify, you can use the Wayback Machine to retrieve archived versions of the Craigslist website and locate the old Craigslist personals ad. But don't plan on responding to old personals ads through the archived site. After an ad is no longer active, the associated Craigslist email address won't send your reply to the ad's author.

Step 1

Identify the URL of your local Craigslist website such as "" Estimate the approximate date of the Craigslist personals ad you want to locate.

Step 2

Navigate to the Wayback Machine Internet archive. Type the local Craigslist URL into the search box and choose "Take Me Back."

Step 3

Select the date from the calendar that's closest to the date you remember reading the personals ad you're looking for and that has a blue circle indicating that there is an archived version available. Hover your mouse over the date and choose a time of day if multiple archived versions exist for a single date.

Browse the snapshot of the Craigslist website as of the date and time you selected. Navigate to the personals section and locate the old ad you want to find.


Photo Credits

  • LWA/Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Getty Images

About the Author

Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.

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