How to View My Computer's History

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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.

Sample Web history in Mozilla Firefox.
(Image courtesy of Mozilla)
Step 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 Favorites icon and the Favorites pane.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 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.

The Organize drop-down box, the View by Date options selected.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 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.

A sample search through Internet Explorer's history.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 4:

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

Deleting a page from the history.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 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.

The Delete Browsing History option in the menu.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 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.

Check the History box, click Delete and confirm to erase the history.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 1:

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

Clicking the History icon in the Firefox menu.
Image courtesy of Mozilla
Step 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 Show All History button at the bottom of the History pane.
Image courtesy of Mozilla
Step 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.

The Library window and sample Web pages.
Image courtesy of Mozilla
Step 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.

Conducting a search and deleting a page from the history.
Image courtesy of Mozilla
Step 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.

Clearing the history from the Clear All History dialog.
Image courtesy of Mozilla
Step 1:

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

Opening the History page in Google Chrome.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 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.

Searching through the history in Chrome and deleting a few pages.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 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.

Deleting the history in Chrome.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 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.

Finding the history in Safari for Windows.
Image courtesy of Apple
Step 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.

Conducting a search and deleting one of the results.
Image courtesy of Google
Step 3:

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

The Clear History option in the History menu.
Image courtesy of Apple
Step 4:

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

Erasing the history.
Image courtesy of Apple

Tips & Warnings

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

References

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