How to Check the Browsing History On Your Computer

February 6, 2009

in Internet,privacy & security

by Tina Gasperson

There are many reasons you might want to check the browsing history on your computer – perhaps you remember finding the perfect crème brulee recipe last week but you forgot to bookmark it, or maybe you just need to check up on your teenage daughter to make sure she really was researching her latest school project online and not watching reruns of Family Guy the whole time. Whatever the reason, finding out where you were is easy to do if you know where to look.

In your Firefox browser, it’s as plain as day: just click on the “History” tab, and then on “Show All History,” or just use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+H. Firefox gives you a nice full screen that is a list of all the URLs you or other users have visited for the past 90 days or so (or since the last time the information was deleted). You can choose how to organize this list and select column headers like “last visited,” “date added,” etc. Firefox lets you delete URLs selectively or all at once, or upload the links to your bookmark account to save them permanently.

Browser history

Browser history

In Internet Explorer, click “View,” “Explorer Bar,” then “History” to see your browsing history in the sidebar, or use the same shortcut Ctrl+Shift+H. You can choose to see the history by date, by site, by order visited, or by most visited. Delete your browsing history by clicking “Tools,” and “Delete Browsing History.”

If you’re really interested in your browsing history and would like to be able to search it using keywords of your choice, try the Google browsing history tool. It lets you sort your history according to content such as images, products, maps, blogs and books, and tells you the total number of Google searches you’ve performed.

Click on “trends” and you’ll see the most searched for items and a breakdown of when searches happened, even down to the hour of the day, and Google lets you selectively delete results as well.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.


Elizabeth 02.26.09 at 9:18 am

Thank you! I’ve been wondering how to fully use the Firefox history function. Your instructions were helpful. I clicked on views and saw how to put the list into the viewing order that I wanted. 🙂

sari 04.01.11 at 8:15 am

but actually if u want to delete all traces u will have to delete google account serch history .ur gmail account traces all ur activities

ssssssss 04.01.11 at 8:16 am


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Darlene DeGarlais 05.15.14 at 12:20 pm

we have lost the area on our computer where you click to see the history. I am simply trying to find out how to get it back and can’t get a direct and simple explanation.

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