Searching your web history

Why use your Web History?

This lesson is about how to search your own Web History.

When you have Web History turned on in your search settings, you are able make use of several options to ease your research process, including:

  1. Viewing and searching across webpages you've visited in the past, including Google searches.
  2. Finding trends on your web activity, such as your most visited sites and top searches.
  3. Filtering search results by pages you've visited before using the navigation menu just under the search bar.

Figure 1: When Web history is turned on, you have access to the Visited pages and Not yet visited filters to help you target your search process.

It is immensely handy when you are trying to remember that result you found.

How to access your Web History

When you create a new Google Account, Google Web History is automatically turned on.

To see your Web History, do a search from the Google home page, then click the gear icon on the search result page and choose Web History.

You can turn Google Web History off or back on  at any time from the gear icon  on the Google search results page. See our Google Help Center article for details.

What you will see in your Web History

Features of the Web History page include:

  1. Graphs showing how much you search at different times of the day and on different days of the week;
  2. A calendar to allow you to navigate quickly to your Web History on a particular date;
  3. A list of searches you ran and pages you visited from your search results;
  4. A set of filters on the left so that you can visit your Web History for a specific service;
  5. A Remove items button, in case there is anything you do not want to keep in your history, and
  6. A search bar at the top of the page so that you can search within your Web History for a particular term.

Figure 5: Your Web History page offers many tools for understanding how you search and revisiting the places you have been in past search sessions.

Let’s try an example:

Imagine that about a year ago you did a search for something about seedless grapes. Now, you cannot remember how to get the results that you found back then—you just remember that it was a particularly beautiful result. It is the perfect time to turn to your Web History.

Just search it for [seedless]:

Figure 6: Results for the query [seedless] within Web History brings up the queries you entered into Google that included the word seedless, as well as any pages that you have clicked into from your search results that include the word.

Since the results show the date on which you did the searching, you can also then click back in time and view other searches you did at the same time—reconstruct more of your process, if you desire.

Along the same lines, you also have the option to sort your results by either relevance or date.

Figure 7: The two side-by-side buttons in the upper right-hand corner allow you to chose if you want to sort by date or sort by relevance.

So the searching Web History gives you access to your personal search history. Remember, you have to be logged in to have a record of your search process or to access that record. You also must have the search history feature turned on. If you don't have that turned on or you're not logged in, you won't see it.


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