How to view browsing history in Internet Explorer

Question:

How can I tell what web sites have been visited on a computer?

Answer:

The list of web sites that have been visited on a particular computer is called the “history”. It is possible to erase this history, but there is a way that is much harder to cover up. This history is kept in a file called index.dat for Internet Explorer. There is a program called “IE History Viewer” that will show you the contents of index.dat. You can download it from this web site:

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/iehv.html

The actual download is at this location:

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/iehv.zip

If you run it on the PC that was used to browse, then you just download and run “IEHV.EXE”, and it will show you where the person has been. It’s possible to defeat even this method, but the person has to be pretty serious about doing that. If they are defeating this program, it might be safe to assume they are hiding something. In that case, the only way that remains may be to view the router logs that may be available to system administrators.

It’s also possible to reach across a network and view the history from another PC, but the appropriate folder has to be shared before this can be done. It’s simplest to run it on the computer in question.

Meet the author

Dan grew up in New York State, and graduated from Queensbury High School in 1980. He received his bachelor's in computer science at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas in 1984. He was a computer programmer at several insurance companies, and worked at Pioneer Hi-Bred for ten years. In July of 2002 after 18 years of programming, Dan founded Iowa PC Services, Inc. as a one-man computer repair business. He is an active member at the Grandview Church of Christ in Des Moines, and enjoys woodworking, walking, and grandchildren. Dan and his lovely wife, Donna, have two grown children and four grandchildren.