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How to search for text in your browsing history

Most browsers' history archives are limited to title, URL, and little else, which can be frustrating if you're trying to dig up a news article you read a few months ago or if you cleared that history recently. Recawl is a great site that tracks your browsing in Chrome and lets you do full-text searches on pages you've visited previously.

If you've been online for more than a few months (and if not, where have you been?), you've no doubt experienced the frustration of forgetting where you found some tiny but crucial bit of information. Typical browser history searching is limited at best, and if you're diligent about clearing your history, it can be useless. Recawl is a great search tool for those who don't mind keeping a private browsing record; it monitors your browsing in Chrome and lets you search every page of your history. Here's how to get started with it:

  1. Install the Recawl plug-in for Chrome. You'll need to do this for every computer you want to track, of course.

  2. Register a free account at Recawl. Your browsing history is now available for searching on the Recawl site.

  3. Recawl search page
    Recawl search page
  4. If you want to keep some of your browsing off out of Recawl's archives, just click the red "R" icon near the top right of your browser and click "Logout." You may want to confirm that you are checked in now and then, as various events may cause involuntary log-out for this and many other services.

That's it! While you may not want to trust a third party with your browsing history, if you do, the ability to delve into your past should make it all worthwhile.