How to Find a Deleted Web History in Mac Without Time Machine

You don't have to be a tech spy to retrieve a deleted history.

If you lose an important link because someone erased the Web history on your Mac computer, there's no need to panic. There are a couple of ways to retrieve a Web history from your Mac even if you don't have the time machine backup system. Follow a couple of simple instructions and your valuable link can be quickly recovered.

Step 1

Open the Safari browser on your Mac. Click anywhere within the browser screen to activate the command bar at the top to reflect Safari commands. The History tab is where you would typically find the Web history. But if you know the history has been deleted, this will be empty so ignore the tab.

Step 2

Click the word "Safari" from the command bar and scroll down to the "preferences" command. In the pop-up box you will see several tabs across the top. Find the "security" tab and click it. Once in this screen, look to the "cookies" section. The security settings for accepting cookies will be one of three choices: "always," "never" and "only from sites I visit." Click the "show cookies" button and all of the sites visited will show up.

Step 3

Review the sites visited. There is a chance someone has clicked the "remove cookies" button before you arrived. If this is the case, you will have either no information or a limited list based upon when this option was last used. In this situation, close this screen and continue to the next step.

Step 4

Open the finder window on your Mac. This is usually seen as a blue square smiling icon on the bottom bar of the screen. Click that icon. The finder window can also be accessed by clicking any open area on the desktop. This will change the upper command bar to the finder bar. If you use this option, click "file" and "new finder window."

Step 5

Look to the left column of the window and under "places" click the home icon. This will open a new set of folders in the center window. Click the "library" option. You will see all of the folders in the library appear. Scroll through the folders and click the "Safari" window. Within this folder find and click the file, "history.plist." Double click this file and it will open, revealing the Web history.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac computer

  • Safari web browser