How to Retrieve Deleted History on Internet Explorer

By C.D. Crowder

Internet users are constantly reminded to delete their Internet Explorer history, including temporary files, cookies and browsing history. Sometimes you need your history to remember sites you visited but forgot to bookmark or to keep an eye on your children's browsing habits. Even after your Internet Explorer history has been deleted, you may be able to retrieve it. The sooner you try to retrieve the history, the more likely you are to succeed.

Things You'll Need

  • Recent system backups (if available)

System Restore

Step 1

Press the "Start" button on your desktop.

Step 2

Select "All Programs" and go to "Accessories."

Step 3

Choose "System Tools."

Step 4

Select "System Restore."

Step 5

Choose "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and press "Next."

Step 6

Choose a restore point on the "Select a restore point" page. Choose a date immediately before the Internet Explorer history was deleted. Press "Next."

Step 7

Press "Next" to confirm the restore point.

Step 8

Wait for the system restore process to complete and your computer to restart.


Step 1

Insert your backup media into your computer. This includes external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, flash drives or any other media containing a recent backup of your system.

Step 2

Open your backup software, if applicable. Some users simply copy their files to an external drive instead of using backup software.

Step 3

Choose to restore the following directory: "C:/Documents and Settings/Username/Local Settings/History." Replace "C:" with your main hard drive letter and "Username" with your username.If you're using a backup you manually copied, browse to the above directory and copy it to the corresponding directory on your computer.

Step 4

Follow the prompts in your backup software to complete the restore. Each type of backup software works slightly different.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the system restore doesn't work, you can reverse it. Go back to System Restore and choose to undo your previous restoration.
  • You must choose a restore point that contains your browsing history. If you choose a restore point before the browsing history was created, your missing data will not be restored.