How to View Deleted History From My Computer

By Kayla Lowe

When you delete your history from your computer, it’s not really gone. Your computer stores a backup copy of your history in a file known as the index.dat file. So if someone uses your computer and deletes his history, you can still view the deleted history from your computer once you locate the index.dat file and have the appropriate software with which to view it.

Things You'll Need

  • Index.dat file reader

Step 1

Click on “Start” and then “Search.”

Step 2

Click on “Tools” and then “Folder Options.”

Step 3

Click on the “View” tab of the “Folder Options” window.

Step 4

Click on “Show hidden files and folders” beneath the “Hidden files and folders” heading.

Step 5

Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types” and “Hide protected operating system files." Click “OK.”

Step 6

Search in “All Files and Folders” in the “C: Drive” for the “index.dat” file.

Step 7

Install an index.dat file reader on your computer.

Step 8

Open the index.dat file inside the index.dat file reader to view the deleted history from your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider restoring the default file and folder options when you are done. Restore defaults by clicking on “Restore Defaults” in the “View” tab of the “Folder Options” window.
  • You might not be able to view the deleted history from your computer if the index.dat file has been cleaned.