Some people look to wipe their web history as soon as possible. (Can’t have anyone stumble across those adult websites you visited!) But what if you’re the opposite? What if you’re looking to hold onto that history?
Maybe you’re trying to remember that really funny video you saw online but can’t remember what the heck it was called. You can’t find it online. Your browser history doesn’t go that far back, and it’s not pulling anything up.
Or maybe you’re just a bit of a digital hoarder, like me.
Either way, not being able to find what you’re looking for is, well, annoying. I’m here to solve this problem. Here are a few of my favorite apps that will help you create your very own web history archive so you never forget about another website you once visited again.
History Trends Unlimited
You know those apps you download straight away whenever you get a new computer or work laptop? It’s a very special tier of software; you literally cannot imagine using your computer without it.
That’s what is for me. It’s a completely free Google Chrome extension that archives your entire web browsing history locally on your computer. Some people are still surprised the Chrome web browser only keeps around three months worth of your web history. This extension is the workaround.
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But it’s not just a way to save more web history. There are charts to track your web usage, including what times and days you browse most websites. There’s data to sift through, letting you know which URLs you visit the most. History Trends Unlimited also provides a simple way to search through your entire history, whether by keyword or chronologically. Chrome’s built-in history search is always glitchy for me, so to be able to actually find what I’m looking for in History Trends Unlimited — even if the item still exists in Chrome’s history — is very helpful.
History Trends Unlimited features one more extremely helpful bonus: It backs up your web history locally every time you open your Chrome browser, so you’ll never lose track of a site you previously visited.
However, its namesake feature sets it miles apart from the rest. History Search allows users to search for keywords within their web history. It doesn’t just search the website’s domain, URL, or title for those keywords, either. It searches the entire contents of each website in your search history. If you remember reading a specific line on a website but can’t recall anything else about it, you can search for that line in History Search, and odds are it will help you find it.
This app exists as a browser extension, so you can use the handy dropdown menu right within your browser to find an item from your web history. But History Search also stores everything on its cloud service, in case you prefer going to the website.
As for accessibility, History Search has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge. You can actually combine your web history with this app from across all your desktop devices and web browsers for a comprehensive web history archive.
The app isn’t entirely free. It does have a very limited free version or a $5.99-a-month plan for unlimited web history archiving. Whenever you sign up for a plan, it’ll automatically import your previous web history and start indexing its contents. While it doesn’t automatically save your data locally, you can create an exported archive.
So, you didn’t read my piece about how to manage all those . Now you have a hundred tabs open, and your computer’s freezing up. Your browser just force quit. Upon reopening Chrome, you realize your recent history was wiped. Enter SessionBuddy.
is a free Chrome extension that I could have put on my tab management recommendations list. The app saves tabs, much like Toby and some other extensions on that list. Open SessionBuddy, and you’ll see a list of all of your open browser windows and the tabs open inside of them. You can even manage the tabs right from the list.
However, SessionBuddy has a standout feature that guarantees its place among my active browser extensions and makes it much more at home on this recommendations list here.
If your browser crashes — because, after all, you have way too many tabs open — SessionBuddy actually stores your previous tab session history so you can find what you lost if Chrome failed to save your history. It’s like a web history archive just for your lost tabs.
If you’re a journalist, working on a research project, or just trying to remember that article you once read, allow me to introduce . This Chrome extension automatically creates a record of every article or blog post you come across online. You don’t have to do anything but visit the site, and Footnote remembers the URL and saves the history to your profile on its website. Along with your article web history, the app also lets users organize the links into libraries.
There are a few issues with Footnote. It sometimes remembers links that aren’t blog posts or articles, but you can remove those manually. Also, it doesn’t yet have an export feature, although it says the option will be there soon. But Footnote is unique at what it does and, working in tandem with a broader web history app, that last issue shouldn’t be a problem for now.
Like I did for my list, I’m adding a bit of a different app here that you might not traditionally consider for the job at hand. Start.me is an online web service that allows users to create their very own custom startup page, which appears every time they open a new web browser tab. You can add bookmarks, lists, notes, embeds, to-do lists, RSS feeds, and a slew of other widgets.
When I’m looking for particular sites in my web history archives, there’s usually a reason I didn’t already add them to my favorite bookmarking app. They’re usually sites I only need to remember for a short-term project or to show a few friends as a one-off. Start.me is a great solution for saving these temporary links you pull up from your web history. Your startup page, unlike your bookmarks, is always changing. It’s always in front of you when you open your tabs, so you’ll only save what you regularly use on there. Gotta keep the startup page lean!
With these apps, forget about forgetting those websites you visited once — and would like to visit again.