Ever visit a site that you want to return to, but you cannot remember the web address, and also forgot to save it to your browser's Favorites, too?

If so, then you may be pleased to know that Internet Explorer automatically keeps track of the addresses for every site you that you visit. This information is stored on your hard drive in what is commonly called a "history" file. This file keeps track of not Web pages that you've visited, but also the images on those pages and files that you've downloaded as well.

Because of this saved history information, returning to a site that you've previously visited only requires that you press the "Ctrl" and "H" keys on your keyboard simultaneously. You will then be presented with a menu that's organized by previous weeks, as well as the individual days of those weeks. If you cannot remember when you last visit the site you're trying to find, not to worry, you can also search through these records as well.

To make this feature even more useful, you can also configure exactly how far back you want your browser to remember your surfing activities by going to the "Tools" menu and then selecting "Internet Options." From here you can specify just how much "history" you want your computer to keep.

On the other hand, you should realize that if you are ever concerned about someone else being able to see where you've been on the web, then this same "Internet Options" menu has a button for deleting all of these historical entries to protect your past from prying eyes. Alternatively, you can always "right-click" on any individual entry and then delete just that item from the history list, as opposed to deleting all of the history records at once.

Additionally, if you are ever viewing a web page that has information that you know you'll want to access again, you can always use the "File/Save As" menu options to save a complete copy of that specific page to your local hard drive. This will allow you instant access to this information in the future, and without requiring that you connect to the Internet.

Similar history functions also exist in Netscape Navigator. If that's your browser of choice, then check your "Help" menu for specific details.

However, what do you do if you're looking for web sites and information from days long gone, where the site may no longer be active or contain the same information that you're looking to find?

For true historical research on the web, just visit www.archive.org and use their "WayBack Machine" for a technological blast from the past. This site maintains previous versions of countless web sites and pages, with archives updated several times each year, all dating back to 1996 - nearly an eternity in terms of the Internet!

While not all the saved web sites or their various graphic and links are fully functional, there's still an incredible amount of historical information accurately saved and portrayed for your review.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale