Manage Your Chrome History and Downloads

By Mark LaFay

As you surf the Internet with your Chromebook, you create a breadcrumb trail of activity, otherwise known as your Internet history. Chrome stores your history so that you can go back to a page that you may not have bookmarked.

Because the sites you visit are stored in your history, in the event your Chrome window closes unexpectedly while you’re surfing the web, Chrome will remember all of the websites that were loaded into tabs and windows prior to closing.

In addition to tracking the websites you visit, Chrome’s manages the files downloaded with your Chrome browser. The Download Manager keeps track of files downloaded and logs where they reside on your Chromebook. The Download Manager also gives you options for re-downloading lost files and for pausing large downloads for resuming at a later time.

There are advantages to keeping track of your Internet and download history. For one thing, it can improve your web-surfing experience: Sometimes when you go to a website, Chrome will save information about that website on your computer so that it will load faster the next time you visit it.

Also, many parents use Internet history to keep track of their children’s web-surfing habits in order to keep their kids safe.

If you would like to view your Internet history, click the Settings button. In the Settings menu that appears, select the History option to open the History page. (See this figure.)

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The Chrome History page is broken up into three distinct sections:

  • The Search History box: The top of the page contains the search box for quickly searching through your browsing history.

  • Device-specific history: The section below the search box contains the recent web history grouped by the browsing device.

    You might recall that when you log in to your Chromebook, all of your browsing data, bookmarks, and plug-ins are imported to your device. If you use the Chrome browser on your smartphone or on another computer, Google tracks your web history and makes it accessible wherever you log in to a Chrome web browser.

  • Complete browsing history: Below the device-specific section of the History page is your complete browsing history from each of your devices, combined into one list and organized by date and time.

On the right side of each history entry is a menu icon that looks like an arrow pointing down. Clicking this icon gives you the option to remove the site from your history or to filter your complete history to include only history entries from that particular site.