How to keep the history of sites visited always, even if we browse incognito
The incognito mode is famous on all modern browsers for leaving no traces of our passage (which is very important on shared PCs): just close the browser at the right time, so as to delete all the sites visited and logins made during the browsing session.
Actually incognito mode leaves traces scattered around the computer, which can be used to obtain the pages visited during the session; this trick is very useful if we don’t remember an important page and we want to recover it even after closing the incognito browser.
In this guide we will show you all the tricks for recover the history even if we are incognito, useful for those who often use this mode and want to keep track of secret browsing (perhaps on a shared PC). Obviously for users eager for privacy we will also show you how to nullify the trick, deleting the traces left on the computer, effectively making the section truly anonymous.
READ ALSO -> How to activate incognito browsing (Chrome, Firefox, Edger, Safari)?
1) Save Internet history with Microsoft Family Safety
The best way to save the history on the PC used by a family member (especially a minor) is definitely Microsoft Family Safetythe parental controls built into Windows 10 and Windows 11.
To set it up for the purpose, all we have to do is make sure that all family members have a Microsoft account and are registered in the same family, check that our Microsoft account has organizer rights (so we can set up filters and activity logs for other family members), go to the Microsoft Family Control Sitefind the family member in the list, click Overviewscroll down to Settings and finally activate the voice Activity reports.
To check the sites visited by the user under control (with Microsoft Edge, which will be configured as default browser) go to the same site seen a moment ago, click on the name of the family member, click on Overview and finally on Web and search.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to control how your children use the PC come on how to create a secure child account on windows.
2) Save your internet history with an extension
If we often use the incognito mode but still want to save the Internet history (even if only for a short period of time) we can rely on the extension Off The Record Historyavailable for the Google Chrome browser.
To use it, let’s install it on the Google browser, let’s go to the screen chrome://extensions in the top bar, press the button Details under the addon Off The Record History and activate the switch next to the entry Allow incognito mode.
From now on the Internet history generated incognito will be saved for 7 days, then deleted; this trick is great for those who often use incognito mode but want to recover some visited sites and for those who want to spy on a PC where incognito mode is often used (especially if the PC is shared).
Another extension similar to the previous one is Session Buddy, always available for Google Chrome. This extension will control the browser launched anonymously, showing the list of visited sites complete with the incognito history list (which will show as a separate list, identified by a hat and sunglasses icon).
Session Buddy is also available as an extension for Chromium-based browsers (the open source version of Chrome: we can therefore also install it on Microsoft Edge come on Opera.
On Mozilla Firefox we can use a similar extension called Session Manager tab.
3) Save internet history with DNS cache
Another effective method to see the history when we are incognito provides the DNS cache check, which is the cache where requests are kept when typed in the address bar. To access the cache, open the Windows 10 Start menu at the bottom left, type on the keyboard cmdwe open the Command Prompt and we run the command ipconfig /displaydns.
We will thus have access to all sites registered in the DNS cache, including those we have visited incognito. To facilitate the search for a specific site, we press CTRL+F on the keyboard and we use the integrated search system to search for a site, by pressing on Find next to broaden the search to various results.
4) How to avoid being spied on and increase privacy
The tricks seen above significantly lower the level of privacy whenever we use the incognito mode on a PC. In order to obtain an adequate level of privacy, we suggest that you regularly delete the DNS cache (especially after an incognito browsing session), by opening the command prompt again and typing this time the command:
To avoid being tracked by extensions we use a browser without extensions, even better if portable (i.e. bootable without installation on the PC). Below we have collected the links to download the portable versions of the main web browsers:
If we are interested in portable applications for Windows we have a good list of best portable programs without installation for USB sticks (Windows).
Privacy is an extremely relative thing on PCs and, in some cases, cannot be guaranteed, especially if we have responsibility for minor children. The most effective methods are certainly Microsoft Family Safety and Chrome extensionsbut the DNS cache trick is also very good for hunting down anonymous searches and saving Internet history.
For those looking for maximum privacy without leaving traces, we suggest you try i Linux from USB stickso as to operate outside the system under control.