Aug 212012
 

I have reviewed several free utilities from popular developer Nir Sofer before and have found them to be really useful, portable and stable. So the release of a new utility is always worth a look.

The latest is called BrowsingHistoryView – a quick and easy way to read the history data of 4 different browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari) and display the browsing history of all these browsers in a single table.

This can be very useful if you want to check up on which sites were viewed by users or find out which site was viewed at the precise time when a virus infected the computer etc.

Note: Nir had previously produced 4 separate programs (still available) to read the history data of a single browser individually (e.g. IEHistoryView to read just IE history) but this new release combines the functionality of all of them into a single program.

This is a welcome improvement as you don’t have to first work out which browsers are installed – or maintain 4 programs instead of one.

BrowsingHistoryView is a free, tiny and portable program (doesn’t need to be installed) – it works on all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 up to and including Windows 8.

From the developer’s website – it reads the history (browsing) data of IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari and displays it in a single table. The browsing history table includes the following information:

  • Visited URL – the name of the website page/file
  • Title – webpage title
  • Visit Time – date/time visited
  • Visit Count – number of times the page was visited
  • Web browser – identifies which of the 4 browsers was used
  • User Profile – the Windows user account

All columns in the table are sortable – e.g. click on ‘Web browser’ column heading to sort the entries ordered by the web browser used. BrowsingHistoryView lets you view the browsing history of all user profiles in a running system (or current user only), as well retrieve the browsing history from an external hard drive (if available).

How To Use BrowsingHistoryView

Download the program in a zip file from Nirsoft at the bottom of the page here.

Unzip (extract) the zip file and run the BrowsingHistoryView.exe program file to open the program.

The Advanced Options window appears first:

browsing history1

Advanced Options

It offers the following choices:

  • Load the history from the last number of days/hours, or from specific date/time range (default is last 10 days)
  • Load the history from only the selected Web browsers (by default all 4 are ticked)
  • Load history from all users (this is the default), only the current user, specified profiles/folders

After making your choice, press OK to display the browsing history view as shown below:

browsing history2

Anyone used to NirSoft utilities will be familiar with the layout and find their way around easily.

As is common, you can select one or more entries in the table and copy/paste them or export them into a csv/tab-delimited/html/xml file by using the File \ Save Selected Items menu bar option (Ctrl+S hotkey) or by selecting the floppy disk icon.

Conclusion

BrowsingHistoryView is a quick and portable way to display and save/print the browsing history data of all/any of the 4 major web browsers.

Unlike the previous individual utilities, this one lets you see the data from all browsers in one table which saves a lot of time.