How to Recover Incognito History

Incognito history is a monster to recover, but here are a few tips to make it easier.

Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Ian McEwan

The main reason for browsing in incognito mode is to avoid leaving your browsing history. When you use incognito, you leave no trace of your online history. It is a useful tool, especially when you want to maintain privacy when you browse or for security reasons. At times you may wish to recover your incognito history. You are here cause you lost that good p**n link right? Just kidding. You may want to revisit a particular website that you had discovered while browsing in incognito.

Some of you may keep all your tabs remain open and press on the back button to recover your browsing history.

However, as the browser deletes all your browsing activity once you close your incognito tabs, it becomes a challenge to retrieve your Incognito history.

how to recover incognito history


What is Incognito mode?And how it works?

Before recovering Incognito history, you should know what is Incognito and how it works.


Incognito Mode, the Private Browsing Function

Being first introduced in Safari bundled with Mac OS X Tiger in 2005, the Incognito browsing (AKA private browsing) feature has been around in many popular web browser and enables you to browse privately without any cookies or browsing history left behind.No one can track your history or online activity with the same device when you are in the incognito session.

Once you close the tabs, all the cookies, site data, browsing history, information entered in forms will be erased from your phone/computer.


How Private Browsing Works

First, look at this infographic about data transmission of web browsing.

how incognito works

Regular browsing steps are like 123456, 123456, 123456, 123456, 123456 …And the steps of browsing in Incognito mode are like 123, 123, 123, 123, 123… Step 4, 5, 6 don’t take place here.

It means that Incognito mode stops your browser/device from saving the sent back cookie and other browsing activity. So your Incognito browsing history is invisible in your device.

However, on the network level, no matter normal browsing or private browsing, your browsing activity log is still accessible.


Browsing in Incognito Mode, Your browsing history/information/activity will be:

Invisible to Visible to
Yourself and other people who use the same device
  • Websites you visit, including the resources or ads used on these sites
  • Your employer, school, or whoever runs the network you’re using
  • Your internet service provider


Methods to Recover Incognito History

With the above information, you can know where to recover your Incognito history first. Yes, recovering on the network level, where your browsing history, no matter regular or private, is visible and accessible. Also, there are some useful tips/tools that can help find out the Incognito history from your PC. Just read on and choose the best to fix your problem.


1. Recover/Monitor Incognito History on Network-Level

1.1. Recover Incognito history from Router

Some of the routers, like Netgear or Cisco, will maintain a log of all the websites visited through the shared network. So, after losing those links you want to revisit, you can recover Incognito history by accessing your router log.

Here are 2 easy-to-follow steps that should point you in the right direction.

  • First, you should log in to the website of the Netgear router with your credential.
  • From the control panel, you can select the Logs sections, for some router select Administrator> logs. Then you will see all the websites (normal and private mode) visited by whoever you are sharing the network.


1.2. View Private Browsing History on iPad/iPhone or Android Devices

If you are looking for a way to check the Incognito history on iOS/Android handset, then a good monitor tool like mSpyor Spyzie can help you to do this.

These kinds of spying tool can easily track all activity of the targeted phone/tablet.

  • Browsed Data: No matter the date, the URL and the browser used to visit the website even in private navigation modes.
  • No Restrictions: Track browsing history on Google Chrome, Firefox, UC Browser, Android browser, and Samsung Internet for Android.
  • Track Everything: Aside from browser history, you can also track GPS location, Instant Messaging, Applications, emails, photos, WhatsApp message, Facebook tracking, and more with these spying tools.

Since Spyzie and mSpy do more or less the same thing, so I’ll just show you the usage of mSpy to track the browser history here.

Step 1. Create an Account

GO to the mSpy website, and sign up a new account with an email address.

Create a mSpy account

Step 2. Deploy the app on the target device.

Input the info and select the phone OS. If you are tracking on Android, then you should follow the onscreen instruction to install the mSpy app on the handset you are trying to get the Incognito history from. If you are tracking on the iPhone /iPad, just input the iCloud account information that linked to the target device.

Step 3. Start recovering Incognito history.

After configuring the app, you can now login to your mSpy dashboard on a PC or any mobile device and access all the browsing history records.

And that’s how you can view private browsing history.


1.3. View Incognito History with Off The Record History Chrome extension

The most assured way of recovering incognito history is by using the Chrome extension for recording browsing activity.

The extension keeps your incognito history and makes it easy for you to recover it when the need arises. You can access all the records of your online activity from the extension even when you close the browser. To use the extension, you will first need to download it.

Here are the steps on how to recover incognito history using the chrome Off The Record History extension.

  1. Visit the chrome web store.
  2. Once you are on the store, search for the ‘Off The Record History’ extension.
  3. When you find it, click on it to download. Once the download process is complete, run to install it.
  4. After installing it, launch the browser. Type in ‘chrome://extensions’ in the search bar and press the ‘Enter’ key.
  5. This path will lead you to the chrome’s extension setting window.
  6. On the page look for the ‘Off The Record History’ extension.
  7. Once you have located the extension, mark the checkbox next to ‘Allow in incognito.’
  8. A box will pop up with the warning that the extension will keep track of your browsing activity. Ignore the warning as this is its intended purpose.
  9. Open an incognito tab and browse the internet. You can even close the tabs after you are done browsing.
  10. Click on the Off The Record History extension icon. It will show you a list of your recent browsing tabs and sites you had visited.
  11. To get the entire list of your incognito history, click on ‘full history.’ It will give you all the history of your private browsing session.

The extension can help you recover your history whenever you require it. You can also delete the browsing history form the extension. The reason behind the use of incognito is to hide your history. You wouldn’t want to leave your private browsing records on the browser for long. Someone else can access it easily via the extension.

If you can’t find the ‘Off The Record History’ Chrome extension, others extension, like ‘Session Buddy’ will do the same job to you.


2. Recover Incognito History on Your Handset/Computer

In this chapter, we will show you how to recover Incognito history from your computer with Windows Command Prompt as well as how to recover Incognito history with third-party software.

2.1. Recover Incognito history in Google chrome using CMD

Recovering your browsing history can also be easily done on your Windows PC by using CMD.

Here are a few steps to follow:

Press Win +R to open the Run dialog box, then type CMD and press enter to launch the Windows Command Prompt as Administrator. Input command:

ipconfig /displaydns > c:\users\*your username*\desktop\output.txt

and press enter.

Then you can go to the desktop and find the output.txt, which contains all the details of browsing history.

Note: You’d better do this right after the browser was closed because all the history will flush out when you restart the computer.

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How to Check Private Browsing History On iPhone After Its Been Deleted


2.2. Software: Advanced Data Recovery from Aiseesoft

If for some reason you can’t get what you want with the aforementioned methods, you can still use the free version of Aiseesoft Data Recovery to restore this info.

Download and Install Advanced Data Recovery

First, you need to download Data Recovery’s installation file to your PC. Once the file has been downloaded, click it and follow the onscreen instruction to install that program properly.
Win Download Mac Download Win Download Mac Download
Launch Advanced Data Recovery and Scan

With program installed, launch it, then select Document, Others and the System Disk(C:), then click the “Scan” button.

The program will display all your browsing history even if you browse in a private session. Then you can find your Incognito history with the scanning result.

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