What Type of History Does Windows Store?

April 15, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

History stored by Windows:

Windows tracks all your activities such as downloading, searching, running, saving and details of files and documents you opened while using the computer. This feature provides a fast and more pleasant computer experience. But, it is not a good one when we take the case of security and privacy.

Windows Temporary Folders:

All the temporary files that are created when you surf the internet or using some other programs will be stored in this folder.

Recent Documents List:

Windows tracks all the documents and files you have visited and keep a list. Others who have access to the computer can easily access the list and open the documents and files you have visited.

Recently Run Programs List:

When you use he “run” option in the start menu, windows stores a list which contain all the programs you have run using run option. Others who use the computer can easily know which programs you have run while you use the system.

Windows Search “Files & Folders” History

Windows keeps a list of last files that you have searched and the items you searched for in those files using “Search” option in the start menu. Other people who use this function can access your search history.

Open Programs History:

Windows keeps a record of all programs you open from the start menu including date as an encrypted database. You can find the run history from the registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist. So it is recommended to clear the userassist history before leaving the computer because it will affect your privacy. As the number of entries in the registry increases, the performance of the operating system also slows down.

Page file:

It is the space that you can find on the hard disk drive which is used as the virtual memory extension of RAM. Sensitive or confidential information you provided while you use the computer are stored in the page file (swap file). So it is very important to clear the page files to protect your privacy and security.

How Windows Store History of Different Programs You Use

For open/save operations, most the programs use the Windows-provided dialogs. Windows tracks the names of files that you open or save. When you select “open” or “save” from the menu of the application, windows show a drop-down list which contains a list of recently used files. As this information is kept in the registry of windows, any one can access it easily.

Internet history

Each and every internet browser records all your activities such as URLs you type in the address bar, every keyword you search for and every information you entered in website forms while surfing. As all of us know, internet history stored on a computer is very useful because it helps to load web pages faster and make the surfing easier.

The main thing you have to keep in mind is that internet history stores all the details about the websites you visited and every thing you entered on the web pages. You have to compromise your privacy and security, if you keep these records without erasing. Others who have access to the computer can easily retrieve all your surfing activities using this stored data. So, it is very important to erase internet history before leaving the computer. You can erase internet history either manually of using some privacy software available online.  For the type of privacy software that we recommend – be sure to read our privacy software reviews