Guide: How to Restore Delet­ed Google Search His­to­ry

Believe it or not, I don’t use Evernote, OneNote or any other note-taking application. Every time I have to remember something, I open it up the google app on my phone and look for it. For example, at a bookstore, I search for names of the books that interest me, to later purchase on my Kindle. It almost always works except when I forget the search and don’t look at the recent searches for several days. Google only shows the last few searches in the Omnibar and due to my extensive browsing nature, it is almost impossible to fish in the browser history to find the Google page I was looking for. In such scenarios, the Google search history archive helps me. Well, it’s just a scenario, and I’m sure not many people use their Google app to take notes. But if you think about it, there may be one of those days when you want to open the search history on another computer, or if you accidentally deleted the browser history, you might want to retrieve it. So you see, be aware of this trick can be useful.

Download search history

If you are not aware of this, unless you opt out of the option, Google will log everything you searched on Google from your account. Data mining comes as a price for all of the free services that Google offers and as useful as it is to Google, it’s useful to you too. The full web history for your account can be accessed on the Google history page.

Here you can scroll down and view the searches you have performed in the endless scrolling list. Also on Google you can see the insight of the searches and if you have been using the account for a few years, these numbers will surprise you. Now to export the search results, click on the 3 dots menu in the top right corner and click on the Download searches option. The option creates an archive of your previous searches that is accessible only to you. Google will send you an email when the archive is ready to download from Google Drive via an email, and depending on the information in the account, this can take a few minutes to hours.

Note: You can turn off search history and unsubscribe from feature of the settings, but according to Google, it can still temporarily save searches to improve the quality of the active search session. So I think it is better to use the feature active and make it useful for both.

Read the search history

The search history archive will be emailed to you in ZIP format, but inside the archive you will find an HTML file with all data encoded in a JSON file with a .json extension. JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation and is a lightweight data exchange format for storing information on web servers. You can open the file with Notepad, but it will be gibberish and you will need special tools to understand it.

As I mentioned, JSON files are in an interchangeable format that stores data and can be exported to Excel for you to read. To get this done, open Convert JSON to CSV and click Choose File to import the JSON file for the month you want to see Google search history for. If you have already opened the file with Notepad, you can copy and paste the entire contents into the box in option 3.

Finally, under the Generate output option, click JSON To Excel and you will have the Excel file with all the searches you made in the month. You can also see the searches on the page itself with the timestamp.


So that’s How to download and read your entire Google search history in a logical format. But even after all the research, I was unable to understand the timestamp that Google uses. If you are lucky with cracking the code from (query / id / 0 / timestamp_usec), share it with us in the comment section or on the forum.

Update timestamp

Thanks to my wife, who is a JAVA developer, I was able to understand the timestamp next to the search results. The numbers are actually Epoch Unix time used to describe moments in time in Unix, defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 (UTC) Thursday, January 1, 1970. So to get the exact To know the date for the search you made, open the Epoch Unix converter and enter the timestamp under the Convert Epoch to Human Readable Date option.

The tool then converts the timestamp and even passes the local time after converting it from UTC. ALSO SEE: How to Become a beta tester for Google’s search app for Android

How to Restore Delet­ed Google Search His­to­ry: benefits


Final note

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