Can You See a Kid’s Deleted Internet History?
The internet is dangerous. So, parents need to keep a close eye on their children’s activity online, but how can you do this if your child deletes their search history?
You can see your kid’s deleted internet history by checking Google My Activity or using screen monitoring software. You can also check your router’s logs, contact your ISP, check the DNS cache, or use data recovery software to recover deleted internet activity.
If you want to know how to view your child’s deleted internet history, read on for several methods.
How To See Your Kids’ Deleted Internet History?
There are several ways of accessing your kids’ deleted internet history. Directly accessing their account could work, but you may also want to consider downloading a screen monitoring software on your computer and their phones.
Let’s get into all the different ways you can access your children’s internet history.
Check Google My Activity
Even if your child deletes their history from Chrome, their search records aren’t gone- you can still access them through Google My Activity. You must open your child’s device or use their Google account password to access their account settings.
After that, follow these steps to see your child’s deleted history:
- Open your child’s Google account.
- Click on “Data & Privacy.”
- Go to “My History” and click on “My Activity.”
- This option will show your child’s past internet searches made through that Google account, including those deleted from the browser.
- Use the search bar on My Activity to look for specific words or the filters to look for searches made in a specific period.
You should know, though, that there are a couple of limitations to using this method to track deleted history.
- You need access to your child’s Google account; if you don’t have it, you won’t be able to see their search history.
- If your child uses another Google account to browse the internet, this method won’t work unless you have access to all your child’s accounts.
- Most importantly, if your child deletes their search history from My Activity, that data will be lost forever. So there’s no way of knowing whether the search list in My Activity is complete.
Use Family Link To Check My Activity
Another way to access your child’s My Activity records is by connecting their Google account(s) to yours via Google Family Link.
Google Family Link is a service provided by Google that lets parents connect their kids’ accounts to theirs to monitor and control their activity online. The service offers many helpful site-blocking features, but the feature that’s relevant to our discussion is access to your child’s My Activity tab.
Using a family link means you won’t have to log into your child’s account to see their activity; you can use the Google Family Link to check your child’s My Activity.
Additionally, you can block off incognito mode for your child’s account, which means they can’t browse the internet without their search history being recorded.
Use A Screen Monitoring Software
Screen monitoring software is extremely popular for parents to monitor their children’s usage of smart devices.
Originally, they were created for businesses interested in keeping an eye on their employees’ usage of company time and resources, but now they’re pretty popular among parents as well.
There are several reasons why using screen monitoring software is so effective.
- It targets all activity on your child’s smart device. So whether your child creates a secret Google account or uses incognito mode to browse the internet, you will see all activity on their device.
- It can be remotely installed. Since this software is designed with parents’ monitoring needs in mind, most of them are designed so that they can be installed on devices remotely (as long as you have administrative rights to your child’s PC).
- This type of app doesn’t show app icons and remains completely hidden when it starts running. The stealth is so your kids don’t find out about the app and change their search behavior (or use some other device to browse the internet).
What’s the catch? Well, you usually have to subscribe to these applications, which means you have to spend money every single month if you want to monitor your children.
Most parents don’t take internet monitoring that seriously, so they don’t find paying money for such services worthwhile. But if you want to keep a close eye on your kids, these apps are one of the best options.
When picking a screen monitoring software, it can be hard to figure out which one’s right for you.
Many such software is designed with businesses in mind, so they may have excessive features you might have no use for (not to mention you’ll have to pay more for them).
To save you the trouble of research, we recommend the following apps. They’re specifically designed with parents’ needs in mind, so they’ll be the perfect choice for you.
Use Wolfeye To Monitor Your Kid’s PC
If you want to monitor your kid’s activity on their PC, Wolfeye is your best choice. Wolfeye is a screen monitoring software designed for parents trying to monitor their children’s online activity.
The software has just the right features you’ll need to supervise your child, and its price is much lower than other similar apps.
You can set up Wolfeye to record everything that’s going on on your child’s PC; these recordings are automatically saved in Wolfeye’s system, and only you have permission to access them.
Another way this app can help you is through its auto-screenshot feature, where it automatically (and secretly) snaps and saves screenshots of every site accessed on your child’s device. You can later access these screenshots and see which websites your child has searched for.
Finally, you can use the app’s live screen recording feature to see (in real-time) any activity taking place on your kid’s smart device.
You can benefit from all of these features for less than $100. This software is an absolute bargain compared to most other parental supervision software costs.
Use mSpy To Monitor Your Kid’s Smartphone (Android & iOS)
If you want to track your child’s smartphone searches, we recommend mSpy. This app is specifically designed to allow parents to monitor their children’s smartphones (available for both Android and iOS).
Using this app, you can do more than just remotely keep track of everything your child is searching for. You can track their location, control their apps remotely, see what messages they send and receive, and more.
The app also lets you monitor your children’s social media apps. Social media can be particularly dangerous for children, so you must supervise it as part of your attempts to keep your child safe from the internet.
The app has specific features that all you to view your child’s deleted search history.
- Live screen monitoring
- Search history tracking
- Screenshots of visited websites
The only drawback of going for mSpy is that it’s a bit pricey. So, if budget isn’t an issue, I highly recommend using this app.
Track Deleted History Through Your Home WiFi Router
Some models of WiFi routers allow users to track all search queries sent through that router. You can access these records by following a few simple steps, but the exact method might depend on the model of your router.
Before I tell you the steps, you will need to find your router’s IP address. Here’s how you can do that.
How To Find Your Router’s IP Address on a Windows PC
- Open your PC’s settings.
- Go to “Network & internet.”
- Click on “View Network Properties.”
- Find “Default Gateway” in the property list that pops up.
- The numbers next to it will be your router’s IP address.
How To Find Your Router’s IP Address on a Mac
- Click on the Apple logo.
- Go to “System Preferences.”
- Find “Network Settings.”
- Go to “Advanced Network Settings.”
- Under the IP tab, find “router.”
- The numbers listed next to it will be your router’s IP address.
Once you have your router’s IP address, follow these steps to view all search queries made through your router:
- Enter your router’s IP address on the URL bar of your browser.
- Sign in using your router’s username and password.
- If you don’t remember your router’s password, look for the manufacturer’s default password in the router’s box.
- Once you sign in, you’ll be able to see all search queries made through your router.
The number of queries your router saves in its logs will depend on the kind of router you have; routers with higher storage spaces log more data.
A major limitation of this method is that if your kid browses the internet through a VPN, you won’t see their internet searches through the router’s logs.
Ask Your ISP for a Search History Report
All internet search queries sent through your home network pass through your internet service providers’ (ISP) gateway servers. Because of this, your ISP can see all the websites accessed through the network.
As long as you’re visiting a secured site (HTTPS), your ISP won’t be able to see what you exactly do on the site or what specific page you visit, only the website’s name.
However, if you access an unsecured (HTTP) site through your home network, your ISP may be able to see your activity on the site since their information is not encrypted.
Now the thing to note here is that even if your child deletes their browser history (or removes it from My Activity on their Google account), your ISP will still have a record of these searches.
So, all you’ve got to do is contact your ISP and ask them for these records. After verifying your identity, they should have no problem sending you this information.
The drawbacks of this method are that ISPs usually don’t keep such records for longer than three or four months, so your list will be incomplete. Additionally, in some countries, ISPs aren’t allowed by law to hold such information about their customers, so whether or not you can use this method depends on where you live.
Use a Data Recovery Software
Another way you can recover any deleted internet history from your child’s device is by using data recovery software. Data recovery software scans your PC’s disk and recovers your deleted files.
So, you can use such software to recover any device’s deleted search history. The only drawback of this method is that you have to pay for good data recovery software.
You must find the right software for yourself, download it, and then run the program.
Use DNS Cache
The DNS cache is your computer’s temporary memory of all previous DNS queries sent through your browser. If your child deletes their search history, you can use your computer’s DNS cache to recover these logs.
The only condition is that you don’t shut down or restart the PC after the history is deleted. Here are the steps you should follow to recover deleted history from your computer’s DNS cache.
Click Windows + R.
- Type “cmd” on the prompt that appears in front of you and click “ok”
- Next to the “command” prompt, type “ipconfig / displaydns”
- Now click “enter.”
These steps will recover your browser’s search history.
Recover History Through Previous File Versions
You can also recover any deleted internet history by going to your Google Chrome Folder’s file history on your PC and restoring it to a previous version.
The steps for this method can get a bit technical, but don’t worry; I found this helpful YouTube tutorial that will guide you through this entire process.
To conclude, children work around their parents’ supervision by deleting their search history. Fortunately, even with the search records wiped out from their browser, you can access their deleted searches in several ways.
Before you go ahead and use any of these methods to track your child’s internet activity, it’s important that you remember the importance of giving your child some privacy and their own space to explore the world.
The key is to strike a good balance between protecting your child from harmful content and giving them privacy — don’t be extreme either way.
- wikiHow: How to Check Browsing History on a WiFi Router
- Tenorshare 4DDiG: How to Recover Deleted History on Google Chrome
- Google: My Activity
- Google Family Link: Overview
- Google Chrome Help: Browse in private
- Wolfeye Remote Screen: home page
- mSPY: home page
- Cyber Ghost: Can Someone See My Internet History on Their Wi-Fi? [+ Preventative Tips]