Google is working on a new browsing history interface called Memories in Chrome

Google engineers have added a new feature to the company's Chrome web browser recently. Called Memories, it is currently only available in Canary versions of the web browser.

Memories, as the name implies already, is a new interface to display browsing history information. Chrome's original browsing history lists visited sites in chronological order. You can open it via the main menu or by loading chrome://history directly in the browser's address bar.

Each entry is listed with time and date, icon, page title and address. Sites can be reopened or removed from the history.

Tip: check out our guide on deleting an entire site from Chrome's history without deleting the entire history of the browser.

Chrome Memories

chrome memories

You may access the Memories feature by loading chrome://memories in the browser. Currently, it is necessary to enable it first: here is how.

  1. Load chrome://flags/#memories in the browser's address bar.
  2. Set the flag to Enabled.
  3. Restart Google Chrome.

chrome flags memories

Chrome populates memories after the restart. It won't pull data from the existing browsing history, a fresh start so to speak.

Once you have visited a few sites, e.g. from your bookmarks, by entering addresses in the Chrome address bar, or by clicking on links, you will see these appear on the Memories page.

One core difference to the main history page of the browser is that the data is sorted in a different way.

Chrome Memories displays sites opened from tab groups or bookmarks separately in the interface. While you do get a chronological list of visited sites as well, each site is represented by a single expandable entry representing the last visited page on that site. The latter makes it easier to find a particular site as the history listing is not as detailed as Chrome's main browsing history listing.  You can expand listings to list all visited pages of the site.

Closing Words

Memories is an experimental feature and it may be pulled before it reaches Chrome Stable versions. The interface makes it easier to find visited sites in the browsing history, but if that is enough to add another history browser to Chrome remains to be seen.

Now You: how would you like to see the browsing history represented in your browser of choice?

Summary
Google is working on a new browsing history interface called Memories in Chrome
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Google is working on a new browsing history interface called Memories in Chrome
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Google engineers have added a new feature to the company's Chrome web browser recently. Called Memories, it is currently only available in Canary versions of the web browser.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. demonic (D) said on April 24, 2021 at 8:20 am
    Reply

    all your base are belong to them

    1. Anonymous said on April 25, 2021 at 5:30 am
      Reply

      No, they are all the base.

  2. Anonymous said on April 24, 2021 at 1:52 pm
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    I don’t use Chrome, for obvious reasons. With the browsers I do use, I disable or clear browsing history regularly. I can usually remember where I’ve been, and if I forget, it’s no big deal.
    I don’t need others to know where I have been.
    So no, I don’t want my browsing history represented.

    1. Peterc said on April 24, 2021 at 7:22 pm
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      @Anonymous:

      I often end up needing to revisit a page I’ve previously read, typically to cite it or provide a link to someone else, but sometimes just to refresh my recollection. I usually don’t know in advance that I will need to revisit it, so bookmarking it doesn’t make sense, and the page in question wasn’t always quick and easy to find in the first place. As a result, I rely *heavily* on my browsing history. It’s radically faster and easier than searching from scratch, as the haystack is much, much smaller.

      That said, I only use Chromium-based browsers for sites that won’t run (or don’t run tolerably well) in Pale Moon, and I have replaced Google Chrome with Brave as my Chromium-based fallback to the fullest extent possible, precisely because of privacy concerns. If I were to visit sites that I wanted to protect from any possibility of being inventoried and connected to me, I’d load them in Tor Browser. (And even then, I wouldn’t necessarily count on it 100%, especially in Windows.)

      By the way, for people like me who *do* use their browsing history and may have fragmented it across multiple browsers, Nirsoft Utilities’ BrowsingHistoryView can come in handy (in Windows, at least). It can aggregate the history of many browsers — currently, Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer 10/11 + Edge, Safari, Chromium-based Edge, Waterfox, Chrome, Chrome Canary, Opera, Pale Moon, Brave, Firefox, Sea Monkey, Yandex, and Vivaldi — and it allows you to filter, search, and export the results. Ghacks has covered it a couple of times.

    2. Anon said on April 24, 2021 at 11:18 pm
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      Google already knows where you’ve been (and not been; basically whatever URL you’ve typed), so for Chrome users this changes nothing in terms of privacy. If you’re not a Chrome user at all, who asked you? Why do you care if their browsing history is represented in a new way?

      (I’m not a Chrome user either and I too have set my browser to clear everything whenever I close it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use my browser’s history feature sometimes _during_ a browsing session. When one is opening tons of tabs, sometimes it is useful to reopen a URL that one might have use for again, but might not remember exactly. Fairly common use case.)

  3. Anonymous said on April 24, 2021 at 1:59 pm
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    “Chrome Memories displays sites opened from tab groups or bookmarks separately in the interface”

    The more Chrome “remembers”, the more Google knows.

    1. Anon said on April 24, 2021 at 11:08 pm
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      ” The more Chrome “remembers”, the more Google knows. ”

      This makes no sense. Google already knows every URL you’ve typed in Chrome, no matter whether you actually visited it or not, so displaying your browsing history in a slightly different manner changes absolutely nothing in that regard. If you care nothing about your privacy and use Chrome already, don’t be a hypocrite and complain about just this one new feature.

      1. Anonymous said on April 25, 2021 at 12:24 pm
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        Chrome users also endorse censorship too.

      2. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 8:00 am
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        @Anonymous

        > Chrome users also endorse censorship too.

        They’re not the only ones:

        https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2021/01/08/we-need-more-than-deplatforming/

      3. Anonymous said on April 26, 2021 at 11:32 am
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        @lron Heart, it’s an article they wrote which most disagree with. But they can’t do anything. They do not own any big platforms like Facebook etc.

      4. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 1:04 pm
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        @anonymous

        They can absolutely block you from going to websites they disagree with, they can label their links with “not trustworthy” markers or similar and they can collect your browsing history. They are not currently doing any of this, but they are clearly supporters of censorship. If they will go further than verbal support, we shall see, but I think the right to complain about censorship is completely forfeit for Mozilla fans and supporters, after this article.

      5. m3city said on April 26, 2021 at 2:20 pm
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        @Iron Heart
        BTW that is not censorship. That is saying stop to spreading FUD and social unrest. It’s to stop russian borned/funded propaganda that is to divide people. Even FB and twitter admit, that 90% of crap about vaccines, brexit came from former soviet uniot republics. Add 2+2 here, it simple.

        And in regard to flagging Trump: I remember that some time ago BBC said stop to so called scientists opposing environment changes and global warning. It had nothing to do with political stance, it was just to cut off giving camera time for BS. It’s one thing to let people believe in anything, but completely other to let them spread failed theories in media. It’s media responsibility to provide accurate and verified info. Check out USA to see what happens when media care about income only. A dumb, damaged society.

      6. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 4:41 pm
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        @m3city

        And the browser has a business in that exactly how? It’s supposed to be a neutral tool just like a TV, your TV also has no say in what content you watch, or has it?

        What Facebook and Twitter ban from their own platforms is a different matter, third party tools that exist for rendering have no say here.

        Besides, I am more or less letting people form their own opinions, I just hope that people are informing themselves from multiple sources and not echo chambers. Why that is such an issue today I don’t know, the Internet exists since the 90s and questionable content exists since then as well.

        Of note, I hate politics as a topic and think that gHacks is the wrong place to discuss it.

      7. Anonymous said on April 25, 2021 at 12:51 pm
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        Anon, that description makes it look like now Google knows too how a given URL was opened, but maybe I misunderstood it. Not a big deal even if true considering what Google knows already but that comment was of a more general purpose that when such software wants to remember something more, it should be taken with caution, and it won’t always be just another way to display information.

        I don’t use Chrome, I do not complain “just about this one new feature”, and I am able to understand that even when not using Chrome what happens in Chrome has privacy consequences everywhere.

      8. Anon said on April 26, 2021 at 12:58 am
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        Care to elaborate on how this new browsing history interface in Chrome “has privacy consequences everywhere”? I mean, I hate Chrome as much as anyone can, but these sorts of alarmist comments need to be backed up with something concrete, or else you simply get branded as someone to be laughed at and/or ignored.

  4. Thaumiel said on April 24, 2021 at 5:44 pm
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    Allowing users to do things with their browsing history is untapped territory —but nobody developing mainstream browsers will ever do anything about it unless it’s for their own data collection. Browsers handle such a basic, foundamental and yet so vast collection of data in the most idiotic, simplistic, ignorant manner possible. Firefox in particular has been hellbent on removing functions and data fields from it over the years (making queries on the database itself not any more viable nowadays) and implementing an automatic setting that deletes everything once a certain number of entities has been reached, probably looking for some easy performance gains claims (though the places database can get really large and many users may not know about it, at the same time precious information will inevitably be lost). Norwell was a great extension that provided much-needed relief whenever one was looking for something and how they got there—instead of a useless log with two timestamps and an URL. I got interested from the title, but looking in detail it seems to be the usual half-assed Google implementation that looks a pain to use and doesn’t provide much more than search history and sites visited in a day (reminiscent of looking at your account browsing and search data, if you have it enabled for some reason). It’s still clearly in infancy and will probably be dumped a few versions later, I don’t think it’ll be any useful. Maybe one day some developers will remember allowing users to control the data within their software as they so desire is paramount.

  5. Anonymous said on April 24, 2021 at 10:46 pm
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    I can’t see how history is to my benefit. I can see how it may be of benefit to others. Others being users of those who spy.

    1. Anonymous said on April 26, 2021 at 1:02 am
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      “I can’t see how history is to my benefit.”

      So you’ve literally never used the browsing history feature in any browser? Yeah, right.

  6. Herman Cost said on April 24, 2021 at 11:45 pm
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    Chrome is dead to me

    1. Anon said on April 25, 2021 at 12:23 am
      Reply

      Interesting if true. What made you dump it finally, and what have you switched to?

      1. Herman Cost said on April 25, 2021 at 2:30 pm
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        It’s true. Why wouldn’t it be? There is nothing compelling about Chrome. I dumped it two or three years ago. I’m not sure exactly what privacy violation made me finally decide to permanently jump ship from Google, but it might have been the revelation that Google was tracking your location even when you had location services turned off. Haven’t missed it a bit (FLoC Google :-))

        I now use Firefox (with the many about:config tweaks needed to obtain a semblance of privacy), Pale Moon and Vivaldi (which is set to clear all cookies upon closing so I use it for the very rare times when I need to see something on Facebook, Twitter or the like).

      2. Anon said on April 26, 2021 at 1:07 am
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        Good for you then. I was doubtful simply because the exodus is generally one way from Firefox to Chrome, so to see the rare case of someone who apparently went the other way is clearly a surprise.

        BTW, Chrome itself was a privacy violation from day 1, but at least you realised it finally.

    2. anonymous said on April 25, 2021 at 9:47 am
      Reply

      chromium is dead to me, it’s controlled by advertising companies

  7. Windows users = suckers said on April 25, 2021 at 3:31 am
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    I can only wonder what MEMORIES Microsoft retains via Telemetry on proprietary Windows 10 systems with proprietary programs not limited to Chrome.

    1. TrollKiller said on April 26, 2021 at 1:09 am
      Reply

      What memories? Only good ones. ;)

      Now buzz off, troll.

  8. Anonymous said on April 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm
    Reply

    Chrome spyware √
    Chrome third party tracking √
    Chrome manifest v3 √
    Chrome FLOC Cohorts √
    Chrome closed source √

    1. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 7:59 am
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      @Anonymous

      What you list is not the case for every Chromium-based browser, if you pick Chrome, then that’s your fault.

  9. jake said on April 25, 2021 at 7:25 pm
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    The levels of paranoia in these comments are off the charts, do these people really think that Google cares what they do? haha that they watch every move they make and report everything to the feds? lol I don’t even want to know what kind of stuff you do on the Internet if you live with this level of psychotic paranoia and constant fear, I totally understand if you think that Google might use your history for advertisement purposes and makes you feel yucky, but aside from that I find it absurd unless you’re into very ilegal stuff, but I guess that’s the only thing that can explain this level of ridiculous paranoia. It’s quite sad.

    1. Jonas said on April 26, 2021 at 1:12 am
      Reply

      It’s the same with many psycho Windows users too. Clearly popularity attracts the weirdo tinfoil hatters.

    2. Herman Cost said on April 26, 2021 at 3:21 am
      Reply

      Google absolutely cares what I do. Not for the nonsensical reasons like Fed reporting or snooping into peoples lives that you brought up as a straw dog argument to make it easier to debunk, but to target you for advertising and other promotional purposes. A lot of people, including me, find this annoying and dehumanizing. Google collects my personal data without my consent. I want control over all of that data and particularly don’t want it to be used to ‘target’ me by attempting to sell me things or change my behavior (which clever advertising has been proven to clearly do). Fortunately governments around the world such as the European Union and the State of California are coming around to that position. Hopefully others will quickly follow, and make companies like Google access data from people only on an opt-in basis (which I assume they might have to pay many people to allow). I can anticipate certain possible rebuttals that you might make like ‘nobody is forcing you to use Google products’, but: 1) they are a monopoly as the FTC is about to demonstrate; and 2) they obtain data from all over the internet about everyone who uses it whether you use Google services or not (see doubleclick as one of many examples). Also, while google claims that it does not ‘sell’ anyone’s personal data to third parties this is only true if you accept a Clintonian like definition of the word sell. See the Electronic Frontier Foundations’s description of what actually goes on and how your personal data is abused and shared at https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/google-says-it-doesnt-sell-your-data-heres-how-company-shares-monetizes-and

      And then stop making it sound like people who have very reasonable concerns about privacy are only trying to cover up criminal activity or watching porn.

  10. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 8:07 am
    Reply

    This comment section is being ridiculous again. This article refers to a UI redesign of the local(!) browsing history interface. The only point of contention should be whether you like the new interface, or not. Google collected your browsing history in Chrome before and after, this is completely unrelated to any UI redesign.

    1. m3city said on April 26, 2021 at 10:47 am
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      @Iron Heart
      I disagree, comments reflect readers way of thinking when they read “chrome, browsing history sth”.

      But let me check your valuable additions to this thread: one comment with a link to firefox blog, one preemptive strike to show that Brave (“not every chromium…”) is better, and one comment ridiculing other readers comments + censorsip reccomendation what should be commented. Well done, ridicule it is, but let the rest asses what it is…

      When it comes to me, I don’t really care about history representation. Session manager plus ability to suggest visited pages based on typed words in address bar works for me. And I seldom clear history.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 26, 2021 at 11:23 am
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        @m3city

        > one comment with a link to firefox blog

        Valuable addition for anyone complaining about censorship, me thinks.

        > one preemptive strike to show that Brave (“not every chromium…”) is better,

        Valid and factual addition that you don’t like. :D

        I didn’t even mention Brave, lol. That would be true for Vivaldi, Ungoogled Chromium, Bromite etc. as well, hence the more generalized phrasing.

        > censorsip reccomendation what should be commented

        Nah, don’t think so. You are free to write whatever you want and I am free to find it ridiculous. That’s not censorship, mate.

    2. Jake said on April 26, 2021 at 3:21 pm
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      Exactamundo. Anti-privacy Browser King Chrome has a whole bunch of issues, but the levels of paranoia and stupidity are reaching absurd heights here.

  11. chesscanoe said on April 28, 2021 at 3:10 pm
    Reply

    It is good to see chrome://flags/#memories is also supported in Chrome Version 91.0.4472.19 (Official Build) beta (64-bit).

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