Expand Your Browsing History Search Capabilities With Recall Monkey [Firefox]

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browser history search engineWe have previously covered a few great browsing history tools. For example, we have shared FromWhereToWhere which structures your web history effectively as well as 4 more extensions to search and record browsing history. Today’s addon is another worthy history search tool to check out.

RecallMonkey is a new promising project by Mozilla Labs aiming at making it easier for you to find pages you have previously visited. Obviously, the addon is based on your Firefox history database, so it will only dig as deep as you let your browser access (you can change your browser history settings in Tools -> Options -> Privacy. There use the drop-down to select “Use custom settings for history“).

Testing The Addon

Get the addon here (it requires no restart). Once you have it installed, access RecallMonkey using the icon in the Addon Bar or the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + M (Cmd + Shift + M for Macs).

The main thing the addon does is expand your search results. Your default history search tool (accessed with the Ctrl + H shortcut) can only search by exact match whereas RecallMonkey ranks pages in your web history “based on how closely your search query and document matches“.

For example, searching my history for [software and tips] using the built-in option, I am only able to find MakeUseOf (because it has both the words in the title). Using RecallMonkey, I am getting dozens of results which are also very relevant.


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browser history search engine

Apart from this, the addon offers a few other options.

Filter By Time

With the default history search you can only sort by time. RecallMonkey uses Google-like date-filtering options that let you see results you visited:

  • During the past 24 hours;
  • Last week;
  • Last month;
  • Last year;
  • All time

browser history search

“Prioritize” Or Exclude Websites

Apart from time-frame-based filters, we are offered two more ways to control the results: prioritizing and excluding websites:

  • By prioritizing a result (using a Reddit-like up arrow next to it), you are prompting the tool that you want to see more results from this domain;
  • By excluding a result (using a + sign next to it), you are forcing the tool to filter this domain out from the search results.

For example, you remember that software review was on MakeUseOf, so you can prioritize MakeUseOf results (by clicking the up-arrow sign next to it):

browser history search engine

You can also prioritize all your bookmarks in search results which also sounds like a great way to find results you once liked. This option should come in handy for bringing up pages which are hidden away in the bookmarks database (especially unsorted bookmarks which you saved years ago).

To conclude, this looks like an awesome tool. The fun features above coupled with Instant (as-you-type) search results and infinite scroll (the page adds results as you scroll to the bottom) make it almost as awesome as Google.

The best features of the tool which I really liked:

  • The ability to dig deep into the search history and find results which only “mention” one of the search terms I was using (as well as the ability to retrieve local files that I opened in Firefox);
  • The speed and user-friendly interface (which looks like the developers have adopted some great Google design trends)

What are your thoughts about the tool?

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