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37. Browse and Search with the Timeline


Browse Search Results

One of Google Desktop's least-known features can at times be the most usefulits Timeline. The Timeline enables you to browse through all your computer activity by day and time of day. This can be useful for more than just finding informationfor those who charge by the hour, such as consultants, the Timeline can help re-create the work you've done and help you determine how much time to invoice.

Browse and Search with the Timeline

Double-click the Google Desktop Icon

To use the Timeline, you must be on the main browser page of Google Desktop. Double-click the Desktop icon in the system tray or on the Windows desktop to get there.

Click Browse Timeline

Click the Browse Timeline link, next to the search text box at the top of the main Google Desktop web page. When you do, you are sent to a page with the current day's Timeline. On the left side of the page you see a list of files and websites, along with the times they were visited (for files, the time shown is the time at which you started editing the file). Browse the search results the same way you do any search results returned on Google Desktop, as outlined in Browse Search Results

Browse a Different Day

To browse the Timeline for another day, click the day you want to view on the calendar on the right side of the page. You can also jump to a day by choosing it from the drop-down boxes on the right side of the page.

Filter the Results

You can browse the Timeline only for email, files, your websites, or chats. Click the appropriate link at the top of the page to do so.


Google Desktop shows 20 events on a single screen; if you don't have many events for a single day, you might see more than one day's worth of events.

Remove Events

To remove an event (and in the Timeline, an "event" includes files you've opened, chats you've had, emails you've read, as well as websites you've visited), click the Remove events link in the upper-right corner of the Timeline page. From the page that appears, check the boxes next to the results you want removed, and then click the Remove button. Note that when you do this, the files themselves remain on your PC, but they are removed from the Google Desktop index and won't show up in the Timeline again.


When you remove an event, you remove it from the Google Desktop index. That means you won't be able to find it when you do a Google Desktop search or when you browse the Timeline. You can't remove an event from the Timeline without also removing it from the index.

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