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Back when I used Internet Explorer, Microsoft kindly logged the browsing history for me (until index.dat filled up, that is).

Anyway, since my days of using IE by default, I have missed the convenience of typing the following:

  1. Win+R to get a Run prompt.
  2. For example, "sta" to narrow the results listed.
  3. to select my target (e.g. "").
  4. Return ↵ to run IE and load the page, while I continue work.

I know that reads like a minibeast, but I have not found a quicker way to access various sites by typing.

I would appreciate any advice on how to configure an alternative browser, ideally Chrome, to log its history for Windows in the same way. Alternatively, a similar key sequence that will quickly launch any previously visited site without waiting for a browser to spin-up before typing the address.

N.B. When changing the default app after having accumulated a history using IE, the technique will then open the new browser, but new sites will not be saved in the Run history. Besides, that also fails to help for a clean install using a different browser from the outset.

(P.S. I am aware of this related question, however, it is three years old, and the only response is about Firefox: How can I add my Firefox and Chrome history to Windows Search)

share|improve this question
That's unlikely to be done without help from the browser. Exactly which browsing bits do you want in? Pages you've browsed to, or just those that you entered manually? What about links coming in from your email program? Applications with online manuals? – MSalters Nov 15 '13 at 12:02
At least with regards to Firefox the answer is the same. One would need to write a parser to cache database that Firefox uses. You would need to do the same for Chrome, parase through the data file, that contains this information and cache it. The problem your unlikely going to have luck finding a program that does that and creates a index.dat ( I serious doubts the structure is documented ) – Ramhound Nov 15 '13 at 12:13
@MSalters I would love the exact same behaviour as IE, i.e. whatever gets saved in the web browser's history, right down to different query strings. – mosi Nov 15 '13 at 15:45
@Ramhound Thanks for your answer. If no other solution exists, I guess that I could make this a pet dev project, however, you are almost certainly correct about index.dat being preventively shrouded in mystery - Google might be similarly cagey about Chrome too, I guess. Hmm. – mosi Nov 15 '13 at 15:49
@mosi: And how would Microsoft Windows know what Mozilla Firefox did or did not save? Or Google Chrome? I've got no idea where index.dat came from, or how it's relevant. – MSalters Nov 15 '13 at 16:11

It appears that the Run menu is a case of AutoComplete, with hardcoded autocomplete sources.

So, it appears a browser should add URLs to the "Recently Used" list, just like programs should add files. There's a Windows function to make it easy for programs.

Internet Explorer may also store its URLs in index.dat, but that does not mean it stores them only there, or that other programs should do so.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for looking into this. If additions to the "Recently Used" or "History" lists appear under the Run menu, then the only missing piece of this puzzle is getting one's browser of choice to do as you suggest. Assuming that this approach does what we think it will, then perhaps I can find a Chrome extension that already offers such a feature. Failing that, I might set about writing one and share it here! – mosi Nov 15 '13 at 18:15

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