Your computer knows where you’ve been

By | August 12, 2013
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How many of you think using a good cleanup program removes all traces of your web browsing? Raise your hands. OK, that’s just about all of you — you CCLeaner users seem particularly smug.  OK, go ahead, make my day. Copy this post, paste it in a notepad file or an email, or your favorite text editor, and close your browsers (all of them if you have more than one open).

OK… use your favorite clean up program, right now, don’t wait another minute. Fire it up and clean your temp files — clean everything – erase what you will.

OK? All clean. Now press and hold down the Windows key, and press the R key and type CMD and press ENTER  to bring up a Command dialog. Now type in the following command at the prompt and press Enter (after you’ve entered the command, silly!).

ipconfig /displaydns

What do you see? You see a lot of stuff there, right?

Do you really want to erase the traces of where you’ve been? Open a Windows Command dialog and type in the following:

ipconfig /flushdns

That should delete everything but the page your currently viewing. However the page you’re viewing may have ads on it, and if so it will show the domains serving the ads. Additionally, many sites user analytics that analyze Web traffic and give site owners the lowdown on their visitors — nothing too personal, you understand, just geographical location, IP address (which is very personal because it’s uniquely yours), browser, installed add-ons, and so forth. So though you may have only visited one page since you ran the command

ipconfig /flushdns

you may well see more then one web site listed there.

And for those of you who are going to tell me those commands don’t work on your computer, listen up:

In both cases there is a space between ipconfig and the slash, okay. These commands are not new, they should work on every Windows computer from Windows 95 thought Windows 8.1. If they don’t work on yours, make sure you’re typing the command correctly. When running command line commands, spaces matter.

 

C:\WINDOWS\System32>IPCONFIG /DISPLAYDNS

codex.wordpress.org
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : codex.wordpress.org
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 10633
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 66.155.40.241
www.bkrtx.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : www.bkrtx.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 1444
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : cs170.wac.edgecastcdn.net
mapping.abine.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : mapping.abine.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 4558
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : diamond.abine.com
www.stumbleupon.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : www.stumbleupon.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 8555
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 199.30.80.32
click.email.newegg.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : click.email.newegg.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 463
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : click.virt.s6.exacttarget.com
drive.google.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.36
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.40
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.38
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.46
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.32
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.33
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.39
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.41
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.35
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.34
Record Name . . . . . : drive.google.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 278
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 74.125.225.37
www.techmedianetwork.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : www.techmedianetwork.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 13
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : techmedianetwork.com

 

ww1.collserve.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : ww1.collserve.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 40246
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 68.171.169.171
thundercloud.net
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : thundercloud.net
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 2542
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 216.177.153.46
tags.crwdcntrl.net
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : tags.crwdcntrl.net
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 1807
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : cs84.wac.edgecastcdn.net
fsrts.fullsail.edu
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : fsrts.fullsail.edu
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 3332
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 66.192.104.82
lastpass.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : lastpass.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 1662
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 38.127.167.7
Record Name . . . . . : lastpass.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 1662
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 128.121.22.133
use.typekit.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : use.typekit.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 1487
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : wac.0F88.edgecastcdn.net
c.statcounter.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : c.statcounter.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 711
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 216.59.38.123
Record Name . . . . . : c.statcounter.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 711
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 216.59.38.124
Record Name . . . . . : c.statcounter.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 711
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 67.215.253.140
Record Name . . . . . : c.statcounter.com
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 711
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 67.215.253.139
www.designermedia.com
—————————————-
Record Name . . . . . : www.designermedia.com
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 499
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : designermedia.com

 

C:\WINDOWS\System32>IPCONFIG /FLUSHDNS

Windows IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

 

C:\WINDOWS\System32>IPCONFIG /DISPLAYDNS

Windows IP Configuration

Could not display the DNS Resolver Cache.

C:\WINDOWS\System32>

 

22 thoughts on “Your computer knows where you’ve been

  1. Jeff

    yes it works but the screen only shows for 1 second not allowing enough time to read

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Yikes I left out something — sorry.

      Windows Key+R and type CMD and press enter to bring up the command dialog. Then type the commands.

      Reply
    1. Diter

      You have to run the command prompt as an “Administrator” in order for ypu to see it.

      Reply
      1. infoave Post author

        The command does not need admin privileges on Windows 7.

        Reply
    2. infoave Post author

      Yikes I left out something — sorry.

      Windows Key+R and type CMD and press enter to bring up the command dialog. Then type the commands.

      Reply
  2. Lynn Samuel

    After running the display command and then the flush command, I went back and ran the display command again only to see exactly the same stuff there, exactly, that was there before I ran the flush command successfully. Hmmm…

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      It might be very helpful if you closed all browsers before flushing the DNS cache. If you get a message that the DNS cache was successfully flushed, it was. Computers don’t know how to prevaricate…they only know logic.

      Reply
  3. Fayleen Korcykoski

    does not work for me. “The operation requires elevation”

    Reply
  4. connie

    When I go to my favorite game site, almost all the ads that are displaying while I play are from other sites that I had been shopping on or looking at just a few minutes before. I get the feeling that I am constantly being spied on which I am.

    Reply
  5. Jeanne

    THANKS!! I had no idea that ‘cleaning’ didn’t really mean ‘cleaning’. It isn’t that I’ve been places I shouldn’t, but more the fact I don’t like all the spying and tracking that seems to get increasing worse by the year. That bothers me a lot and yet it seems if one runs a computer there is a certain amount of that one has to live with in today’s world.

    Reply
  6. kate

    copied and pasted so no need to remember to put in the space and it didn’t work. Tried twice and I’m going to try again.

    Reply
    1. kate

      Did it again as administrator and it says that “the requested operation requires elevation”??? Help.

      Reply
  7. LeRoy

    I don’t get a list of sites, just some IP numbers and other stuff…..is this because I am using “Open DNS” as per your info a few weeks ago?

    Reply
  8. Julie

    I am confused, the “DNS Cache” option in CCleaner clears out everything.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Does everyone have CCleaner you suppose? I don’t see where that would be any faster, do you? I can run a command faster than you can open CCleaner and click clear DNS cache — besides that option is not available to me — Win 7 64-bit anyway. Just don’t ever use CCleaner’s Registry Cleaner, OK?

      Reply
  9. kryptic

    Hi
    Have you somthing equivalent for Linux ?
    In any case : thank you for this interesting article.
    Kryptic

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Don’t understand your question. Linux is a free operating system. Android is a free operating system. Apple iOS is now free. Windows 10 is free (if you meet the requirements).

      Reply

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