Find Old Craigslist ads or eBay auction pages within browser

You can also search by keywords within the address bar, as long as you don’t press enter and don’t click on anything!

Forensic Search of Temporary Internet Files

If these efforts did not prove helpful, then you can try browsing the cache directly by following these 3 steps, indicated below:

You should now get a new window to appear, similar to the one below.  Now keyword search for files that contain “.htm” and you will narrow down the results to the websites themselves.

Clicking on any of those html files should display the old Craigslist page as it used to appear.  All this is valid only when you are in Offline Mode.  If you try going to another website, then your browser will ask you whether you want to go Online or stay offline.

Only go online if your investigation is completed.  If you browse these files while in Online mode, you risk compromising your own investigation.  The new website might overwrite the old files in cache, and valuable evidence may be deleted.  Consult with a Computer Forensics expert if you are unsure what you are doing.

Professional Computer Forensics Tools

If you still can’t find the old ads, or auction page, then perhaps it was deleted.  The browser’s cache can easily be deleted to cleanup space or cover the tracks.  In these instances, it is better to use a professional computer forensics tool such as BelkaSoft or Jadsoft.

Other browsers / operating systems

The screenshots in this post were generated with the Internet Explorer 8 browser and Windows 7 operating system.  The steps will likely be different in other browsers and operating systems, but inevitably every browser worth its salt has an Offline Mode.