I have a very bad way of accidentally touching the phone screen, which often results in the page moving forward or backward in the book I read, or leaving a YouTube video I watched – or going to a different TikTok video than I just enjoy. Also, if I have to make a call or answer a loose message, I may lose my location.
Usually, this is easy to fix: I can only back up the book to the previous page or check my YouTube history. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy with TikTok, which doesn’t have a simple way to check the history of the videos you’ve watched.
For example, the day I started writing this, I accidentally deleted videos that I watched at least twice and couldn’t go back to them immediately. And because I didn’t remember the name of the creator, I was basically drowned.
What to do?
Well, if I had been smart enough to “like” the video – or follow the author – it would have been easy:
- Tap the “Me” icon in the lower right corner.
- If you liked the video, tap the heart icon below your profile to see thumbnails of all the videos you like.
- If you’re following an author, tap the Following link below your username to see a list of all the content providers you’re following. Then tap that person to see thumbnails of all their videos.
However, if you haven’t liked the video yet or don’t follow that factor – something happens to me often – the best way to find your watch history is to download it.
- Go to your profile page (by tapping the “Me” icon in the lower right corner) and tap the three rows in the upper right corner.
- Choose “Privacy”> “Personalization and data”> “Upload your data”
- On the “Request Information” tab, select whether you want to download your information as a TXT or JSON file, and tap “Processing Request”.
And wait. Unfortunately, this is not a quick process; it may take at least 24 hours – or more – for your information to be available. Until then, if you go to the “Download Data” tab, you’ll see a gray “Pending” button.
It took about three days before I noticed a red “Download” button appearing on the “Download Data” tab. It took me to the online version of TikTok, where I had to log in again and was finally able to download the zip file from my data. When I extracted the file, I went to the Action folder, where I found the text files for Favorite Effects, Favorite Sounds, and so on, along with browsing the video. There, I finally found a list of dates and URLs for the videos I watched.
Once your data is available, you can upload it for up to four days. By the time you finally get it, of course, you may have completely forgotten which video you want to return to or why. But it doesn’t hurt that you have a record of all the videos you’ve watched – and you might be surprised at how many there are.