your full-resolution personal web archive

automatic screenshots of everything you saw on the web, and full-text search for your browsing history

get irchiver

what's the research?

almost everything from the outside world now comes to us through our web browsers. we see it, we forget it, but sometimes it leaves an impression. what would it be like if we could recall it at any time, just as we saw it?

even though the web is constantly changing, even though web pages and entire hosting sites disappear, you still get to keep what you saw with irchiver. seeing is keeping

irchiver aims to be your backup memory. just like how the internet has changed the way we think about knowledge, does having our memory on-demand change how we remember? irchiver is a long-term research project to study this question


the irchiver software is available for free, and it currently runs on Windows 8.1 or higher (but it has only been tested on Windows 10) with five popular web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Opera. on Mac it runs on macOS 14.2 or higher with three popular web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

irchiver does not use any network connectivity for your privacy. why would you want your browsing data stored on the cloud? irchiver saves your screenshots as webp files (and png files temporarily), and the text content in a plain text file, in a folder on your hard drive. you can view it using any file explorer, and do whatever you want with it

Download for Windows Download for Mac

product when captured stored format reproduction platform
irchiver continuous, automatic local image, text what you saw Windows, any browser occasional, automatic cloud webpage only public view web manually initiated cloud webpage only public view web
ArchiveBox manually initiated local webpage only public view any desktop
WebRecorder manually initiated local webpage what you scroll Chrome
taking a screenshot manually initiated local image what you saw any desktop
browser extensions manually initiated local varies varies varies
browser "Save as PDF" manually initiated local pdf nearly what you saw most browsers

irchiver is the only way to reproduce what you actually saw with continuous automatic capture. other products either require manually initiating a capture each time, or can only capture stateless publicly-accessible pages. irchiver saves captures as images and plain text, as historically those formats have outlasted software code and cloud services


this is the current roadmap for irchiver as of 2024-06-24, but to hear about releases, please subscribe to be notified about updates

version 0.3: 2x more efficient (cpu/memory performance-wise), while consuming 2x less space on disk; enable archiving options that are currently inactive in the context menu

version 0.4: better installer and more install options; notification tray icon indicator during capture; an additional 2x more efficient (cpu/memory performance-wise), and further reduction in space usage

version 0.5: API with support for python extensions/plugins, for example: automatic scrapbooks, highlight page changes, etc.; an additional 2x more efficient (cpu/memory performance-wise)

version 0.6: better search interface and a by-date browsing interface; partial-match text search; better text recognition in images (e.g. infographics, webcomics)

license and source

irchiver is licensed to you under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license, with the additional condition that it can only be used with the enthusiastic consent of the person using a computer it is installed on

while the indexer and search interface are open source, irchiver's capture software is not open source in the traditional meaning of the term, but rather it's source-verifiable, where you can watch the main executable file being created and the SHA-256 hash generated for the executable so that you know the distributed executable is from the source code seen in the video

the capture software is not open source to make it harder to deploy the software without the user's knowledge, which can be done by modifying the source code to hide the notification tray icon and thus rendering the automatic background capture completely invisible

feel free to email me to request the capture software source code with an explanation what it will be used for and how it will be distributed, or for requests for other licenses