Using Google Groups to Find Your Old USENET Postings

Many of us spent many hours posting back to USENET newsgroups early in our online days. So are those postings gone forever?

Some of them...sure. But not necessarily all of them.

A few years back, Google collected many archives of USENET postings, dating back to 1981. So if you want to see what you were posting about when you found USENET newsgroups, here's all you have to do:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the Advanced Groups Search option.
  3. Try to remember the E-mail address you used to make your first USENET posting.
    Enter that in the exact string search box (not the author box).
  4. Try to remember the year in which you made your first posting. In the Message Dates box, select Return messages posted between and set the year that you think you made your first USENET posting.
    If you can't remember either your E-mail address or the year, make an educated guess.
  5. If you have a fairly unique first or last name, you can use that as a string search. However, if your name is common (like Mann or Smith or Jones), don't bother.

Note that Google Groups has not archived everything; I know I made my first postings to rec.arts.sf-lovers in April 1998 and those early postings do not show up.