There are some Kiosk machines for people to take a survey. The survey is running by a 3rd party, so no way to get the data from them. To measure how much machines are in use I wrote a script to pull Edge-Chromium browsing history from a remote machine

function Copy-FileRemotely
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $true,
                   Position = 0)]
        $isSuccess = $true
        $Message = Copy-Item -Path "\\$ComputerName\c$\Users\SMZSurvey2\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\History" -Destination $PSScriptRoot\$ComputerName -Force -ErrorAction Stop -PassThru
        $isSuccess = $false
        $Message = ($_.Exception).Message
    return [pscustomobject]@{
        'ComputerName'   = $ComputerName
        'isSuccess'      = $isSuccess
        'Message'        = $Message

$comps = "smz-F9246-DB", "xxx"
$result = @()
foreach ($comp in $comps)
    $result += Copy-FileRemotely $comp
$result | Out-GridView
sleep 10
  • \$\begingroup\$ just for my curiosity ... how does the cache give you "how much machines are in use"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lee_Dailey
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lee_Dailey The history file contains titles of pages a user visited, the datestamps, etc. When a person finishes a survey, Edge displays him the "Thank you!" page. I guess I count those pages per day. It gives me the number of people that took a survey test on a particular machine. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah! thank you for the "why" of it. [grin] ///// i would likely use Invoke-Command to run your code on each system in parallel and let the count be sent back to you instead of the whole list of pages. i suspect that could get QUITE large ... and make things rather slow when sent across the network. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lee_Dailey
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lee_Dailey Edge-Chromium keeps its browsing history data in SQLite database which stored in a file called History. I don't know how to decipher the file with Invoke-Command. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 11:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah! i presumed you had code that you were running to decipher that info. if you DO have something that you can run on the target systems, then i would do that. less to shove across your network AND running the code in parallel makes it seem worth your while. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lee_Dailey
    Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


To make what you have more readable, I would not create a helper function to replace Copy-Item:

$comps = "smz-F9246-DB", "xxx"

$result = foreach ($comp in $comps) {
  Try { Copy-Item `
    -Path "\\$comp\c$\Users\SMZSurvey2\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\History" `
    -Destination "$PSScriptRoot\$ComputerName" -Force -PassThru
  Catch [Common.Exceptions.You.See] { Write-Output "$comp could not be contacted, skipping..." }

# output list of files/failures

Based on your comments, you just want the count of visits to a specific site, which is pretty straightforward if you have powershell remoting available. I adapted this code by user rvrsh3ll, which pulls website names from the chromium History file.

# Connect to each machine and get the browsing history
$result = Foreach ($comp in $comps) {

  Try { 
  Invoke-Command -ComputerName $comp -EA Stop -ScriptBlock {

    # Regex returns trimmed URL
    $Regex = '(http(|s))://([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]+(/[\w- ./?%&=]*)*?'
    $Site = 'https://stackoverflow.com'  # Set this

    # Seach chrome history for site visits
    $Count = (
      Get-Content -Path "C:\Users\SMZSurvey2\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\History" -EA Stop|
      Select-String -AllMatches $regex |
      % {($_.Matches).Value} | 
      Where {$_ -like $Site}

    # output as object
      ComputerName = $using:comp
      SiteVisits   = $Count
      Success      = ($Count -gt -1) -and ($null -ne $Count)
  } Catch {[PSCustomObject]@{ComputerName=$comp;SiteVisits='N/A';Success=$false}}

# Output results:
$result | FT ComputerName,SiteVisits,Success

And the results look like so:

ComputerName SiteVisits Success
------------ ---------- -------
offline-PC   N/A          False
in-use-PC    2             True
unused-PC    0             True

Hopefully this helps you skip the step of processing the file.


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