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Clearing Internet Explorer History

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized, Using The Internet

Grace, from Montreal asks:

I’ve been trying to delete my browsing history (IE 8.0 drop down bar) by clicking the red cross button, and by deleting the history, cookies and everything else, but it still doesn’t work. I have also altered the time for storing history/temp int files to 0 days but the old websites that I visited still appear when I start typing in an address.

Clearing the URLs that are saved in the address bar of Internet Explorer 8 is a relatively simple process. Here’s how it’s done.

Start by opening Internet Explorer. Click Tools and then Internet Options.


The pop-up window that follows is your Internet Options menu. It allows you to adjust many of the settings for Internet Explorer. Click the tab at the top labeled Content, and then click the Settings button next to the AutoComplete option, (see below).


Another pop-up window will open. In this new window, click on the button that says Delete AutoComplete History…


At this point, a third pop-up window will appear. It presents you with some options as to what type of data you would like to delete. By default all the options are checked. You can uncheck any that are important to you, but you must leave the History option checked in order to clear your address bar of recently visited websites.


There will now be a brief pause while Internet Explorer deletes the data you asked it to. When it is done, click OK on the two remaining option windows that you still have open. Your recently typed websites should now be deleted and will no longer appear as a dropdown option when you are typing website addresses.

However, although this clears the current cache of sites, Internet Explorer will still remember all the future sites you visit, and will soon start to offer them up to you as alternative options when you type in a new website address.

So, if you want to take this a step further, you can set up Explorer so that it will never suggest any sites that you have previously visited. Here’s how.

Click on Tools and select Internet Options, like you did before.

Again, navigate to the Content tab, and click the Settings button next to the AutoComplete option.

The same pop-up window that you had before will appear, but this time you want to uncheck the box next to Address bar.


Now click OK to close this window, and do the same with the Internet Options window.

From now on, Explorer will not try to complete any of the website addresses that you type in, regardless of whether or not you have previously visited that site.

~Jonathan Wylie

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