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Disabling Search from the IE9 Address Bar

Friday, October 15th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized, Using The Internet

By now, you must have read plenty of Internet Explorer 9 reviews and probably, many of you are also using the IE9 beta. Most of the reviews focus on the speed, user interface, and GPU rendering. However, there are still many things that you might have not noticed. This article will cover how to disable searching from address bar in IE9.

You may wonder about the benefits of disabling Search from Address bar. The reason is privacy. If you are on a shared computer, IE9 will not show your search items to others if you disable the Search. In this case, even if the other person opens up Google, Bing, or any other search engine, he or she might not be able to locate your search items. To further protect your privacy, you can opt to delete your browsing history when you exit Explorer. Open the Internet Options by clicking on the Tools icon in the top right corner of your browser window.


In the very first tab (the General tab), click to select Delete browsing history on exit. This way, even if they use IE9 and open a new tab page, there will be no traces of the sites you visited.


For your part, all you have to do is to close IE9, once you are done with your work and the browser will erase all traces of your work. If anyone is peeping from behind when you are working, press Windows key + D to minimize all applications or ALT + TAB to switch to another application.

Basically, the role of a search provider is to use the corresponding search engine when you try to search anything using the IE9 Address bar. For example, if your default search provider is Bing and you type anything in the Address bar, Bing will search for the text and not any other search engine. IE9 contains many built-in search providers with Bing as default search provider.

The IE9 team has enabled search in the Address bar so that you can search, from there, for anything you want. All you need to do is to type your search in the Address bar and hit Enter. You get the search results from the default search provider. The following paragraphs explain how to disable search from IE9 address bar.

How to Disable Searching from Address Bar in Internet Explorer 9

To disable search from the Address bar, open Internet Explorer.

Again, click the Tools icon on the top-right corner of the IE9 window, and select Manage add-ons.


Once you click on the Manage add-ons, you will be presented with a Manage Add-ons dialog box. Click to select Search Providers. The option is available to left.


In the above dialog box, you can see the option Search in the address bar towards lower-left corner.

The default setting keeps the option checked, which means search is enabled. To disable search from IE9 address bar, simply uncheck the option and click on Close.

Close and re-open IE9 and try to search using the Address bar. You will get a message saying Website not found!

To enable search through the Address bar, follow the same steps and check the box beside Search in the Address bar.

~ Arun Kumar

2 Responses to “Disabling Search from the IE9 Address Bar”

  1. Matt McGregor says:

    One thing about IE9 search that you failed to mention is the ?. While in the address bar and you clear or hightlight the text there and type “? WorldStart” without the quotes, this will start a search. This is true if search from address bar is disabled. I was forced to learn this since my RC version will not search and that checkbox does not appear to be there in the options; yeah. It’s possible that this features was not in the beta, but RC has it.

  2. Atonnis says:

    The ? function does not work if you turn off search from the address bar.

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