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Internet Explorer tries to be helpful by showing you recently visited URLs so you don't have to retype them. But what if you don't want them to show?
How do I delete items from Internet Explorer's auto-complete list?
Microsoft's Internet Explorer tries to be very helpful as you browse the web by keeping track of where you've been. You can hit the Back button to revisit pages you've viewed in the current session, or you can use the history window to go back to pages from days or even weeks ago. And when you start typing a URL into the address bar, it shows you a list of places you've been that match what you've typed so far.
If you've done a lot of browsing that last one can be a huge list. Perhaps even too huge to actually be helpful.
When you type a URL into the address box IE's suggestions come from several locations: your History, your Favorites, recently typed entries, or the contents of a folder if you are specifying a path on your local machine. Let's look at each of these.
History: as you surf the web the list of places you've visited is kept as your history. You can control how much history is kept by adjusting the setting found in Tools, Internet Options, General tab, History box, Days to keep pages in history setting. By making this a smaller number, perhaps a week or even just a few days, you'll make a significant reduction in the number of URLs that IE will show for auto-complete. You can also completely clear history here if you like. Alternately, if you would rather truly edit the history press this History toolbar button which will open the History window, and you can right click on any entry and select delete.
Favorites: This is normally a smaller part of the auto-complete problem but much more easily under your control. You can delete items from your Favorites menu simply by dropping it down, right clicking on what you want to get rid of, and selecting delete.
Recently Typed Entries: There's not really much to be done here. In reality it's small enough that there's just not much reason to try to edit or control this. It'll just fill up again with the next places you visit.
The File System: In your address bar you can start typing the location of a file. Type "C:\" and IE will present the contents of the root of your C: drive as auto-complete possibilities. The more you type, the more refined the list. If you type a directory name as soon as you type "\" then the auto-complete drop down becomes re-populated with the contents of that directory. This one's just a feature, and I know of no way to control it.
All of the above are discussed, along with some of the options to further control some of the behavior of IE's auto-complete features, including web form auto-completion, in a Microsoft Knowledgebase article here.
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