Even if a browsing history is deleted in Internet Explorer, it will still be in Windows' search index, still allowing auto completed suggestions to appear on a browser
Q I am a stickler for updating my internet security software and running Windows Update every time I log on to my Windows Vista PC. I also delete Internet Explorer 9’s browsing history and run Disk Cleanup every time I log off.
However, despite all this effort, I have noticed that every time I type a website name, Internet Explorer starts suggesting websites from the moment I get past the ‘www’. bit.
This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing but some of the websites suggested are old ones that I have previously visited (meaning they have apparently not been erased by the actions to delete the browser history).
Where is Internet Explorer getting these frozen-in-time website names from and how do I erase them?
A Along with several other aspects of Windows, Internet Explorer is integrated with the operating system’s indexing and search tools – and this includes browsing history.
In other words, even if you use the option to delete browsing history from within Internet Explorer, websites that you’ve visited in the past may remain in Windows’ own search index so that they appear as ‘auto-completed’ suggestions next time they’re typed, even in part – just as you’ve experienced.
There are a couple of ways to stop this. Within Internet Explorer, first click Tools and choose Internet Options. Now click the Content tab and click the Settings button in the AutoComplete section. In the dialogue box that appears, click to remove the tick from the ‘Use Windows Search for better results’ box and then click OK.
That will stop Internet Explorer from attempting to auto-complete typed websites but it won’t actually remove visited websites from the search index (so if this feature is ever re-enabled, the problem will return).
So, to stop Windows from adding websites you visit to its search engine, in Vista click Start followed by Control Panel, then click the System and Maintenance link followed by Indexing Options. Finally, click to remove the ticks from alongside the Internet Explorer History entry (or entries) and click OK.
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