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How to Turn Off AutoComplete

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Turning Off AutoComplete

You may have noticed that when you type in your browser’s web address bar or enter a search into a web site search box (such as Google or Yahoo!), a list of previously visited web sites and search queries are displayed. Your web browsing history and search history are not being saved by any web site, but are actually saved by your web browser through a feature called AutoComplete.

According to Microsoft:

“Internet Explorer includes a feature called AutoComplete that keeps track of information that you’ve recently typed, such as Web site addresses, information in forms, and search queries. As you type new information, AutoComplete tries to anticipate what you are typing and offers possible matches.”

You can delete your AutoComplete history manually, though the next time you go online, AutoComplete will revert to saving your searches, forms and web addresses. For those with privacy concerns about their AutoComplete history being saved, or just annoyed by the drop down when you do a search at Google or try to type in a web address, you might want to turn this feature off.

How to Turn Off AutoComplete

To manually turn off AutoComplete, you can perform the following steps:

Internet Explorer 7:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options
  3. Choose the tab labeled Advanced
  4. Scroll down and look under Browsing for Use inline AutoComplete
  5. Remove the checkmark from the box next to Use inline AutoComplete (see below)
  6. Click Apply
  7. Click OK

Turn Off AutoComplete

Internet Explorer 6:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options
  3. Choose the tab labeled Content
  4. Under Personal Information, select Autocomplete
  5. Under Use AutoComplete for, uncheck all checkmark boxes
  6. Click OK
  7. Click OK


  1. Open Firefox
  2. From the Tools menu, select Options
  3. Choose the tab labeled Privacy
  4. Uncheck the box next to Remember what I enter in forms and the search bar
  5. Click OK

For steps on how to delete your current AutoComplete history, please see: Delete AutoComplete.

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Web searches and form data aren’t the only information that is being stored on your computer as you browse the Web.

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Manually erasing these files each time you go online can be extremely time consuming and is not practical for most busy people. Plus, some of the hidden files that contain your sensitive data (like the locked index.dat) cannot be removed manually. Fortunately, there is an easy-to-use personal privacy solution that provides maximum privacy protection: PC Confidential 2008.

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