How to Manage AutoComplete in Internet Explorer 11

Control the types of data your web browser stores

The AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer 11 stores the text you enter in the browser's address bar and various web forms for later use. That way, it can auto-populate text fields whenever you type something familiar. Change the AutoComplete settings for IE 11 to specify which data components (browsing history, web forms, and other web page fields) it uses.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer 11.

How to Manage AutoComplete in Internet Explorer 11

To manage the AutoComplete settings for IE 11:

  1. Select the Gear in the upper-right corner of the browser window and choose Internet options.

    Internet Explorer's settings menu with Internet Options highlighted
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, go to the Content tab.

    Internet Options in Internet Explorer with the Content tab highlighted
  3. In the AutoComplete section, select Settings.

    Internet Explorer options with the AutoComplete Settings button highlighted
  4. Clear the checkboxes next to the individual components you want to disable. The options include:

    • Browsing history: Stores the URLs of websites you previously visited.
    • Favorites: Includes your IE bookmarks in the AutoComplete list.
    • Feeds: Incorporates data from your saved RSS feeds.
    • Use Windows Search for better results: Integrates the desktop search platform included in the Windows operating system.
    • Suggesting URLs: Suggests web addresses of sites you never visited before. For example, typing gma may cause the browser to suggest gmail.com.
    • Forms and Searches: Stores certain data components such as names and addresses entered in web forms.
    • Usernames and passwords on forms: Uses stored login credentials for email accounts and other password-protected products and services.

    Select Manage Passwords to open the Windows Credential Manager. This option is only available for Windows 8 and above.

    AutoComplete settings in IE with the options highlighted
  5. Select Delete AutoComplete history at the bottom to open the Delete Browsing History dialog box.

    IE AutoComplete settings with the Delete AutoComplete History button highlighted
  6. The Delete Browsing History dialog box lists several private data components, some of which are used by the AutoComplete feature. Select the check boxes beside the items you wish to remove. The options include:

    • Temporary Internet files and website filesClears the IE 11 browser cache, including images, multimedia files, and copies of web pages that are stored, to reduce load times.
    • Cookies and website data: Removes cookies used by websites to store user-specific settings and information such as login credentials and session data.
    • History: Deletes the record of URLs you visited.
    • Download History: Erases the record of files you downloaded through the browser.
    • Form data: Deletes all form data that is stored locally.
    • Passwords: Forgets all saved passwords in IE.
    • Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track: Deletes data associated with ActiveX Filtering and the Tracking Protection feature, including stored exceptions to Do Not Track requests.

    Select the Preserve Favorites website data checkbox to keep stored data (cache and cookies) from your Favorites even when you choose to clear those particular data components for all other websites.

    Internet Explorer with the AutoComplete deletion window highlighted
  7. Select Delete when you finish.

How to Disable AutoComplete in Internet Explorer 11

While the AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer 11 is a convenient way to save web addresses, form data, and access credentials such as usernames and passwords, it can also be a security risk. Anyone who has access to your computer can access sites using those saved credentials. It defeats the purpose of having usernames and passwords if your computer automatically enters these.

To disable AutoComplete, use the steps outlined above and clear every checkbox so that IE 11 doesn't store any information.

If remembering usernames and passwords is a problem, disable the AutoComplete feature and store your passwords securely.