How to Manage AutoComplete in Internet Explorer 11

Control the types of data your web browser can store

Internet Explorer 11 autocomplete

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The AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer 11 stores 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 start typing something familiar. It's possible to change the AutoComplete settings for IE 11 to specify which data components (browsing history, web forms, etc.) are utilized.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer 11. If you're using an older version, you can update Internet Explorer for free. Microsoft has stop[ped supporting Internet Explorer and replaced it with the Edge Browser. If you don't ned to use IE, you should use Edge instead.

How to Manage AutoComplete in Internet Explorer 11

To manage the AutoComplete settings for IE 11:

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

    Select the Gear in the top-right corner of the browser window and choose Internet options.
  2. Select the Content tab in the Internet options window.

    Select the Content tab in the Internet options window.
  3. Select Settings under the AutoComplete section.

    Select Settings under the AutoComplete section.
  4. Deselect the check boxes beside individual components to disable them. The options include:

    • Browsing history: Stores URLs of websites you've previously visited.
    • Favorites: Includes your IE bookmarks in the AutoComplete repertoire.
    • 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've 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: Utilizes 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 or above.

    Deselect the check boxes beside individual components to disable them.
  5. Select Delete AutoComplete history at the bottom to open the Delete Browsing History window.

    Select Delete AutoComplete history at the bottom to open the Delete Browsing History window.

This window lists several private data components, some of which are used by the AutoComplete feature. Check the boxes beside the items you wish to remove and select Delete. They include:

  • Temporary Internet files and website filesClear 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: Remove cookies used by websites to store user-specific settings and information such as your login credentials or session data.
  • History: Delete the record of URLs you've visited.
  • Download History: Erase the record of files you've downloaded through the browser.
  • Form data: Delete all form data that was stored locally.
  • Passwords: Forget all saved passwords in IE.
  • Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track: Delete data associated with ActiveX Filtering and the Tracking Protection feature, including stored exceptions to Do Not Track requests.

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

Check the boxes beside the items you wish to remove and select Delete.

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 sits down at your computer can access sites using those saved credentials. It defeats the purpose of having usernames and passwords if they're automatically entered by your computer.

If you want to disable AutoComplete, use the steps outlined above and uncheck every box so IE 11 doesn't store any information.

If remembering usernames and passwords is a problem, it's best to disable the AutoComplete feature and store your passwords securely.