Why doesn’t my Browsing History disappear after I’ve deleted it?

Once upon a time, I typed in the wrong URL for a website and now IE9 keeps suggesting it to me from the moment I get past the ‘www’. bit. I’ve tried deleting my history, but it still won’t go away. Where is Internet Explorer getting these frozen-in-time website names from and how do I erase them?

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. Now next time you want to go to Cleopatras Choice makeup you’re sure to end up in the right place 😉

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