Windows Client OS

Delete Internet Explorer Address Bar History

Can I delete the Internet Explorer Address Bar History?

Sure you can!

When you use Internet Explorer to browse to a website and do so by directly typing the URL in the address bar, the URL you’ve typed will be saved. This is useful for your own use, but in case you’re using a computer of co-worker (or your wife, even nastier), and the URL you’ve typed is, hmmm… how should I say, a bit suspicious, then that URL could be viewed by the other user by pulling down the list.

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If you’ve logged on as your own user then that’s ok, but if you’ve temporarily used a different user’s account to "just check in your email" (wink wink…), then that might get you into trouble.

That’s why you may want to remove, delete or clear the history of links from Internet Explorer address bar.

Now here is the tricky part. We all know that you could simply clear your IE history (Internet Explorer > Tools >Internet Options > General tab > click Clear History), however that’ll clear ALL your history, including the address bar URL cache. That we do not want, because that’ll just signal the "other user" (e.g. wife) that you’ve done something you wanted to hide. And that my friend, is harder to explain.

So, in order to clear or the history of the address bar in IE only without deleting your IE History folder follow these steps:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you’re supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

  1. Locate the following key in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs 
  1. Delete all the URLx (e.g. URL1, URL2 and so on) that you do not wish to be visible in the address bar drop down list.

Note: If you delete only certain keys, make sure that the remaining keys are in renamed in sequential order start from url1. Otherwise you might corrupte your remaining keys.

  1. Close the registry editor.

It’s worth noting that all IE windows should have been closed before doing the above steps.


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