Disable Indexing of Internet Explorer Web History By Windows Search

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 17, 2011
Updated • Dec 9, 2012
Internet Explorer

Have you ever noticed web history suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 or IE9 even though you have deleted the history and the index.dat file in Windows previously? This is caused by the integration of Internet Explorer's history in Windows Search. Internet Explorer 8's and Internet Explorer 9's web addresses are automatically indexed by Windows Search, provided that Windows Search is installed or enabled on the computer system.

You can give this a try if you want. Enable Windows Search if is it not running already and visit some of your favorite websites. Now run CCleaner or another temporary file cleaner that deletes the history file of Internet Explorer, the web browser cache and the index.dat file.

Re-open Internet Explorer and enter letters of web addresses or titles that you visited previously in the search bar. You should see History suggestions in the suggestions bar, provided that you have not changed the settings in Internet Explorer or indexing options of Windows Search.

internet explorer history

There are actually a few options available to block this from happening in the future. Probably the easiest option is right there available in Internet Explorer.

Click on Tools (or the Tools icon in Internet Explorer 9) and select Internet Options from the menu.

Switch to the content tab there and locate the AutoComplete section in the menu.


It reads "AutoComplete stores previous entries on webpages and suggests matches for your". Click the Settings button next to the description.

Check to see if "Use Windows Search for better results" is enabled. If it is remove the checkmark from the checkbox. This disables the feature so that no history information of Internet Explorer are stored by Windows Search. Click the Delete AutoComplete history button on your way out if you like to remove all existing entries.

windows search

Disabling the option is the easiest way to break the connection between Internet Explorer and Windows Search. Users who do not use Windows Search at all can disable the search service instead which disables the feature automatically as a consequence.


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  1. Steven said on February 14, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    An alternative is to disable it from the registry

    sp ‘hkcu:software/microsoft/internet explorer/main/windowssearch’ EnabledScopes 0


  2. Ariffmahmood said on March 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Nice idea….. but i have done it before.for more articles about security for your pc please visit my website……www.gugnu.com

    Thank u…..

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