Disable or enable AutoComplete in Internet Explorer?

Dennis Faas's picture

A few days ago, Rocky R. asked me a question about the AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer:

" When I fill out a form on a new website, a dialog box appears asking if I would like auto complete to stop asking me to store info. Well, I accidentally hit 'Yes' -- and now I can't get auto complete to remember any information! Please help! "

My answer:

The AutoComplete feature can be enabled / disabled by modifying a preference in Internet Explorer. Here's how to change the setting with IE6:

  • Load Internet Explorer
  • Click Tools -> Internet Options
  • Click the Content Tab
  • Click the AutoComplete Button
  • Ensure that "User names and passwords on forms" and "prompt me to save passwords" both have a check-mark

Speaking of remembering form data ...

Whenever I restore a [backup] image of Windows on my machine (when Windows stops working properly), my 'AutoComplete' settings are lost and I have to re-enter the data once more.

I know there's a program called Gator that can remember form data on web sites. Unfortunately, Gator also comes bundled with marketing software (Adware / Spyware*) which I refuse to have installed on my machine.

Side note: Adware is software that sends advertisements to your computer through banners and pop up windows. Spyware is software which "spies" on you: it can collect information about the web sites you visit, or it may even retrieve your email address and name through the Windows Registry. Once the data is collected, it is uploaded to a central computer where it is then used (or sold) for additional marketing.

Additional info: Spyware and Adware removal / more about the Windows Registry

Two programs which remove Adware and Spyware from your machine -- free of charge -- are LavaSoft Ad-aware and SpyBot Search and Destroy. Both programs come highly recommended and are available here:

The Newbie Club also has an excellent tutorial on the Windows Registry, written my Tom Glander:


Do you know of a freeware program that remembers form data?

It certainly would be nice to have a (separate) program which provide this feature, plus the ability to export the data to another drive letter for backup. If you know of such a program, please send me your picks (email below) and I'll include an update in the next newsletter!

Update 2003/04/22: This article has been updated. Click here to read!

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