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Web browsers have changed significantly over the years, with a constant accumulation of new features and functionality as each new generation arrives. At the same time, many of us spend an increasing amount of our personal and professional lives online, which means automation and adaptive features are always in demand.
A tool like autofill is generally regarded as an incredibly useful addition to the standard browser suite because it helps save time and trouble when you don’t want to type the same thing over and over.
But there are times when autofill can become a bit of a headache, popping up when you don’t need it or getting in the way of what you may actually be trying to do. The busier you are, the more likely it is that you’ve run into these types of problems.
Your risk only goes up when you have to use a different address for certain purchases, accidentally confuse one form with another, or let a coworker or loved one use your computer to do some important online paperwork.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to clear autofill in Chrome and manage your settings directly. In this article, we’ll give you two easy methods you can use to quickly delete entries, reset the tool, or turn off autofill completely. Before we do, let’s get started with a brief introduction on the basics of autofill and how it works in Google Chrome.
Autofill remembers and fills in specific information and form fields as part of the web browser on your computer. In a perfect world, autofill should save time in a variety of situations, and in most cases, that’s exactly how it works.
Autofill is great when you need to fill out an address for online shopping or filing paperwork. It’s also useful when you’re frequently searching for similar things, and when you want to save non-sensitive login or payment information.
Without systems like autofill and predictive text, your life online can slow down a lot more than you’d expect. Mobile platforms like your smartphone or tablet would also become substantially less usable because they would force you to repeatedly input information into their cramped and somewhat tedious interfaces.
All the more reason why it’s important to understand the ins and outs of your Chrome autofill settings. And why you should be able to delete incorrect information so the right entries are easier to access.
To make sure your settings aren’t causing you unnecessary trouble, we’ll start by highlighting the two quickest methods for getting rid of unwanted autofill entries. Both methods may appear the same, but they give you two ways to gain access and manage your information.
Use the first method if you only want to delete autofill Chrome entries or some combination of accumulated browser data. This is great for when you want to clear out your browser’s saved autofill entries and then get back to work as fast as possible.
If you have a little extra time or want more control over how you manage your settings, you can also access them using the complete autofill interface under your main Chrome settings. This method allows you to visualise more of your options for both autofill and your browser’s overall data settings.
This is your quick method for clearing saved autofill entries in particular or in combination with other browser data. As opposed to your own unique arrangement of bookmarks and app icons, the Chrome browser interface is consistent from user to user.
Once that’s done, your Chrome autofill settings should be cleared. That means your problem is gone, but you may have to re-enter a lot of your routine autofill entries. If you want to avoid that, the next method gives you some extra leeway. Using it, you can get rid of what you don’t need while preserving the parts of your autofill data that you’d like to keep.
This method guides you through your standard Chrome settings menu so that you can choose between individually managing your autofill categories or deleting everything at once.
How you delete all your autofill data is essentially the same, but this method gives you the option to micromanage your autofill setup. It may add a few steps to your routine, but you’ll be less likely to encounter unexpected issues down the line.
Do you want to turn off autofill altogether? You have that option from the Chrome Settings menu as well. Since our second method provides access to the full suite of settings options, we’ll also discuss each of the three categories that make up the Google Chrome autofill feature. Within each category you’ll find a convenient toggle to turn off autofill for that category. They are as follows:
To turn this feature off, look for the words “Offer to save passwords” and set the toggle to the off position. Look for “Auto sign-in” to turn off storage of your saved login credentials. To manage saved entries individually, you can find a complete index of saved passwords below your saved password and sign-in options.
If you want to turn off this feature, look for the words “Save and fill payment methods” and set the toggle to the off position. Below this, you’ll find a link to your Google account’s saved payment information, which is where you can manage your account, and an index of different payment methods.
This category is a catchall for location autofill entries related to your physical and digital contact information, including your email address, billing addresses, and shipping locations. To turn this off, look for “Save and fill addresses” and set the toggle to the off position. Below this, you’ll find a complete list of address information saved by your browser.
To clear your saved autofill entries en masse, use the “Clear browser data” option. As part of this process, your browser prompt already includes several categories of saved information checked off for deletion. Most of your browser data isn’t worth worrying about, but here’s a quick guide to what you’re deleting if you leave these categories checked when you clear out auto fill entries.
This encompasses a basic record of your browsing, but it also includes some additional information beyond a list of websites. It provides a rundown of your saved auto-complete entries, which is the predictive text that helps finish familiar URLs in the Chrome search bar. If your issue stems from auto-complete issues, the most direct solution is to delete your browsing history through the Clear browsing data procedure.
Under this category, your browser accumulates the credentials that allow you to freely navigate your most frequently visited websites. If you include this option when you clear browsing data, you’ll be logged out of most of the services and websites that you have used to date. To avoid that, simply uncheck the corresponding box and move on.
Here you’ll find saved images and site resources that your browser archives to more quickly load websites. You can clear a pretty big chunk of space out if you leave this category checked, but you may notice a slight slowdown the next time you visit one of your favorite sites.
From the Clear browsing data window, you can also switch between Basic and Advanced options. Under the Advanced heading you’ll find a more detailed breakdown of options, including a pre-selected field for download history. In these expanded options you can turn off autofill form data, in addition to passwords and sign-in data, site settings, and hosted app data.
Some usage situations may present their own unique obstacles, but most problems with autofill are relatively easy to understand. For example, there’s always a risk of confusion or small input mistakes when you let a friend or family member use your computer to fill out a form for online paperwork or to make a purchase. You run the same risk when any user adds a new app to their loadout or a new website to their routine.
To combat these issues, it helps to periodically clear out your autofill log. This guarantees that you won’t stumble over redundant information or accidentally ship a gift to the wrong address. But if you find yourself having constant issues, it can also be helpful to manage your autofill settings directly and to periodically check in on each category in your Chrome settings.
For most users, your routine use of Chrome can lead to occasional autofill-related issues. So if you are experiencing an issue that seems more persistent or especially difficult, it may be something larger than just the stored data and browser settings.
If you think you may be dealing with something different or bigger, don’t hesitate to look for help at the main Google Chrome Help page or through your IT support team (either in your workplace or via your internet service provider).
When you have difficulty getting autofill to work correctly, it’s important to remember that you can easily control this feature in a variety of ways. The choice is yours whether or not to turn off autofill altogether, shuffle things around on a category basis, or even to just clear out your saved entries periodically.
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