How to Clean the Windows User Profile

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Cleaning the Windows User Profile and deleting the Browsing History in Internet Explorer are two different things. The former requires tab-to-tab action changes, and the latter can be accomplished in just a few clicks. By regularly cleaning your Windows User Profile, you will help to keep your computer secure and prevent any unwanted programs from being run on your computer.

How to Clean the Windows User Profile in Internet Explorer

  • Select "Tools" from the Windows Internet Explorer toolbar.

  • Choose "Internet Options."

  • Go to the "General" tab.

  • Click on "about: blank" under the "Home Page" section. This will clear out any references of any web pages you have used to automatically open and populate the tabs of Internet Explorer.

  • Go to the "Browsing History" section and click on "Delete." This will delete and erase any browsing history, cookies or passwords that would normally populate when just a few keystrokes are entered in Internet Explorer. It normally takes a few seconds to a few minutes to delete the entire browsing history depending on the user's browsing activities.

  • Go to the "Search" section and click on "Settings." Here, you may elect to reset your default search provider to one that you have rarely or never used. You may also choose to delete or erase any other providers in the list box. Another option is to search for other providers and select one well-known or little-known provider to be the default search provider.

  • Go to the "Tabs" section and click on"Settings" and then "Restore Defaults."

  • Go to the "Security" tab and then click on "Local Intranet."

  • Click on the "Sites" button.

  • Click on the "Advanced" button.

  • Under the "Websites" section, delete all web addresses listed in the text box.

  • Click on "Close."

  • Click "OK."

  • Go to the "Privacy" tab and click on "Sites."

  • In the "Managed Websites" section, select "Remove All."

  • Click "OK."

  • Go to the "Content" tab and select "Settings." You have several options here. You can either uncheck the "Web Addresses," "Forms," "User Names and Passwords on Forms" and "Prompt Me to Save Passwords " checkboxes under the "AutoComplete" section, or you can periodically delete the browsing history under the "General" tab as explained in Step 5.

  • Under the "Feed Settings," Click on "Settings."

  • Uncheck "Automatically check feeds for updates" and click "OK."

  • Go to the "Connections" tab and select "Settings."

  • Under the "Automatic Configuration" section, check "Automatically" detect settings. Make sure that the name and password isn't automatically populated.

  • Remove any identifying information such as "User Name" and "Password" in the "Dial Up" section under the "Connections" tab.

  • Click "OK" and then exit.

A Faster Way to Clean the Windows User Profile in Internet Explorer

  • Select "Tools" from the Windows Internet Explorer Information toolbar.

  • Choose "Internet Options."

  • Go to the "Advanced" tab.

  • Click on the "Reset" button under the "Reset Internet Explorer Settings" section, then exit.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Before taking action on cleaning the Windows Internet Explorer User Profile, define your goal. Is your goal to delete temporary files? Is it to enhance security? Knowing your main goal beforehand can simplify the process of wiping out information found in a Windows Internet Explorer User Profile.
  • If you are using a public computer, when you are finished you can remove some personal information that was stored during your access. To do this, select "Internet Options" from the Internet Explorer Information toolbar, then go to the "Content" tab. Next, click on "Clear SSL State." Exit.
  • Use caution when deleting items listed under the "Content" tab in "Internet Options," particularly in the "Certificates" and "Publishers" sections. Since both sections contain a list of organizations whom you have encrypted secure connections with for safer computer communications, always view the lists before making a final decision to delete any items from "Certificates" or "Publishers."

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