Whatever you type on your keyboard, you want it to be as short and as quick as possible. This is the reason why the Internet Explorer 11 app in Windows 8.1 and many other web browsers offer you suggestions as you type: to make your life easier. When you type a URL or a search term in the address bar, two types of suggestions are displayed: suggestions based on the websites that you have visited in the past and suggestions from Microsoft's search engine - Bing. These are called enhanced suggestions and, in this tutorial, we will explain how they work and how to disable them or enable them, depending on whether you would like to use them or not.
What are Enhanced Suggestions in Internet Explorer?
Enhanced suggestions allow users to have quick access to relevant information as you type something in the address bar. Suggested items include search terms, websites and weather or finance information. If one of the suggestions is what you are looking for, you can simply click or tap on it to get to the information you want. These suggestions are based on Bing - Microsoft search engine - and they can be turned off if you prefer. In the picture below, enhanced suggestions are the ones in the red rectangle.
Normal suggestions are based on the websites that you have visited in the past and other recommended websites. They appear on the left side of the suggestions list and cannot be turned off. In the picture above, normal suggestions are the ones in the blue rectangle.
Below you can see how the Suggestions area looks like after you turn off enhanced suggestions. You can see that only suggestions based on the websites that you have visited in the past are displayed.
Obviously, the number of suggestions displayed is much smaller, even though I have used the same input as in the first screenshot.
How to Disable Enhanced Suggestions?
By default, enhanced suggestions are enabled in the Internet Explorer app. Some users may prefer to disable them because, in order to provide enhanced suggestions, the user's keystrokes are sent to Microsoft. Some people are very privacy oriented and they might not want to send this data to Microsoft.
Controlling the display of enhanced suggestions in the address bar is easy and you can do it either by using the Settings charm or directly from the address bar.
To disable enhanced suggestions using the Settings charm you have to open the Internet Explorer app, bring up the charms and select Settings.
If you don't know how to use the charm bar, please read this article: Introducing Windows 8 & 8.1: What are the Charms & How to Use them.
After you have opened the Settings charm, press the Privacy link.
Scroll down to the Suggestions section to find the switch named"Show enhanced suggestions from Microsoft as you type".
To disable enhanced suggestions, set that switch to Off.
Another way to do disable enhanced suggestions is to open the Internet Explorer 11 app, then type something into the address bar.
In the top right corner of the Suggestions bar you can find the link that says "Turn off suggestions from Microsoft".
To disable enhanced suggestions, click or tap on it. A message will pop-up, asking for your confirmation.
Here, you can click or tap the Learn more link to jump to this page from Microsoft, where you can learn more about browsing suggestions in Internet Explorer.
Click or tap the Turn off button to disable search suggestions.
How to Enable Enhanced Suggestions in Internet Explorer?
The benefits of using enhanced suggestions are observable when you search the web frequently, using the address bar. The additional suggestions allow you to get to the desired results faster, making you more productive.
Enabling the enhanced suggestions is done the same as disabling them, maybe a bit easier.
One way is to open the Internet Explorer app, bring up the charms and select Settings. Then, click or tap Privacy.
To enable enhanced suggestions, go to the Suggestions section and set the "Show enhanced suggestions from Microsoft as you type" switch to On.
Another way to do this is to type something into the address bar. You will find the "Turn on suggestions from Microsoft" link in the top right corner of the Suggestions area. To enable enhanced suggestions, click or tap this link.
Unlike when disabling enhanced suggestions, there's no need to confirm your choice. They will be activated with a simple click or tap.
Now that you have read this tutorial, we would like to encourage you to test whether enhanced suggestions are useful and relevant for you. Then, decide whether you would like to keep them enabled or not.
We prefer to keep enhanced suggestions enabled because, despite the fact that data is sent to Microsoft, the results that are returned make us more productive when browsing the web.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this feature of the Internet Explorer app, don't hesitate to share them using the comments form below.