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Posted 4 Apr 2002


, 5 Apr 2002
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A utility to edit IE URL history


Do you share a computer with someone? Have you ever visited a URL that you're not exactly proud of? Wish you could delete it from the Internet Explorer history list? Well sit back and crack open a beer, because let me tell you, your troubles are over! This amazing application allows you to edit and remove those tell-tale Internet Explorer history items!

As powerful and amazing as this might sound, you do not need to be a blackbelt MSCE to do this. In reality, this application is basically a viewer into a very small part of the registry. While beginners might find it useful to see how the list control editing and sneaky key interception is done, the code itself is very simple; there are no advanced or ground-breaking techniques here. I just thought I'd share this amazing utility with the world - free of charge!

How it works

It reads the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs registry key. This is where the IE history list for the current user is stored. Note that this is the IE drop-down history, not the auto-complete history (I couldn't find the auto-complete history anywhere in the registry). After reading them, the strings are placed into a list control (CListCtrl) and the user is allowed to edit the strings and mark them as deleted. When the user quits, it writes the new list back to the registry. Apparently, IE only reads this list from the registry when it starts, and writes this list when it exits; so you will have to shut down IE to use this (or this and IE will overwrite each other's URL list).

Interesting bits

The list control is the most interesting part of this app. It allows in-place editing, icons and multi-select. If you're new to list controls, this might be informative.

The code to handle the delete and backspace keys (to mark URLs as "deleted") is accomplished by overriding PreTranslateMessage and watching for the appropriate messages. This might be nice to look at, if you've never done this before.

The registry class is from Robert Pittenger. This will let you see it in action.

That's about it.

IE Versions

This was written with IE v6.0. I don't know if other IE versions keep their history in the same place. If not, oh well. What do you expect for free?


It was Antihistamine, (anti-hista-mine → anti-history, mine → get it?) but I thought was a bit too subtle. AntiHisto is easier to figure out.


You'll have to figure this out on your own.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Chris Losinger
Software Developer
United States United States
Chris Losinger is the president of Smaller Animals Software, Inc..

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNice article, but... Pin
Tom Archer8-Apr-02 16:24
memberTom Archer8-Apr-02 16:24 
GeneralRe: Nice article, but... Pin
Chris Losinger8-Apr-02 16:29
memberChris Losinger8-Apr-02 16:29 
GeneralRe: Nice article, but... Pin
Tom Archer8-Apr-02 16:33
memberTom Archer8-Apr-02 16:33 
GeneralPC Magazine has this utility Pin
Rashid Thadha6-Apr-02 11:38
memberRashid Thadha6-Apr-02 11:38 
GeneralRe: PC Magazine has this utility Pin
Chris Losinger6-Apr-02 11:35
memberChris Losinger6-Apr-02 11:35 
GeneralRe: PC Magazine has this utility Pin
Nishant S11-Jul-02 23:57
subeditorNishant S11-Jul-02 23:57 
GeneralRe: PC Magazine has this utility Pin
Tom Archer8-Apr-02 16:26
memberTom Archer8-Apr-02 16:26 
QuestionBut history then? Pin
Anonymous6-Apr-02 0:03
memberAnonymous6-Apr-02 0:03 
GeneralPerfect crime... Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson5-Apr-02 8:50
memberJörgen Sigvardsson5-Apr-02 8:50 
GeneralRe: Perfect crime... Pin
John F Kenidy29-Apr-02 6:33
memberJohn F Kenidy29-Apr-02 6:33 

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