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How to stop Chrome from using autofill

It's easy to stop your Chrome from autocompleting fields in inconvenient or embarrassing ways.

One of the most useful things about the Chrome browser is the autofill feature. This pops up suggested search terms and websites that you regularly use after you type just a few characters.

For example, you type "fi" and Chrome will suggest "finder.com.au", letting you head to your favourite comparison site with a single tap.

Chrome does the same for search terms. So if, for example, you’ve been searching for "Apple iPhone deals" recently and you start typing "ap", the whole search term will spring up as an option. As we noted, this is great … but not always.

If you’ve been searching "apology gift for cheating on spouse" on a shared family computer, you’d better hope your better half isn’t looking for a great price on Apple products any time soon.

Sometimes it's about privacy, sometimes it’s just not a relevant search term for you anymore, and sometimes it might be embarrassing. Hey, it’s the Internet so we’re not judging.

You can search for "William H Macy single?" as often as you want, but we get why you might like to keep that between you and your ISP. Not to mention your conscience.

Stop the autofill

Thankfully, if you want to make Chrome behave itself, it's as simple as heck.

On desktop versions of Chrome, click the dots/hamburger icon at the top left of your screen, then choose Settings. On the page that launches, click Advanced (at the bottom of the page) and then Auto-Fill settings, where you can manage saved auto-fills, as well as disable the feature entirely.

On your phone, simply touch and hold the offending autofill after it's appeared and you’ll be asked if you want to remove it. It’s really that easy.

Use incognito

If you want to avoid having to do it altogether, you’ve got a couple of options. One is to use Incognito mode. This will stop Chrome from storing any URLs and searches. You open an Incognito tab just by tapping on the three dots on the top right corner and selecting that option. On a PC browser you can use Ctrl+Shift+N as a shortcut.

You can also turn off the feature entirely. One the web version of Chrome, go to Settings, open Advanced Settings and find Privacy and Security. Then simply toggle off the option to "Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar".

What about addresses?

You might also use Chrome to autofill information like addresses and credit card details.

If you’d like to edit or delete those, the easiest way is to once again use the desktop version. Follow the same steps as above but head to Passwords and Forms rather than Privacy and Security.

From here you can edit or delete the address and credit card info as needed.

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