Algorithm for what appears in addressbar drop down in IE8?

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by +Bob+, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    OK.. IE6 seemed moderately predictable, IE7 a little less, but still
    slightly sensible, but WTF is up with IE8? I can't figure what
    possible criteria it could be using to populate the drop down. Some
    items that I frequently type in never show up, and some that I type
    just once jump right in. Any ideas on how to get some addresses you
    use frequently to show up in the drop down?
    +Bob+, Mar 17, 2010
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  2. +Bob+

    williamtell Guest

    Windows Search!
    williamtell, Mar 17, 2010
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  3. PA Bear [MS MVP], Mar 17, 2010
  4. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    You're going to need to elaborate on that answer a bit for it to be
    +Bob+, Mar 17, 2010
  5. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    Informative, but it still doesn't answer my question that I could
    determine as it pertains to what happens when you start typing.

    What I'm trying to figure out is how IE8 decides what will be in the
    list when you click the drop down arrow to the right of the address
    bar. It's got a very odd collection, including "about:blank", but some
    sites I've been to very often don't appear. In IE7, the recent sites
    would always be there.
    +Bob+, Mar 17, 2010
  6. +Bob+

    williamtell Guest

    Sorry about the delay in response, but I had the same issue as you, after
    uninstalling Windows Search, seems Search is required for some components of
    IE8 to function properly.
    williamtell, Mar 18, 2010
  7. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    I read about that... leave it to MS to integrate the browser in yet
    another way with the OS that's totally unnecessary.

    But, after reading PA Bear's pointer on the address bar, I'm still
    left wanting. The recent history (URL's I've typed) should show up in
    the drop down. It's one of the regkey stored items... not one that has
    to be searched like favorites. Again, I'm talking about clicking the
    drop down arrow without typing anything.
    +Bob+, Mar 18, 2010
  8. +Bob+

    rob^_^ Guest

    Hi Bob,

    Some IE Addons will clean your tracks, including typed urls. This may or may
    not apply in your case.

    Go to Tools>Internet Options - Content tab, Autocomplete section, Settings
    button. You need the Address bar option checked in order to display the
    Typed urls in the Navigation bar Address dropdown.

    So the algorithm is

    Address bar unchecked - display nothing when the Address drop down is
    displayed. (Alt+D to set the focus in the Address bar, Alt+Down arrow to
    display the drop-down list)

    Address bar checked - Display typed url history + any other checked options
    (Browsing history, Favorites or Feeds) under the Address bar checkbox.

    Use Windows Search for better results - Use Windows Indexing services
    instead of brute force file searching to search the History and Favorites
    files for matches.

    rob^_^, Mar 18, 2010
  9. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    Odd then. There are a few sites I visit every day. I have to type in
    the URLs because clicking the drop down arrow shows me an odd
    collection of URL's and I can't get to the sites by the drop down.
    When I type them (at least a significant number of characters), they
    do show up in the dynamic drop down list that MS provides. But, they
    are never in the basic drop down/arrow.

    In IE7 they always showed up in the drop down arrow driven box, as
    would be expected.
    +Bob+, Mar 18, 2010
  10. +Bob+

    rob^_^ Guest

    What Addon Toolbars do you have installed.

    Type url completion reads what has been stored in the Registry. Deleting
    your tracks on exiting IE (IE setting or third party product) will change
    what is listed in the typed urls keys.

    viz... you select an item from the type urls list (at the top of the Address
    bar dropdown) but don't actually type it in will add an entry to your
    history, but not a new entry to your typed urls.

    You type in a new address that is not in your typed urls list, but is in
    your History. IE selects the uri from the history list, no typed url is
    added to the registry.... etc.
    rob^_^, Mar 18, 2010
  11. +Bob+

    williamtell Guest

    Bob, try this/ If you have not, Install Window Search, open IE8>click
    Tools>Internet Options>General Tab, Browsing history, click Settings>Days to
    keep pages in history,mine is set to 5>click Content tab>AutoComplete, click
    Settings>check, Use Window Search for better results
    Worst case cinereo, if you do not like it, uninstall Search.
    Hope this works for you!
    williamtell, Mar 18, 2010
  12. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    It's "stock" MSIE 8. The only customization I have is that I ran the
    reg hack when I had IE7 that moved the menu bar to the top and the
    address bad below that.
    I think this is the area that is messing up. I cleared everything
    history and cache wise. My drop down address bar was empty. I have
    since typed half dozen URL's. Only one is seen when I click the drop
    down arrow.
    I could see this as a factor, except I've cleared all history and they
    still don't get logged when I type them.
    +Bob+, Mar 19, 2010
  13. +Bob+

    williamtell Guest

    If you have Search installed, right click on the taskbar icon, click
    options, check that IE search history is showing as chosen for indexing.
    williamtell, Mar 19, 2010

  14. Try closing IE then and go and inspect your TypedURLs values in the
    registry. I.e., make sure you recycle IE so those values get saved. I
    haven't studied the new implementation but the old one for sure had an
    internal TypedURLs and an external one. You haven't disclosed your OS
    but if you have XP you could use its TweakUI to do that without having to
    resort to RegEdit. Also, it may help if you gave some examples of URLs
    which you have typed which are not being stored. I don't think that would
    be that unusual. Frankly I don't understand why people are so attached to
    that anachronism. ; ]


    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 19, 2010
  15. +Bob+

    Don Varnau Guest

    You can regain control of the Address Bar by turning off (Internet Options>
    Content> AutoComplete) Browsing history, Favorites and Windows Search. Leave
    AutoComplete enabled for Address Bar, of course.

    You will have the classic TypedURLs list on the Address Bar dropdown- 25
    entries- only URLs you've typed or pasted into the Address Bar.

    Remove the occasional infrequently accessed URL which appears and you will
    end up with a list of frequently accessed sites.
    Hope this helps,
    [MS MVP- IE]
    Don Varnau, Mar 19, 2010
  16. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    OS is Vista, SP2, all updates installed though a few days ago.

    Seems like it's not writing the URL's to typedURL - except on some
    random basis.

    I just did a Reset on IE and cleared everything. It went to automatically when I restarted it and that URL was
    recorded in typedURLs. I then visited some sites I was sure were not
    in my history or favorites. Here's a list:,,,,

    None of these URL's are in my favorites and this machine has never
    been to chrysler or hyundai (keeping in mind that my history was
    cleared too in the reset). I've may have been to the others in the
    long past (uncertain, but keep in mind I cleared the history). Along
    the way with this problem I've also used ccleaner to clear the other
    MSIE schmegma so there should actually be no history anywhere of any
    of these sites.

    Out of those URL's, only and were recorded in
    typedURL's. Just for kicks, I changed one of the typedURL keys in
    regedit and added another. They showed up just fine back in MSIE.

    So, it seems that the mechanism that gets the "new" links to
    typedURL's is not working.
    +Bob+, Mar 19, 2010

  17. Why would something that happened automatically go into TypedURLs? In my
    experience (pre-W7) the only things that went in there were URLs which
    resulted in successful connections. E.g. typically no mistyping unless
    there really was a host name which matched that mistyping. In particular
    URLs which were entered using the Ctrl-o dialog didn't get put there. I
    just proved that is still the case with Ctrl-o Enter.

    Good examples!

    That's bizarre. I was imagining that perhaps ones which did redirects
    wouldn't be there because there wouldn't be any completed connections with
    them. So, in that case both Chrysler and Hyundai would not have appeared,
    since they both redirect. Also what exactly is recorded there, your exact
    typing or the URL that is left in the Address bar after you press Enter?
    E.g. although I entered your examples exactly as you gave them each is
    enclosed within http:// and a trailing / in both the registry and in the
    F4 display under the Address bar.

    Remember I mentioned the possibility of there being two representations?
    Have you tried closing IE after each test? Or at least pressing F5 in
    RegEdit then as you are viewing (HKCU) TypedURLs?

    FWIW I'm on W7 and noticing what I think may be a new implementation. E.g.
    in XP I can remember that there was a special value which represented all of
    the entries by a letter--probably why the implementation was restricted to
    having only 25 entries and then that was used somehow in a replacement
    algorithm--perhaps a true LRU replacement scheme. I see no sign of that in
    W7. Instead what happens is that each time I enter a new URL in the
    Address bar it is assigned to url1 and all the others are re-numbered
    accordingly. Hence, no LRU possibility, just discarding whatever happens
    to be url25 at the time. Pity the poor person who wants to manage 26
    frequently used entries this way. <eg> OMG! I just realized that they
    could actually have a kind of LRU mechanism if they also rewrote everything
    not just as it was changed but as it was used. In fact, that seems to be
    what happens. Who knew? (Writing just the string of letters would be
    more efficient but perhaps someone didn't quite understand how it used to
    work.) ; }

    I have always been annoyed that it didn't save any javascript: fragments I
    would enter. That still seems to be true. But I can still do about:1
    about:2 ... about:25 to "clear" the TypedURLs. (Memories.) ; ) In any
    case, I saw all of your examples added one by one into my TypedURLs and I
    saw them reported (or more likely I suspect, mirrored) when I pressed F4 in
    the IE Address bar. And as I mentioned when I actually used one it became
    number 1 and all the others were renumbered accordingly.

    BTW there is another possibility you could try. Turn off AutoComplete for
    the Address bar. New to IE8 that loses being able to press F4 and see the
    TypedURLs listed under the Address bar but instead what you could then do is
    press Ctrl-o CursorDown and see them all listed under the Open dialog's
    input box. ; )

    If you want you could trace whether TypedURLs is being updated consistently
    using ProcMon. I'll be interested in knowing if you have the old string of
    letters LRU mechanism or if you see the same update even on access
    implementation that I am seeing.


    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 20, 2010
  18. +Bob+

    +Bob+ Guest

    I've closed both MSIE and Regedit... no improvement.
    Yes, I am familiar with the Javascript: issue. Annoying!

    I just clear everything, then entered 7 new URL's. One of the 5 was
    recorded. It was THat one actually redirects to in the browser, but the initial
    typed URL is what gets recorded.
    When I tried this, there were no URL's saved in the Open drop down.

    One additional fact I noticed is that when I do start ->run, nothing
    is saved in the start-> run box. i.e. I have to type Regedit each
    time. Any thoughts as to why that might be? I checked the permissions
    on the typedURL key and they are fine - I have full control as a user
    as does the system and administrator. ALthough, if it was a permission
    problem, you would think that NO URL's would be recorded... and SOME
    are, just not many.
    I'm not sure if I understand your question exactly, but the values are
    labeled url1, url2, etc.
    +Bob+, Mar 20, 2010

  19. It should only be necessary to press F5 in RegEdit, so you could avoid
    closing it. Try using ProcMon to see when the TypedURLs get accessed and


    If, by "was recorded" you mean you don't see it when you press F4, I suspect
    that is something unique to your Vista. As I mentioned I'm not sure when
    the actual values should get saved or updated in the registry. BTW did you
    try using about:1 about:2 ... about:25 ? Easier, largely reusable

    Were there any in TypedURLs at that point? ; )

    AutoComplete for Windows. What happens if you use Run... (Win-R) and F4

    Sorry. You don't need to use ProcMon to see that but it would probably be
    more apparent. As I explained, there are two possible implementations to
    providing an LRU replacement feature for this list:
    1. always rewrite it every time it is used, even on accesses. That is the
    (surprise) implementation that IE8 on W7 is apparently using. Or,
    2. have a string of 25 letters which represent the positions of each urln
    item in their LRU order. That is the implementation that I can remember
    seeing once used in XP (or it might even have been in IE5 on NT4).
    Unfortunately I didn't check if it was still being used in XPsp3 when I had
    IE8 on it.

    So, the difference in the implementations might be seen in the both the
    accesses and the saves done and perhaps even in the F4 display compared with
    the TypedURLs list given by RegEdit. In particular if you only see urln
    values and not one with a string of letters then in order to provide an LRU
    replacement feature you would see url1* changed every time the TypedURLs
    list is used, not just added to. The advantage of the second scheme is
    efficiency (less registry accesses and writes) at the cost of complexity
    (some people may not understand why it is being done that way).
    * assuming position 1 is reserved to represent the most recently used typed
    URL. So then the least recently used one--the one designated for
    replacement when a new URL is added to a full list will always be the last,


    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 20, 2010
  20. +Bob+

    rob^_^ Guest

    Standard MRU combo box algorithm.

    rob^_^, Mar 21, 2010
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