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Disable and Remove Suggested Sites From Internet Explorer 8

If you’re a user of Internet Explorer 8 either by choice or due to work requirements, you might be tired of seeing the annoying Suggested Sites feature in the Favorites Bar. Today we show you how to disable Suggested Sites and remove it from the Toolbar.

Turn Off Suggested Sites

Suggested Sites is a feature in Internet Explorer 8 (included in Windows 7 by default) and enables you to find sites similar to the one you’re visiting. When Suggested Sites is turned on, your browsing history is sent to Microsoft where they compare it to a list of updated sites that are related.

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To turn off the feature click on Tools \ Internet Options.

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Click on the Advanced tab then scroll down to Enable Suggested Sites and uncheck the box to turn it off then click Ok.

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Now if you click on Suggested Sites you’ll see it’s been disabled and you can enable it again from here if you want.

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Remove from Favorites Bar

You might want to turn it off and also get rid of it from your favorites bar. Just right click on Suggested Sites and click on Delete.

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Click on Yes to the confirmation dialog screen.

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That’s it! The Suggested Sites feature is turned off and it’s also out of your favorites bar.

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If you’re concerned about Microsoft tracking your browsing, you might want to turn off the Suggested Sites feature. This is a good solution for getting rid of it being displayed on the Favorite bar as well since you’re not using it.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 01/26/10

Comments (26)

  1. HugoHilter

    The better way: turn of the IE – and use another browser…

  2. Doug Rosbury

    I never use 1E8 So I’m Not concerned about “suggested sites” However, What can I do to relieve the problem of 1E8′s vulnerability causing trouble for my OS?And can you recommend some protection for my computer? I still have “Yoggie” but I dont use it . should I reinstall it?
    Doug

  3. 1fastbullet

    I’m sure Microsoft ONLY uses this browser data for the purpose of suggesting similar sites, too.

  4. Ed B

    Hi,

    As you have written, the ‘Suggested Sites’ button can be rt-click Deleted, but it always comes back. After trying just about everything else I could find on the topic, here’s what I did to ‘fix’ the problem/annoyance in my current XP SP3/IE8 configuration:

    in \Documents and Settings\\Favorites\Links *:
    1. rt-click on the Suggested Sites.url file
    2. select Properties then General tab
    3. click on the Attributes: Hidden checkbox then click Ok

    It’ll still be there in the Favorites Bar, but at least you won’t have to see it.

    Good luck

    * At least in XP (dunno about 7; not using that until next week ;-), in the Folders pane of windows explorer, ‘\Links’ shows up as ‘Favorites Bar’. However in the Address field, it shows up as ‘\Links’ so that’s why I typed it that way

  5. Jim S

    It will keep coming back in the Favorites Bar. To stop that, go to the dropdown arrow to the right of the IE8 search box. Select Manage Search Providers. For each of the listed providers that has Search Suggestions labelled as Enabled, click on the provider name, and select Disable Suggestions in the Search Suggestions line.

  6. Happy gal!

    Just want to say THANK YOU to Jim S!!!

  7. Rex

    Jim S knows his stuff. Search Box dropdown -> Select Manage Search Providers -> Select each Search Provider – then for each Search Provider, DISABLE “Search suggestions.”

    No More “Suggested Sites” upon Startup, even after Shutdown.

    Thanks, Jim S.

  8. Rex

    Turns out you must also perform the “Hidden” Attributes step above, as well re: Ed B. Otherwise, “Suggested Sites” is like a pesky Energizer bunny. It just keeps coming back, and coming back, and coming back, etc.

  9. Burnsybyrd

    I have tried all the suggestions here (and several on other sites) and I cannot disable “suggested sites” no matter how I try.

    It’s very frustraing to be overridden like this so I’m leaving for
    firefox but I really, really, really would like to know what’s going on.

    Any more ideas folks?

  10. gus

    After turning off suggested sites i also wanted to remove it, but a right click gave no delete option.

  11. Gina

    Thanks a lot for the useful info. :D

  12. Rosie

    how do I disable it in Google Chrome?? It is unchecked but still comes up when I do a search in chrome

  13. Kyle

    Suggested Sites link (button) vs. Search Suggestions: a clarification

    These are two completely separate “features” that seem to be confusing people all over the internets.

    First, “Suggested Sites” is the feature the author was referring to. He was correct with everything except on how to remove it (The “Suggested Sites” link) from the Favorites Bar. If you right click and delete as stated the link will simply reappear in a few days. Someone earlier in this thread pointed out that you can hide this link and that is the only way I have found to do it. I will now state the obvious, “Suggested Sites” does just that it suggests webSITES. That is in contrast to the following feature.

    “Search Suggestions” are suggestions that you see when you SEARCH from the search bar. It is suggesting WORDS to search for and is not suggesting websites. The author was not attempting to discuss this feature. As Jim stated earlier in this thread “go to the dropdown arrow to the right of the IE8 search box. Select Manage Search Providers. For each of the listed providers that has Search Suggestions labelled as Enabled, click on the provider name, and select Disable Suggestions in the Search Suggestions line”. Now when you type in the search bar you will not get suggested search results from your search provider. This is completely separate and is unrelated to the link in your Favorites bar labelled “Suggested Sites”.

    It seems Microsoft succeeded in making the terminology confusing. In short:

    “Suggested Sites” and “Search Suggestions” are completely different features.

  14. Joanne

    Thank you! That thing was driving me crazy=D

  15. Brian

    I have tried all the above to get rid of “Suugested Sites” from my Favorites Bar but as has been said it keeps coming back (I like the Energiser Bunny analogy).

    My latest procedure was to go to Windows Explorer and

    1

  16. Brian

    Go to > C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Favorites\Links (This ‘Links’ Folder may be shown as Favorites Bar).

    Delete the “Suggested Sites” file

    Then repeat by going to > C:\Documents and Settings\[Your profile name]\Favorites\Favorites Bar

    Delete the “Suggested Sites” file

    This solution has survived a shut down and a start up but I will be more confident if it still has not reappeared in a few days because its a sneaky little thing – a classic MS ‘bug’

  17. Brian

    I think I have discovered why the damn thing keeps coming back. I have a Registry scan scheduled for each day and this discovers the broken registry links (because of my deleting the files) and kindly fixes them for me. Hence the next time I look I have “Suggested Sites” button back on my Favorites Bar.

    So I have placed theses two registry “problems” on the ‘Ignore’ list which will hopefully keep the thing from re appearing.The two registry keys are:-

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Suggested Sites\SlicePath

    HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-448539723-1078145449-1177238915-500\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Suggested Sites\SlicePath

    The problem can be fixed in the registry but I am unsure as how to disable “Suggested Sites’ Favoutites Bar Button via the registry without seriously stuffing things up. If you have a Registry Scanner then I would sugest you place these two files on the “Ignore List”. That way you can always retrieve the “Suggested Sites” button if you wish by removing the two registry keys from the ignore list

    A computer technician once warned me that playing around in the registry is akin to open heart surgery – nuff said.

  18. Tony M

    Brian, you are a star and have actually solved this problem for me. You are right its the registry scanning that causes the problem.

  19. Phrogg40

    Turning off Sugegsted Sites is easy. But it always comes back the next time one opens the browser.

    What I would like to know is hw to PERMANENTLY disable Suggested Sites.

  20. Kathleen

    The disturbing thing about being completely unable to get rid of suggested sites is that MS is using it to track our activities. I think that’s why they’ve engineered it so we can’t get rid of it. As soon as NIS 2011 is compatible with Firefox 4.0 I’m going back to Firefox. Chrome is a nuisance because it doesn’t work with NIS and won’t memorize financial site passwords (a “feature”).

  21. fjb

    Deleting or hiding the Suggested Sites link doesn’t keep it from coming back, and for some reason, IE seems to want to create a *new* Suggested Sites link every time it starts up, regardless of whether there’s already one there or not. So I end up with “Suggested Sites”, “Suggested Sites (2)”, “Suggested Sites (3)”, etc ad nauseam.

    In one sense this is a minor annoyance, because I do almost everything in Chrome and Firefox anyway. But for those few things where I do have to use IE (cross-browser site testing, etc), it’s really irritating. Is there any way to make it go away and never come back?

  22. Deo Domuique

    It happens of course on IE 9 too.

    I came here while I was searching “Suggesting Sites Bookmark Reappearing”.

    One guy above said that maybe the registry cleaners trigger that and it sounds solid idea. I’ll try to clear it up.

    Also, what the guy exactly above me said, is true. I placed it last on my favorites bar, so it went to dropmarker list at the end. I don’t see it but in a while many copies of itself have created.

  23. testking

    I’m really impressed that there so much about this subject
    that been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class.
    Good one you, man! Really great stuff here.

  24. Pam Cook Swafford

    I really want to say Bravo to whomever got this site together to help us out here in webland! The instructions, suggestions and advice is always (e.g., in my position) have always been such a computer saver! Keep up the good work and thank you for always explaining in terms that an average person (such as myself) can understand!

    Again BRAVO!!!!!!!!
    Sincerely,
    Pam Cook Swafford
    Avid Subscriber

  25. john

    ya know i did all that….even deleted the suggested sites from the fav’s toolbar…but it keeps coming back…over and over again

  26. Frank H.

    This method does not work. I have had “Enable Suggested Sites” unchecked for weeks and the icon still reappears on my IE toolbar.

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