How to Change Google AutoFill

by Jennifer Perkins

Google AutoFill frees you from having to type the same name, address, and credit card information into each Web form that you fill out. However, if AutoFill isn’t storing accurate information, it’s not just annoying; it can cause you to enter the wrong data. Both Google Chrome and Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer give you access to AutoFill data, but you change AutoFill information differently in each application.

Chrome AutoFill Data

The first time you fill in a form, Chrome automatically stores the data you enter as your default AutoFill profile. Each time you enter data into a form field, Chrome also stores the information you enter (but not in an AutoFill profile). When you click a form field, the initial value you entered for the field and any other values you entered for the field appear as options in the drop-down list below the field. To modify or delete AutoFill information that has changed over time or to delete data that you didn't intend to be saved, you can access Chrome's AutoFill settings.

Changing AutoFill Settings in Chrome

To add, edit, or delete AutoFill entries, click the three-bar icon at the end of the Browser toolbar, and choose “Settings.” In the Settings window, click “Show advanced settings.” AutoFill settings are included under "Passwords and Forms." Below the title are two check boxes labeled “Enable Auto-fill to fill in web forms in a single click” and “Offer to save passwords I enter on the Web.” Toggle the check boxes to turn AutoFill and the password save option on and off. There are also two links under Passwords and Forms. Click “Manage auto-fill settings” to open the AutoFill settings dialog. In the Addresses box, select any address (profile) and click “Edit” to modify entries in form fields, or click “x” to delete the address. Click “Add new street address” to add an additional address. Perform the same actions in the Credit Cards box to add, edit or delete credit cards. To delete one of the words that Chrome saves automatically when you enter it into a form field, mouse over the word in the drop-down list that appears below the field, and press “Shift-Delete.”

Deleting Chrome Data Saved Within a Time Period

Chrome also gives you the ability to delete AutoFill addresses and automatically saved AutoFill data added within a specified time period. Click the icon with three bars at the end of the Browser toolbar, then mouse over “Tools.” Click “Clear browsing data” to open the Clear Browsing Data dialog. In the “Obliterate the following items from” drop-down list, select the description of the time period (“Since the beginning of time,” “the last hour,” etc.). Check “Clear saved passwords” and/or “Clear saved Auto-fill form data.” Chrome deletes the AutoFill data and/or passwords added during the selected time period.

Changing AutoFill Settings in the Google Toolbar

Google Toolbar does not gather any AutoFill data automatically. You must add, as well as edit and delete, AutoFill Settings on the Autofill tab in the Toolbar Options dialog. To open the Autofill tab, click the wrench icon at the end of the Toolbar, then choose the AutoFill tab in the Toolbar Options dialog. Alternatively, If the AutoFill icon is visible on the Google Toolbar, click the arrow beside the icon, then click “Add/Edit Profiles” to go directly to the AutoFill tab. Make all modifications from the AutoFill tab. Toggle the AutoFill check box to turn AutoFill on or off. Click “Add new profile” or “Add new credit card” to add new AutoFill data. Click the “+” button or “Edit” next to a profile or credit card name to modify its data, or click “Remove” to delete it. Choose a default profile or credit card by selecting its radio button.

About the Author

Jen Perkins lives in the Boston area. She has been a technical writer since 1997, and prior to that, worked as a software developer. She received an MA in English at Boston College and a technical writing certificate at Northeastern University. Perkins, who loves writing short fiction, published one of her stories in the literary journal "Caprice."

Photo Credits

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