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Windows 7: IE9 Browsing History not working (using Win7 x64bit) - Help please

05 Sep 2011   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows 8 Pro

Thanks Imperfect1, I am glad that my help was useful.:)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2011   #12

Windows 7 Premium x64bit

Thanks for the various suggestions which I am working through. But at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I wish people would not just post fixes which I have already tried and which haven't worked.

In my original post I said I had already checked 1) that Internet Options/Contents was NOT set to Delete Browsing History when exiting search. 2) I am NOT running In Private Browsing and 3) I have tried a full IE9 reset and it does NOT work for this problem.

Also I followed the link suggested but it seemed to be about reinstating deleted browsing history and child proofing a shared PC. I do not have children in the house or a shared PC so this is not an issue for me. I have NOT deleted anything, my browsing has just stopped working and now only points to the C drive.

I am running latest versions of Win7 and IE9. No tweaks or add-ons. If we could just start from that point it would be appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2011   #13

windows 7 home 64 bit

I have the exact same problem, history is not saved and my PC only shows things like Jpegs, mpegs opened and not web sites visited

Also using W7 Home Premium x64 bit (am in London too, thats probably a coincidence :))
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Sep 2011   #14

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello again MsHoneyRose.

I tried to dig up some more info pertaining to your problem and I came across this Microsoft article, "Prerequisites for installing Internet Explorer 9". It advises that IE9 might not automatically install prerequisite software and components under certain circumstances. It also provides a performance and functionality update for x86 and x64 versions of Windows 7.

Prerequisites for installing Internet Explorer 9

My suggestion is to uninstall IE9 using the info in my previous post. (IE8 will automatically be restored with no further action needed.) Once you've removed IE9 I'd install the necessary update and then try a reinstall of IE9 using the download site provided by Microsoft (also in my previous post.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2011   #15

Windows 7 Premium x64bit

I actually bought the PC from Dell and specified Win7 Professional as a preinstall. Once up and running it automatically ran IE9, it hasn't ever had IE8 installed. I have only had it about a month.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2011   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I had the same problem.

I am running Win7 x64 with IE9 and for some reason the history has stopped recording. It started about three weeks ago, I assume after one of the Windows Updates. I've been googling for a solution and haven't found anything but a bunch of other people with similar credentials all suffering from this exact same problem.

My PC is also a Dell (technically Alienware), running Win 7 Ultimate. I originally ran IE8 and upgraded to IE9 a few months back when it was rolled out. Up until a few weeks ago, my IE9 was recording my history just fine. Within the past few months, there have been no significant errors nor upgrades with my system; my only recent installations have been Windows updates. So at this point, given the number of others I see who are experiencing the same issue, and due to the fact that the only recent changes in my system were Windows Updates, I think it's safe to assume this is a Windows bug.

Thankfully, I did manage to finally reach a solution, which I'm hoping wasn't just a fluke. So maybe, MsHoneyRose, this will work for you? I see that you have tried a full IE9 reset. I'm assuming you did this by clicking the [Reset...] button under the "Advanced" tab in Internet Options. I'm going to ask you to do something similiar, but instead of doing a full reset, let's open Internet Options and on the "General" tab click the [Delete...] button below "Browsing History."

When the "Delete Browsing History" window opens, make sure only the "Preserve Favorites website data" and "History" checkboxes are checked, then click the [Delete] button. Now it's important to immediately close all Internet Explorer windows/tabs and then reopen the program. The first time I tried this, I left the browser open after deleting the history, and it did not resolve the issue. I still saw blank entries for "2 Weeks Ago," "Last Week," etc. in the "View by Date" view.

Only after I deleted the browsing history a second time, and then immediately closed IE, did the problem resolve. Now my internet history is finally being recorded properly. And when I "View by Date" I only see an entry for today, since all previous entries were deleted. I hope this works for you as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2011   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 OEM

I have solved the problem of not being able to access your history in Internet Explorer 9.

More specifically: In the history tab (accessed by pressing CTRL+H), “View By Site”, “View By Date”, and “View By Order Visited Today” are empty and/or do not function properly but “View By Most Visited” and “Search History”work.

The Fix:
Close Internet Explorer
Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
Export the following key to your desktop to back it up in case something goes wrong:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0
Then delete the key (the folder in the left pane, not the right pane, of the registry editor), log off, log back on, browse a couple of websitesTHEN try your history, it should be fixed.
Hope this helps.

This does not erase any of your favorites, add-ons, accelerators, or homepages, and should work for most versions of Internet Explorer.

I too had noticed that creating a new user account fixed the problem. I then noticed that when I copied NTUSER.DAT (or imported HKEY_CURRENT_USER) from the user account in which IE history was not working, over to the new user account, IE history stopped working again.

NTUSER.DAT (in simple terms) is the file that contains your HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry entries. This is where all personalized settings and software information relating to the current user reside. So I figured there must have been a registry error that is preventing Internet Explorer from correctly accessing my history. Sure enough, this key was the cause of the problem on both of my Windows 7 x64 machines.

(Sorry for the long post, but I have not found one forum in which the problem was solved,so I thought I’d add some much needed info on this topic.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2011   #18

windows 7 home 64 bit

Fantastic info guys, much appreciated - I now have my history back :)

First I tried lilh0tdude's method as the list of working and non-working history functions 'view by date' etc exactly matched mine. I navigated to the reg key, in the right pane it had no value set, I tried right clicking and deleting from there, but it wouldn't let me. So I right clicked on the folder in the left pane where it did delete (all IE windows were closed). I logged off and on, but it hadn't worked, so navigated back to the key and it had regrown like a lizard's tail :) (still no value). I deleted it again by using the edit button this time and restarted my PC, but again it grew back

It was SpewHole's method that worked for me. I went to the 'delete history' tab, I had 'preserve fav websites' checked, but instead of 'history' (which was unchecked), the only other checked box was 'cookies'. Now I didn't follow instructions exactly as I figured I would get a build up of of cookies if was unchecked, so I left 'cookies' checked but also checked 'history'. Pressed 'delete' closed windows, opened windows and the damn thing is working. I had to re-login to several sites that usually saved my log-in details, but all is now in working order

So my take on is that by having history unchecked, the history had somehow become 'full' and rendered it inoperable

Many thanks guys for your assistance
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2011   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 OEM

Glad to see you resolved your issue! I had been missing my history for months, but it seems like there are now a couple different confirmed fixes. Did the registry key regenerate before you had used IE again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #20

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The issue has reocurred for me a few times since my post, most recently last night, so I did some more research and I stumbled across this MS Support publication:

"Note Internet Explorer uses the Index.dat file in the Content.IE5 folder to cache Web files on a local disk. When the Index.dat file reaches a size of 16187392 bytes, new content cannot be cached to the local disk."

This makes me conclude that we're probably all encountering this issue when we reach our browsing history index limit of 16 MB. Once that limit is reached, it seems that IE9 no longer indexes history until more space is freed. And if you have your browser set to retain history for a certain amount of days, then each night at midnight (when a little more space is made by older history being purged) history recording will start to function until you again reach one of the limits.

To confirm, after reading the article, I checked the size of my index.dat by opening a command prompt and navigating to C:\Users\Me\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History with the CD command. Once I was in the proper folder, I typed in: dir/a/s index.dat. (With no period after dat, of course.) And sure enough, one of the results was C:\Users\Me\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\Low\History.IE5\index.dat, which was listed as exactly 16,187,392 bytes. This is the exact size limit quoted in the support article, which I've obviously reached.

If you're an internet junkie like me, a solution should you encounter this problem, would be to first clear your history (as I've described above), and then you should lower the amount of days you would like your history to be retained. The lower you set it, the less chance you'll have of reaching your size cap. For instance, mine was set to 20 days, so at any given time, my browser was trying to index 20 days worth of history at once. That's why I kept reaching my limit when I started spending more time on the computer. Now I've lowered it to 10 days so my computer will only have to keep 10 days worth of history at a time.

And offhand, 16 MB seems like plenty of space to store history shortcut links. After's only text and maybe a small icon. How much space could it possibly take? Well, when you think about it, each link, at a minimum, takes up 4KB per file on NTFS drives larger than 2GB. That means if you look at 4,000 pages before your 20 days is up, you've already hit the limit. A good general rule would be to set your history retention days less than the amount of time it takes you to view 4,000 pages. Good luck to all and happy browsing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 IE9 Browsing History not working (using Win7 x64bit) - Help please

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