How to Clear Autofill on Chrome: Protect Your Internet Security by Clearing Chrome’s Saved Information

Most modern browsers offer an autofill function. The browser stores your name, phone number, address, etc. so that every time you fill out a form, you do not need to fill out the information line by line. 

However, what you save in tedious work you lose in potential security risks. This is especially the case if the computer is shared. While most people know not to put their personal information into a public computer at the library, they may forget that other people might jump on to their computer at home or in a dorm room—or that someone might grab their smartphone right off their table while working in a café.

Even if you are not concerned about the security issues, the data stored may be out of date, have an error in it, or otherwise require you to constantly change a single field after autofill is completed. 

In this article, we will go through how to add, delete, and modify all or some of the autofill information in your Google Chrome browser, as well as other information you may wish to remove.

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What is autofill and how does it work?

Autofill does exactly what it sounds like. By default, Chrome will remember what you input into different form fields and then add that information automatically whenever you encounter the same field in the future. 

Autofill saves time and reduces the hassle of providing information in the future. While filling out an address doesn’t take most people much time while working on their PC or laptop, typing in number and letter combinations, especially when your address has uncommon words or non-dictionary words that make autocorrect hiccup, can be rather time-consuming. If it leads to incorrect information on those forms, then the delays to shipments could cause further issues.

However, no technology is without its drawbacks, and so you should take the time to understand the security implications of using Chrome autofill, how to clear autofill on Chrome, and all the other little tricks that get the maximum out of this tool.

   

What are the drawbacks to autofill

Chrome autofill is generally considered a useful tool that enhances the usability of the browser. It reduces the tedium of online shopping, signing up for new services, and many other common tasks performed at home and in the office on the modern web.

However, autofill can also cause headaches. If you have ever wanted to create an anonymous account with fake information, then you know the feeling of fighting the autofill to get in your fake persona. 

If you have ever moved homes or changed your name, then you also know that sometimes it can be difficult to retrain autofill passively to get the new information to stick.

If during the pandemic you started to buy gifts online for others and to have the store ship them directly to your loved ones’ homes, then you’ve probably also experienced the headache of adding varied shipping addresses.

These are all annoying, but the real dangers start to arise when you use autofill at work or it is set to work on a public computer. In these cases, your private information could be leaking. 

The good news is that it is easy to clear autofill in Chrome, as well as change the information, add new information, and change the settings to turn off autofill entirely. We will look at all of this below.

   

Reasons why autofill may not be working correctly

Autofill might not be working for various reasons. Sometimes it is simply that friends or family have used your computer recently to fill in their own information and now Google Chrome is confused about what is the correct information.

Other times it might be that your information has been changed by government edict. In Canada, the postal code (like a zip code but fancier with letters) format has changed from A1A-1A1 to A1A 1A1 and now A1A1A1 over time. Because of this change, many postal code form fields are limited to six characters now instead of seven (bye bye space). Then, you might find Chrome autofill always adding “A1A 1A”, which you need to go and manually change to “A1A1A1”. And if you are super lazy, this might persist for a few years until you are tasked with writing about how to clear autofill in Chrome and finally get around to fixing the information… 

However, whatever the issue, it is easy to change the Chrome autofill settings.

   

How to manage your full autofill features with Chrome

In addition to clearing your autofill on Chrome, you can delete only part of your autofill data, change the default settings on how Chrome autofill will collect data going forward, and even add information directly to make sure it is correct. 

   

Fill out forms automatically

While Google is confident in their security regarding autofill information, and adds even more security to credit card details, some people might not feel safe using autofill, while others might not always be using their Chrome browser in circumstances where their security measures are enough. Because of this, all of Chrome’s autofill features can be disabled. Let’s look at how you can set up autofill in Chrome to match your needs.

   

How to delete unwanted autofill entries on Chrome browser

Whether you want to clear all of your autofill data or only some of it in Chrome, you can do that. Let’s take a look at these two cases below.

   

Clear all autofill entries directly via Chrome settings in your toolbar

The following instructions can be followed to clear all of your autofill information in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Click the three dot symbol in the top right corner.
  3. Hover over “More Tools” to reveal a dropdown menu
  4. Select “Clear browsing data…”
  5. Click the Advanced tab in the new window
  6. Check the “Autofill form data” box. Be sure to unselect all others if you do not wish to delete other data
  7. Click the “Clear data” button

You have now cleared all of your autofill data in Chrome. But what if you want to delete only part of the information?

   

Clear some autofill entries directly via the autofill tab of Chrome settings

Follow the steps below to clear only part of your autofill information in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome
  2. Click the three dot symbol in the top right corner
  3. Click “Settings”
  4. Click the Autofill tab
  5. Here, you can individually edit or delete the different autofill categories: passwords, payment methods, and addresses and more

  

How to make specific changes to what autofill saves

If your computer is regularly used by others, or you are currently using a public computer, you may wish to turn off autofill entirely. This is also possible. Let’s look at different types of autofill information stored by Google. This might also be a good idea if you regularly use these devices in public where a thief might be able to get their hands on them.

   

Payment methods

To turn off autofill for payment methods, find “Save and fill payment methods” and set the toggle button to off. You can also see a link below this that you can follow to clear any autofill payment information currently stored in Chrome.

   

Addresses and more

This information includes your email address, physical address, phone number, etc. Similar to above, find “Save and fill addresses” and flip the toggle to off.

  

Passwords

The “Offer to save passwords” setting allows you to save passwords in Chrome. This can be done in all modern browsers. However, saving passwords in a browser might not be the safest or easiest option. Flipping this toggle to off will disable Chrome’s password saving feature. You can also disable this functionality in other browsers.  

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Addresses and more

This information includes your email address, physical address, phone number, etc. Similar to above, find “Save and fill addresses” and flip the toggle to off.

   

Other data settings to keep in mind

Accessing the same menu, you can delete all of the other information your browser is storing. Doing this periodically is a practical and proactive step to help reduce your risk online. The following are some other types of information that you should consider clearing along with autofill in Chrome:

  • Browsing history
  • Cookies and other site data
  • Cached images and files

Anyone who touches your device, whether at the office, the cafe, or on the subway (if you accidentally leave your briefcase behind), with or without your permission, can access every account you have saved in Chrome passwords. 

This leaves you wide open to being hacked. 

  

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