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July 15, 2004 12:04 AM

Broken: Internet Explorer address problem

ie_problemJoshua Dunn writes:

Microsoft Internet Explorer has problems with redundancy. We can't find THIS web address - - so would you like to look at THIS web address instead:

J. Zelinske points out a similar problem - searching for "" yields the message:
    We can't find ""
    Go to MSN Search to see complete results for "".
    Did you intend to go to one of these similar Web addresses?


I always hated this page, for two reasons. 1) The use of the term "We", which implies there are a team of leprechauns looking up my search (who knows, maybe that's true); 2) If I mistyped a URL by one character, I have to re-type it again from scratch (if it doesn't appear in the list). Oh and a third... 3) If it is in the list and I click it, does that mean that Microsoft is now keeping track of what I'm searching for? I'm sure that if I type a correct URL in the first place then IE just goes there and doesn't send it to Microsoft... but with this page, I'm not so sure (and my suspicion is that Microsoft/MSN is the sort of company that would keep track of this for advertising or other machiavellian reasons).

Posted by: Chris Law at July 15, 2004 08:45 AM

I don't understand. How would it work at all without leprechauns?

Posted by: mendel at July 15, 2004 12:51 PM

What's broken is that the box for the page address is also the search box, that the distinction between search and address is made subtly by parsing the text for a URL scheme (which no one uses when it's implied that the text is meant to be a web URL-- in a browser), and that this switcheroo was made surreptitiously in an upgrade (not sure when, I'm only an occasional Windows user, but the first time I tried entering a URL-without-"http://" in what I thought was the URL box I was rather confusing for a while when what looked like some kind of error page came up.)

Posted by: Reed at July 16, 2004 08:16 AM

You sure Microsoft just doesn't want you using google?

j/k =P (sort of...)

Posted by: DieBillGates at July 20, 2004 02:07 AM

You should obviously be using Firefox then :)

Posted by: Greg K Nicholson at July 25, 2004 11:12 PM

Most websites dont come up right away in IE anymore if you forget the www. in front. I am so used to just typing in the website name and hitting ctrl+enter that I forget the www. when I am using a non .com address (ie. .gov, .edu..). It takes me then to the MSN search engine saying is not found would you like It should be understood that what I want is on www unless otherwise stated.

By the way, hitting ctrl+enter automatically adds the http://www. infront of what ever you type and .com after it. Say you type: yahoo then you hit ctrl+enter(hold the control key while you press enter) it now takes you to

Posted by: Stephen at July 26, 2004 11:45 AM

I thought it brought this up when it returned errors from the page (i.e. could retrieve it because it was down or timed-out, etc). This is why you sometimes get try the exact samething as you typed (the timeout is why sometimes it works straight away).



Posted by: Molly at August 5, 2004 01:29 AM

Firefox rocks! Built-in Google toolbar also rocks

Posted by: Bill at August 11, 2004 03:16 AM

There's an option to disable Address Bar searching in Internet Options, though it's not easy to find. I always disable it on every computer I find, right after making Google the homepage ;)

To disable this, go into Internet Options, then click on the Advanced tab. Scroll down to find "Search from the Address Bar", and change it to "Do Not Search from the Address Bar".

Posted by: Felix J. Lockhart at August 17, 2004 09:56 PM

ctrl + enter doesn't work for me on this machine, and it didn't work on my mom's computer... it has worked on all my old windows boxes... what gives??? guess i'll have to stick to firefox on my linux box (GENTOO!!!)


Posted by: mat at September 2, 2004 03:20 AM

SOLVED... it's under tools/options/browser... called "inline autocomplete"!!!

Posted by: mat at September 2, 2004 03:27 AM

MS AutoSearch does this a lot. :(

Posted by: mason at December 11, 2004 09:13 PM

This kida stuff drives me nuts... I HATE IT!!!!

Posted by: Carly at January 16, 2005 07:11 PM

This might explain why radio ads which mention web URLs are including the "www." more and more.

Posted by: boffin at February 13, 2005 02:26 AM

IE does the exact same for

Posted by: mike at October 9, 2005 09:20 PM

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