Bing search history is being shared among hundreds of machines RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We have noticed that several hundred machines in our environment are sharing the search history.  Although we all have Office 365 accounts, none of these machines are "signed in" to Bing.  Why is this happening?

    To give some background, we are currently using CloneZilla to image these machines so they all have the same PC username.  Again though, they are NOT logged into Bing. 

    I have temporarily disabled the browsing history on all the machines but that is not the solution.  Any help would be appreciated.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:01 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    which search history do you mean?

    from the Address Bar search suggestions?


    from the search box on the bing search page?


    from the History Pane?


    from the new tab window?

    Bing search history is recorded in a cloud on the users Bing/Microsoft account and is only recorded when there is a valid account logged in (or if you like no logged out)... sessions can persist for up to an hour without activity, so if one user logs in to bing, does some searches, closes the bing search window and then leaves the computer without logging out of the site, then the next user will still be able to access the previous users' bing account and search history.

    If 'Keep me logged in" has been checked on the Bing/MS Authentication screens, then the next autonomous user to use bing will automatically use the credentials verified by the previous user and will be automatically logged in. You should see the Account name and Avatar on the Bing Search form page. Click it to select the Search History option.

    For public access shared computers on a domain network you should configure IE with Group Policy to not save cookies from Bing or Google or other sites that are private to each user....


    on your clone template, set that users' Internet Settings to

    Ignore First and third-party cookies (Internet Options>Privacy tab)


    To delete temporary internet files on exit (Internet Options>General tab>Browsing History>Setting button.

    You did not mention your windows and IE versions....

    On windows 7 there is a built in Guest account that has an internet options profile suitable for shared computers... (cookies are not saved and the internet cache is emptied on exit).



    Thursday, April 21, 2016 6:28 AM
  • Hi Joel M Parmer,

    According to your description, we could use InPrivate Browsing if you do not want to leave a trace of your web browsing activity on your computer.

    InPrivate Browsing helps prevent your browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and user names and passwords from being retained by the browser. You can start InPrivate Browsing from the Safety menu, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P, or from the New Tab page. Internet Explorer will launch a new browser session that won’t keep any information about webpages you visit or searches you perform. Closing the browser window will end your InPrivate Browsing session.

    Also we could chose to automatically delete browsing history on exit. Follow the steps below to do so

    1. Click Tools and then Internet Options.
    2. Check the “Delete browsing history on exit” box under Browsing history.
    3. Click Settings under Browsing history.
    4. Change the days to keep pages in history to 0.
    5. Click Apply and OK.
    6. Restart Internet Explorer and check.

    Also, make sure that your computer has sufficient security and firewall is turned on.

    Bing lets you have the ultimate power of deciding whether or not to allow it to record your search history. This is as simple as turning a switch on or off. 


    Hope it will be helpful to you.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 11:11 AM
  • Thank you for the suggestions.  Unfortunately, it's not quite the solution I am hoping for.  Let me explain a little more about what is happening.

    It's not the browser history that I'm concerned with (it's browser agnostic), it's the "Search History" button within the Bing search engine at www.bing.com itself.  These machine are not signed in.  Still shows "Sign In" next to the person silhouette. 

    I can understand that a search history is stored via cookies on the computer that is performing the search.  What I can't understand is why on hundreds of other computers show that same exact history.  Even flipping the switch to turn off history reflects that way on all the other computers.  What is being shared with Bing that connects these machines?  Is it the Machine's GUID? 

    I even went as far as to change the SID of one of the machines but that did not change the outcome. 

    Our imaging in our "shared" computer environment is done like this:
    1) Set the machine up like they should all look
    2) Image the machine using CloneZilla
    3) Perform restore image on all the machines that we want to look like that one

    They all have the same username but are not in a domain. 

    I feel I just need to figure out what that one piece is that is being tracked so I can fix that.  Otherwise, I am stuck either creating a new user profile during each re-image (not preferable) or not using Bing as a search engine.

    Any suggestions of what to try next would be most appreciated!

    Friday, April 22, 2016 6:58 PM
  • Hi Joel,

    I can reproduce the issue.....

    test case:

    1. navigate to http://bing.com

    2. logout of your bing account if you have automatically been logged in.

    3. Click the Tool icon (looks like a cog on the rhs of the page) to display the dropdown menu....

    4. The tools dropdown shows options for

    Image favorites, Search history, and Settings.... none of these options should be available if the user is not signed in.....

    ((unable to insert image))

    It appears to me that the Tools icon should be hidden when the account has been logged off or when an un-validated user visits the search landing page.

    I have completed and sent the bing feedback form and passed the information on to my MS contacts. Hopefully it will be addressed and corrected in Plank time.



    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 1:38 AM
  • Sweet Rob! Thank you.

    I will be anxious to see what they come up with.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 3:13 PM
  • Hi,

    it appears to have been fixed now.... (in the East Asian region at least).



    Thursday, April 28, 2016 3:54 AM
  • I think Bing stores the search history based upon public IP address if you're not logged in. I don't tend to use Bing Bing and I'm not signed in but have the same search history on my PC and laptop - obviously on the same external IP address at home.

    I wonder what happens if you use a VPN like IPVanish where you get an IP address from a pool - that could bring up anyone's history!

    Friday, May 11, 2018 10:10 AM