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In an application we use at work we have various textboxes, with dropdown buttons right next to them.

Our users are frequently accidentally pressing the X added by IE10 and clearing what they typed.

IE10 adds a clear button to all textboxes:
Normal text box

In our application it is right next to the dropdown button, meaning it's often clicked by accident:
Problem in 3rd party application

Is there a way of hiding/disabling/removing the X? Ideally something we can push out via a policy.

Note that we have no control over the application they are having trouble with.

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Maybe your users need to be more careful. I'm sure they manage to click maximize rather than the red X to close IE10, it's no different. – Simkill Mar 20 '13 at 9:13
I would like to tell them this, but I don't think they'd think of that as very helpful. I can see their point of view though, clearing is a very rare operation, they nearly always need to click the dropdown. It's silly to have the less common action button right next to the very common one so if I can avoid it, I'd like to. :) – George Duckett Mar 20 '13 at 9:15
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Add a user style sheet:

Options > General tab > Accessability button > "Format documents using my style sheet"

Add the following style to your new style sheet:

input[type=text]::-ms-clear {
    display: none;

Edit: To manage this group policy etc try adding registry key "User Stylesheet" with value "X:\mystylesheet.css" (or whereever) under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

Further edit: You'll also need another key in the same location, "Use My Stylesheet" = 1

One last thought: I know you said you don't have control of the application but don't forget you can always put a transparent proxy between your users and any web application. Here's a amusing example showing how you would do this, using squid as your proxy.

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This looks great, can this be managed globally? – George Duckett Mar 20 '13 at 9:18
Doesn't this approach affect all websites though? – Dave Mar 20 '13 at 9:28
@GeorgeDuckett I have updated my answer to include the required keys for managing globally. I found the keys via google, I've not tested this. Dave Rook: Yes, all websites, but you should be able to inspect the HTML of the app in question and build a more specific CSS rule that will only impact that application. – Colin Pickard Mar 20 '13 at 9:31

Use Trixie in IE as it can be website dependent. Add this CSS:

    display: none;

The problem is though, this will have to do be done browser by browser.


As per comments by @Arjan

Trixie and the like are installed in the browser; they won't be part of your application.

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I don't have control over the application. – George Duckett Mar 20 '13 at 9:17
@George (a bit late...) and future readers: Trixie and the like are installed in the browser; they won't be part of your application. – Arjan May 18 '15 at 11:37
Ahh ok, thanks for the clarification. – George Duckett May 18 '15 at 11:38

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