For convenience, Windows 10 keeps a lot of data about your activities in the background. This is all well and good most of the time, but there are times when privacy is key. We’ve already talked about the recent files list and now we’re going to show you how to clear File Explorer search history.
Each time you search for a file or string inside a file, Windows 10 catalogs it for future use. If a family member or any other person on your PC clicks the search box, it will try to be helpful by showing a list of recent searches. If you’re planning an engagement or surprise holiday, that’s the last thing you want. The suggestions are rarely useful, so you may also want to clear them to reduce UI clutter.
As a result, Microsoft lets you clear File Explorer history and makes it quite easy. However, those regularly sharing a computer won’t want to manually delete file explorer history every time they’re done. As a result, we’re also going to show you the slightly trickier process to disable it permanently.
How to Clear File Explorer Search History
Time needed: 1 minute.
You can delete individual File Explorer search history entries and delete file explorer history as a whole.
- Remove individual searches
Open File Explorer with “Windows + E” and click in the search box. On some versions, you’ll see an ‘x’ next to your suggestions. Click it to remove.
- Clear File Explorer’s recent searches
You can now clear File Explorer search via the “Recent searches” button in the top-bar. Click “Clear search history” to remove all of the items.
How to Disable File Explorer Search History
Time needed: 3 minutes.
If you find yourself deleting search history in Windows regularly, it may be worthwhile to disable it entirely. The process requires some registry tweaks but is safe and only takes a few minutes.
- Open registry editor
Press the Windows key and type “Registry”. Click the first entry to open the Registry Editor app.
- Add a new registry key
In the Registry Editor address bar, pasteComputer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
, Right-click and choose “New > Key”.
- Create a new DWORD
Inside the new key, right-click again and select “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
- Name the DWORD entry “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions”
You must now type the following name for the DWORD entry: DisableSearchBoxSuggestions. Make sure the capitalization and spelling is correct or your Windows 10 File Explorer history will still display.
- Activate the new registry key “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions”
Double-click on “DisableSearchBoxSuggestions” to open its options. Under “Value data”, enter the number “1”. Press “OK”.