How to Clear File Explorer History in Windows 10

In this post, you will see:

  • How to Clear Address Bar History of File Explorer
  • How to Clear File Explorer Search History
  • How to Disable File Explorer Search History

Let’s get started.

How to Clear File Explorer Address Bar History

When you click on the “Down arrow” icon in the File Explorer address bar, you can view the history of address bar entries.

You can either remove an individual item from your history, or you can delete the entire history. Let’s see both.

How to Remove Individual Items in History

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you backup the Registry before making any changes.

Expand the following keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer.

Hit TypedPaths.

Now, you can see all the items in the history in the right pane.

Select the item(s) you want to remove, then right-click on it.

Click on “Delete.”

Click “Yes” in the confirmation pop-up.

Delete Entire History

This can be done in three different ways: let’s see what they are.

Method #1

Go to the location mentioned above in the Registry.

Select all the items there (except (Default)) and then right-click on them.

Now click on the option “Delete.”

Click “Yes” in the confirmation pop-up.

Note: The above steps only delete the address bar history.

Method #2

Open File Explorer.

Right-click on the address bar of the File Explorer.

Now you will see “Delete history.” Click on it.

Note: Besides the File Explorer history, the above steps also remove the Run Command history and address toolbar history.

Method #3

Open the File Explorer Options.

In the “Privacy” section, you will find a “Clear” button next to “Clear File Explorer history.”

Click that button.

Note: The above steps not only delete the history of the address bar, but also remove Run Command Box history, address toolbar history, and all unpinned “Frequent folders” and “Recent files” in “Quick access.”

How to Clear Windows 10 File Explorer Search History

File Explorer includes a search box at the top right where you can look for files and folders.

Remember that every search is saved.

If you place the cursor in the search box, you may see previous searches.

With that said, let’s see how to delete individual searches and your entire search history.

Clear Individual Search

Enter the term you want to remove in the search box and you will see it.

Click the “X” icon after moving the mouse over it.

That’s all.

Clear Complete Search History

Open File Explorer.

Click on the search box at the top right or press F3.

Do a search.

You will now see the “Recent searches” option under the Search tab in the ribbon. Click on it.

Your recent searches are displayed as well as the option “Clear search history.” Click on it.

That’s it.

Alternate Way

You can also complete the above tasks by following these steps:

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you backup the Registry before making any changes.

Expand the following key in the Registry Editor: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer.

Click on “WordWheelQuery.”

Now, in the right pane, you can see the Binary Value keys, and each numbered key is the search you did.

Now let’s see how to delete individual searches and the entire history.

How to Delete Individual Searches

Double-click the Binary Value key with the number and you will see the search term it has on the right side of the pop-up.

If this is not the one you prefer to delete, close the pop-up and follow the above step with the remaining ones until you have found your preferred one.

Once you have found the one you want, close the pop-up, right-click on that Binary Value key and then press “Delete.”

In the confirmation pop-up, press “Yes.”

How to Delete Entire History

Right-click on the “WordWheelQuery” key in the left pane.

Click on “Delete.”

Click the “Yes” button in the confirmation pop-up.

How to Disable File Explorer Search History

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest you take the Registry backup before proceeding.

Expand the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.

Click on the Explorer key on the left pane. If you cannot find the key, create one called Explorer.

In the right pane, right-click on the empty space.

Click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Enter the name as DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and then press the “Enter” key.

Double-click on it and then enter 1 in the “Value data” field.

Click “OK.”

Restart your Windows 10 PC.

That’s all.

Your searches will no longer be saved.

Replace the 1 with 0 or remove the DWORD you created and restart your PC to enable the File Explorer search history.

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Thirumalraj
How To Raj was founded and run by Thirumalraj, an MCA graduate. Since August 2015, he has been blogging on his other blog, Technology Hint. Learn more about How To Raj here.