Disable or Clear File Explorer Search History

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File Explorer on Windows 10 keeps a history of your most recent search queries within the search box at the top-right corner.

Although this search history can come in handy, if you are like me and prefer to keep things tidy by not having previous searches appear this article is for you. In this article I will show you various ways to delete (or disable) the File Explorer search history using File Explorer itself or the Registry.


Delete File Explorer Search History

Follow the steps below to remove the search history using the Windows 10 File Explorer:

  • Open a File Explorer window.
  • Search for anything using the Search bar at the top right of the window. In the photo below I typed in “asdf” then pressed the Enter key. This brings up the Search tab under Search Tools.
  • Next, you’ll want to click on “Recent searches” then “Clear search history“.

This will effectively clear your history from File Explorer search history list.


Delete Search History From File Explorer


Disable File Explorer Search History

You can permanently disable the File Explorer search history using the Windows Registry. To do so, just follow the steps below. Note of caution, you will want to have a current backup ready and be very careful when messing with your Windows Registry:

  • Click the Start button (Windows logo icon) down at the bottom left.
  • Type “regedit” and press Enter.
  • Browse the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  • Double click on the subkey, “Explorer“, if it exists. If it doesn’t, right click and create it under “Windows” then go into the new Explorer key/folder.
  • Right click in the windows pane on the right and select “New“, then “DWORD (32-bit) Value“.
  • Name this new DWORD DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and press the Enter key twice which will open the new DWORD.
  • Set the Value data field to 1
  • Click OK button.

Upon rebooting your PC, the search history feature will no longer keep a log nor display any of your past searches. But it will still show you live results, which is very nice and a preferable behavior in my opinion.

To undo this and enable the search history within File Explorer, simply delete the created DisableSearchBoxSuggestions DWORD or set its value to 0.



As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions or suggestions on my article on disabling or clearing the search history within File Explorer.

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