How to Clear File Explorer History in Windows 10

In this post, you will see:

Let’s get started.

How to Clear File Explorer Address Bar History

You can see the history of the address bar of your File Explorer by clicking on the “Down arrow” in the address bar of the File Explorer.

If you wish, you can remove individual items from your history or delete the history completely. Let’s see both.

How to Remove Individual Items in History

Open the Registry Editor. I suggest that you back up 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 history in the right pane.

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

Click on “Delete.”

Click “Yes” in the confirmation pop-up.

Read: How to Stop Recycle Bin Automatic Deletion

Delete Entire History

You can do this in three different ways: let us 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 the File Explorer.

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

Now you see “Delete history.”

Click on it.

Note: The above steps not only delete the File Explorer history but also remove the Run Command history and address toolbar history.

Method #3

Open the File Explorer Options.

In the “Privacy” section, you will see the “Clear” button next to the “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.”

At the top right of the File Explorer you will see a search box where you can search for files and folders.

Remember that each of your searches is saved.

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

With that said, let’s see the steps to delete individual searches and complete search history.

Clear Individual Search

Start by typing the term you want to remove into the search box and you will see it.

Move your mouse over it and then press the “X” icon.

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.

Now, on the Search tab in Ribbon, you will see the “Recent searches” option. Hit it.

You can see the recent searches you have made along with the option “Clear search history.” Click on it.

That’s it.

Read more: How to Clear Clipboard History in Windows 10

Alternate Way

You can also complete the above tasks with the following steps and here they are:

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.

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

Read: How to Turn Off Sticky Keys

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 it 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.

Read: How to Auto-Hide Taskbar in Windows 10

How to Disable File Explorer Search History

Open the Registry Editor. Take the Registry backup before proceeding.

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

Now, click on the Explorer key in 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.

From now on, none of your searches will be saved.

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

Read: How to Show Hidden Files and Folders