How to Clear or Disable Windows 10 File Explorer Search History

If you’re on a shared computer or want a fresh start while searching in File Explorer you can clear search history and disable it completely.

Windows will keep a history of the items you have searched over time. So, each time you type in a search query, you will see a list of recently searched items. You might want to clear this from time to time, especially if you’re on a shared PC or if you just want a fresh start. We already showed you how to turn off autocomplete in File Explorer. And for even more control over file navigation, here is a look at how to clear recent File Explorer search history or disable it altogether.

Clear File Explorer Search History

You can simply clear your recent search history by selecting the Search tab in File Explorer and going to Recent Searches > Clear search History.

Disable File Explorer Search History

If you don’t want to clear your history all the time, you can completely disable it from keeping track of your searches. In Windows 10 Pro, you can turn off search history in Group Policy, but for Windows 10 Home, you need to do a bit of tweaking in the Registry.

In Windows 10 Pro

If you’re running Windows 10 Professional, you can turn it off via Group Policy. Hit the keyboard combo Windows Key + R and type: gpedit.msc in the Run dialog and hit Enter or click OK.

Then navigate to the following path:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer

Double-click on “Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box” policy in the right pane and set it to Enabled, click OK, and close out of Group Policy Editor.

2 group policy editor search box policy

In Windows 10 Home

Note: Windows 10 home doesn’t include Group Policy so you need to hack the Registry. Before making any changes to the Registry make sure to do a full system backup or create a Restore Point first.

Hit Windows Key + R and type: regedit in the Run line and hit Enter or click OK.

2 Regedit

Then head to the following location:


Right-click in the right pane and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and give it a value of 1.

disable file explorer search history collection Windows 10

After you’re done, close out of the Registry and you will need to log off or restart your system before you will see the change. You will no longer see the history of past searches in File Explorer. If you want to enable it later, just go back and change the value of DisableSearchBoxSuggestions to 0.

What are some of the ways you tweak File Explorer in Windows 10? Leave a comment below or join our Windows 10 Forums for more discussion and troubleshooting help. 

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