How to Clear File Explorer Search History in Windows 10

File Explorer in Windows 10 keeps track of all your searches to make it easy to search for the same files again. While the search toolbar is useful for quickly searching for large files or viewing recent search entries, it can also reveal your searches for sensitive files if you share your computer with others.

You can quickly clear File Explorer search history and keep this search box clear using several methods. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from deleting certain search terms to completely disabling the search history functionality in File Explorer.

How to Delete Specific Search Term in File Explorer

If you only want to remove a few search terms from File Explorer, you can do so directly from the search bar in File Explorer. Here’s how.

Open File Explorer and type the term you want to remove from history or click in the search box to view recent search terms.

Now use the mouse to navigate to the search term and click the cross to remove the search term.

Delete Specific Search in File Explorer

Alternatively, you can also use the down arrow key to highlight a specific search term and press the Delete key to remove it from File Explorer.

How to Delete All Search History in File Explorer

While deleting certain search terms is easy enough, it is somewhat time consuming when you want to delete more than a few search terms. Fortunately, you can delete the entire File Explorer search history in Windows 10 with just a few clicks.

Method 1

You can also delete the entire search history from File Explorer, just like deleting specific search terms.

Stage 1: Open File Explorer and use the search box in the top right to search for anything.

Step 2: Switch to the Search tab that now appears. In the Options section, expand the Recent calls menu and select ‘Clear call history’ from the list.

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Clear Search History in File Explorer

After deleting the call history, the Recent calls option is greyed out.

Method 2

Alternatively, you can also use the Windows Registry to review your previous searches to remove each search term individually or all at once.

Stage 1: Open the start menu, type regedit, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Open Registry Editor

Step 2: In the Registry Editor window, go to the address bar at the top. Paste the address below and quickly navigate to WorldWheelQuery.

Address Bar in Registry Editor

Stage 3: In the right pane you will find the DWORD keys that store the File Explorer search history value. Keys are listed with numbers starting from 0. Here 0 represents the oldest search term, while the highest number (4 in my case) represents the most recent. You can double-click a DWORD key to specify the search entry.

Search Term in Registry

Step 4: To delete a particular entry, right-click on that particular key and select Delete. When prompted with the warning dialog, click Yes.

Delete Certain Search Terms Via Registry

Similarly, You can also delete the entire search history by right-clicking on the WorldWheelQuery entry and selecting delete.

Delete the Vocabulary Query in the Registry

Doing so deletes all search history stored in File Explorer.

How to Disable File Explorer Search History in Windows 10

While you can quickly delete File Explorer search history using the methods above, if these search suggestions aren’t helpful to you in any way, it makes sense to disable them all together. Here’s how to do it.

Stage 1: Open the start menu, type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Step 2: Now, in the address bar at the top, copy and paste the address given below to navigate to the key below.


Stage 3: In the right pane, right-click anywhere in the blank area and go to New > Key. Name this Key ‘Explorer’.

Create a New Key in the Registry

Step 5: Inside the New Key, right-click the blank again, navigate to new and select DWORD (32-bit) Value from the list.

Create new DWORD 32-bit Value

Step 6: Name this DWORD entry ‘DisableSearchBox Recommendations’. After that, double-click the entry to change its value to 1 and click OK.

Disable Search Suggestions Input

After that, Windows Explorer will not show your search history. If you want to revert these settings, follow the same steps and delete the ‘DisableSearchBox Recommendions’ key.

Bonus: Clear Recent File History from File Explorer

Even after removing your history searches, recently opened files will still appear under Recent files in File Explorer. Fortunately, you can quickly delete them directly from File Explorer. Read on to find out how.

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Stage 1: Open File Explorer. Click on the File menu at the top and select ‘Change folder and search option’ from the list.

File Explorer Options

Step 2: On the General tab, click the Clear button in the Privacy section, and then click OK.

File options

This much. Now all your recent file history will be cleared from File Explorer.

Don’t Leave a Trace

Having File Explorer search suggestions can be both helpful and annoying, depending on how you view it. Either way, clearing or disabling the search history is a pretty simple and easy thing to do.

If you want to switch from the default File Explorer in Windows 10, here are the best Tabbed File Explorer alternatives you can try.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.