How to Disable File Explorer Search History on Windows 11/10

The File Explorer present in Windows keeps track of the most recent search queries entered in the box available at the top-right corner. You may see a drop-down list the next time you search for a new question if you want to repeat the search quickly. This may be useful if you’re the only one using the PC; however, you may wish to disable it if your children or other family members use it. This post will guide you on how to disable File Explorer search history on Windows 11/10.

Disable File Explorer Search History on Windows

How to Disable File Explorer Search History on Windows 11/10

Here’s a detailed tutorial on turning off File Explorer’s search history feature on a computer running Windows 11/10.

  1. Disable Search History using Registry Editor
  2. Disable Search History using Local Group Policy Editor

Users have the option of completely disabling the file explorer search history or wiping the history.

A word of caution: the Registry and Local Group Policy Editor are powerful and complicated tools. Making unauthorized changes to your system might make it unstable, if not useless. Before making any changes, we recommend that you make a backup of the Registry.

1] Disable Search History using Registry Editor

The Windows Registry Editor houses a possible answer: How do I turn off the file explorer history in Windows? Here’s how you can get it done.

  • Pull up a new Run Dialog and key in regedit to open the Windows Registry Editor on your computer.
  • Next, navigate to the following path under the Registry Editor. You may copy and paste the path below into the URL bar under the Editor as a fast hack; this will take you directly to the desired folder.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
  • If you notice that the Explorer folder (key) is missing, right-click, choose New Key and name Explorer.Disable File Explorer Search History Registry Editor
  • Next, make a right-click once again and create a new 32-bit DWORD value, and name it DisableSearchBoxSuggestions. Now, double click on the newly created DWORD and change the text under Value Data to 1 and choose OK.
  • For the changes to take effect, restart your computer or sign out of your user account and log back in.

You could turn the DisableSearchBoxSuggestions value back to 0 to re-enable the search box suggestions.

2] Disable Search History using Local Group Policy Editor

Alternatively, you could also utilize the Local Group Policy Editor to disable or turn off the search history under file explorer. The Local Group Policy Editor has more of a graphical user interface, making it easy for most people to understand; however, this tool is not available with Windows home editions.

Disable File Explorer Search History Group Policy Editor

  • In the Start Search Box, key in Local Group Policy Editor and choose the best match to open the tool.
  • Next, head over to the following path as mentioned.
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer
  • Now, find and double click on the option stating Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box.
  • This will open up a new window, choose Enabled from the list of radio buttons and save the changes.
  • Finally, restart your computer for the changes to come into effect.

That said, how often do you end up utilizing the search box present in the File Explorer?

How to Delete a Specific Search History in Windows File Explorer?

To erase a specific search phrase from the File Explorer search history, go to the File Explorer search box and start typing the term you want to delete. Next, navigate to the specified expression using the arrow keys, then press the Delete key on the keyboard.

Why Should I Disable My Search History?

If you’re using a shared device, keeping the search history disabled is a secure approach to keeping your information secret. You could also choose to either leave it turned on or clear the history entirely.

How Do You Clear Your Activity History in Windows 11/10?

If you’re worried about Windows collecting your activity history on both the local machine and the cloud, here is how you can clear your activity history. Information collected ranges from the Edge’s browser history to information about the programs you open, tasks you do, and more.

A long-standing Windows fan, Photographer, and Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Smartphones and Technology.

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