When you search for something in the search box of the File Explorer, it keeps the search history. Then when you come back and type something to search, File Explorer makes the most recent searches available in a drop-down list so that you can repeat one of them.
Although search history can be useful in many situations, if you don’t want search history to be displayed or if you share your PC with other people. You would never want anyone to see your search history, you can always disable File Explorer search history using either Registry or Group Policy Editor.
In this guide, we will show you how to disable File Explorer search history using Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor.
Clear Search History in the File Explorer
If you’re on Windows 10 and have not upgraded to Windows 11 yet, follow these steps to clear search history in File Explorer.
- Open the File Explorer.
- Search for anything to make the search tab available.
- Swtich to ‘Search‘ tab, and click the Recent searches option.
- Click the Clear search history option to clear the File Explorer search history.
If you’re on Windows 11, follow these steps.
- Open the File Explorer.
- Right-click the three-dotted icon in the New command bar ribbon.
- Select Options.
- Under the Privacy section, click the Clear button to Clear File Explorer History.
Once you complete the above steps, Search History will no longer be available.
Disable Search History in the File Explorer
We have two ways available to disable the search history in the File Explorer. We can either use the Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor to do this.
However, if you’re using a Home Edition of Windows, the Group Policy will not be available to your PC because it is not enabled by default on the Home version of Windows. Therefore, you should use the Registry Editor to disable the File Explorer search history.
If you would like to enable the Group Policy on your Home edition of Windows, always follow this guide – How to Enable Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) on Windows 11 Home
Disable Search History using Registry Editor
- Open the Run Box using Win + R shortcut key on the keybaord.
- Type ‘regedit’ in the Run box, then hit the Enter button.
- This opens the Registry Editor.
- In the Registry Editor, naviagte to the following key.
- If you don’t find the ‘Explorer’ key, then right-click the ‘Windows’ and select New > Key.
- Type the key name ‘Explorer’.
- Hit the Enter to save the Key.
- Naviagte to ‘Explorer’ key.
- Right-click anywhere in the blank space area in the right-side, and then select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Name the key ‘DisableSearchBoxSuggestions’ and hit the Enter to save the key.
- Double-click the newly created key and set the value from 0 to 1.
- Click the OK to save the value.
Once you complete the steps, make sure you restart your computer. The search history feature should no longer be available in File Explorer.
If you want to revert the changes you made here, you can either delete the ‘DisableSearchBoxSuggestions’ key from the Registry Editor database or change its value from 1 to 0.
Disable Search History using Group Policy Editor
- Open the Run Box using Win + R shortcut key on the kebaord.
- Type ‘gpedit.msc’ in the Run Box, then hit the Enter button.
- This opens the Group Policy Editor.
- In the Group Policy Editor, naviagte to the following policy.
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer
- Find the policy named ‘Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box‘.
- Double-click the policy to open it.
- Select the ‘Enabled’ option.
- Click the Apply then OK.
- Exit the Group Policy Editor.
- Restart the Computer.
Once you complete the steps, the Search History feature will no longer be available in the File Explorer.
If you want to revert the changes, you can always come back to the Group Policy Editor and disable the policy named ‘Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box.’