How to delete search history in File Explorer in Windows 10.
File Explorer keeps a history of everything you’ve searched for and also allows you to save search results. You have to save the results manually, but the history is saved automatically. This can be useful and annoying. It really depends on how you prefer to use the search function and how often you use it. Search history can be useful for a while, but when you no longer need to return to a specific search term, keeping it in history is of little use. Here’s how you can delete search history in File Explorer in Windows 10.
Delete search history in File Explorer
We are going to detail four different methods to delete search history in File Explorer. All of these methods can work, or only one of them can work. It depends on the version of Windows 10 you are running. Methods 1 and 2 are less likely to work if you’re running Windows 10 1909 or later. Methods 3 and 4 will work no matter what version of Windows 10 you have.
Method 1: Shift + Delete
Just like the Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut in browsers, this same shortcut can delete individual entries in File Explorer history.
Open File Explorer. It doesn’t matter which folder you open it in because the history is not specific to folders.
Click inside the search bar and wait for the list of items from your search history to appear.
Use the arrow keys or the mouse to highlight an entry.
Once highlighted, tap the Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut to remove it.
Method 2 – Search Tab
This method will only work on older versions of Windows 10, and it may work on Windows 8/8.1 as well. It is unlikely to work on Windows 7.
Open File Explorer to any folder of your choice.
Click inside the search bar.
Check if a new ‘Search’ tab is added to the ribbon.
If the tab appears, go to it.
On the Search tab, open the “Recent Searches” dropdown menu.
Click on the “Clear search history” option.
Method 3: Change the Windows Registry
You can make a small change to the registry and reset your File Explorer search history.
Tap Win + R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
In the run box, enter ‘regedit’ and tap the enter key.
In the registry editor that opens, navigate to this location:
Delete everything below the ‘WorldWheelQuery’ key.
Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
On the Processes tab, find Windows Explorer.
Select it and click the Reset button at the bottom right.
The search history in File Explorer should be deleted.
Method 4: search-ms:
You can force the ‘Search’ tab to appear in newer versions of Windows 10 and delete File Explorer history.
Open File Explorer.
Click inside the search bar and enter search-ms: in it. Touch Enter.
The Search tab will now appear on the ribbon.
Go to the Search tab. Click the dropdown arrow next to Recent Searches.
From the dropdown menu, select “Clear search history”.
Microsoft has changed File Explorer, but seems to have left out an option to easily delete search history. We recommend that you try methods 1 and 2, and then try 4. You may want to edit the registry last. Once the search history has been removed, a new history will be populated based on your searches.