How to Clear File Explorer Search History in Windows 10

In this article, we will see how to delete information that File Explorer saves about of your past typed searches. There are three methods can be used. Let's review them.


File Explorer is the default file management app which is bundled with Windows starting with Windows 95. Besides file management operations, Explorer.exe also implements the shell - the Desktop, taskbar, desktop icons and also the Start menu are parts of the Explorer app. Note: In Windows 10, the Start menu is a special UWP app, which is integrated into the shell. Starting with Windows 8, File Explorer got the Ribbon user interface and the quick access toolbar.

When you search for certain files, File Explorer saves your frequently used search queries. See the following screenshot:

File Explorer Search History

There are three ways to clear File Explorer search history. Let's review them.

To remove individual search queries in File Explorer, do the following.

  1. Open This PC in File Explorer.
  2. Click inside the search box in the top right corner to make search suggestions appear. You can type a few characters of the search suggestion to find it faster.File Explorer Search History
  3. Select (hover with the mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys) the desired suggestion and press the Del key to remove it.File Explorer Select Search Suggestion
  4. The selection will be removed from the drop down list.File Explorer Search Suggestion Removed

To clear File Explorer search history in Windows 10, do the following.

Note: The whole search history will be removed.

  1. Open This PC in File Explorer.
  2. Click inside the search box in the top right corner to make the Search Tools Ribbon tab appear.File Explorer Search Ribbon Ui
  3. In the Ribbon user interface of Explorer, click Recent searches, and select Clear search history in the drop down menu of the button. File Explorer Clear Search History In Windows 10

You are done.

There is an alternative way to do the same.

Clear File Explorer history in Windows 10 manually

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. Here, delete the subkey named WordWheelQuery.File Explorer Clear Search History In Registry

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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