Disable Search History in Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows 10 provides a number of ways to search for files and folders. The most popular is the search built into File Explorer. There is a special text box in the top right corner of the app's window which you can use to perform a search quickly.

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The search feature in Windows 10 supports a set of operators which you can use to improve your search experience. I've covered them in the articles Find Large Files in Windows 10 Without Third-Party Tools and How to Save a Search in Windows 10.

Every time you search for some file name pattern or condition, File Explorer saves it in the history. See the following screenshot:

File Explorer Search History

We showed you earlier how you can clear the File Explorer search history. But you can disable the feature completely so you don't have to clear it periodically. Here is how it can be fully disabled.

To disable Search History in Windows 10 File Explorer, do the following.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click. If you do not have such a key, then just create it.

  3. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value DisableSearchBoxSuggestions. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
    Set it to 1 to disable the search history in File Explorer.Disable Search History In File Explorer
  4. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in again to your user account.

Later, you can delete the DisableSearchBoxSuggestions value to re-enable the search history in File Explorer in Windows 10.

Using the method described above, you will be able to disable the search history feature for the current user only.

If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.

Disable Search History using Local Group Policy Editor

  1. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
    gpedit.msc

    Press Enter.Windows 10 run gpedit

  2. Group Policy Editor will open. Go to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer. Enable the policy option Turn off display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box as shown below.Disable Search History With Group Policy

Finally, you can use Winaero Tweaker to disable the Search history feature in File Explorer.

Winaero Tweaker 0.10 Disable Search History

You can download the app here: Download Winaero Tweaker.

That's it.

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4 thoughts on “Disable Search History in Windows 10 File Explorer

  1. Toshik

    Please add this tweak to WinAero Twaker.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      OK

      Reply
  2. TheRandomnessGuy

    Not sure if this is a universal thing but on my machine this tweak disables Cortana (replaces it with Search) if it is not already disabled.

    Reply
    1. anthropos

      On three of my machines the same case, Cortana is disabled after disabling search history via Registry.

      Reply

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