How to Clear File Explorer History in Windows 11

You can delete search history in File Explorer with just a couple of clicks. Here is how to clear File Explorer history in Windows 11.

The File Explorer has a simple yet powerful search functionality as with any sound file manager. You can easily filter out unnecessary files and find the one you need using it.

One of the best things about File Explorer search is that it has its own simple search syntax to better search for what you are trying to find. For instance, you can search for a file with a specific name, extension, file size, date, and more. In fact, I wrote a simple guide on using File Explorer’s search syntax for efficient search. Do read it to improve your overall File Explorer search experience.

When you search for something in the File Explorer, it keeps track of it. That way, you can use the past searches to find the files again. The File Explorer search history feature is beneficial when using syntax.

Though the File Explorer search history is helpful, it can be a privacy issue under certain circumstances. For example, sometimes you don’t want other users on your computer to see what you searched for. In that case, you have to delete the File Explorer search history.

The good thing is, it is pretty simple to clear File Explorer history in Windows 11. All it takes is a few clicks, and you are good to go.

So, without much delay, let me show you how to clear File Explorer search history in Windows 11.

Delete history from File Explorer

Unlike in Windows 10, where you have the Clear History option in the ribbon menu, in Windows 11, you have to clear the File Explorer history from the registry. Though not easy as in Windows 10, it is still pretty simple. Follow the below steps, and it will be done in no time.

Important note: Back up the registry before modifying it. Back up will help you restore the registry if something goes wrong.

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “regedit” in the empty field.
  3. Press the “Ok” button.
  4. Paste “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\WordWheelQuery” in the address bar.
  5. Select all the numbered DWORD values.
  6. Right-click on them.
  7. Choose the “Delete” option.
  8. Click “Yes” when prompted.
  9. Close the registry editor.
  10. With that, you have cleared the search history in File Explorer in Windows 11.

Detailed steps with screenshots and a bit more info:

Open the Registry Editor. You can do that in multiple ways. The easiest way is to search for “Registry Editor” in the Start menu. Alternatively, open the Run dialog box with the “Win + R” shortcut, type “regedit,” and then click the “Ok” button.

regedit run command

After opening the registry editor, you need to go to the appropriate folder. To do that, copy the below path, paste it in the address bar and press the Enter button on your keyboard.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\WordWheelQuery

go to the registry folder

Now, select all the numbered (0, 1, 2, etc.) DWORD values, right-click on them, and choose the “Delete” option.

clear File Explorer search history in Windows 11

When prompted for confirmation, click the “Yes” button to continue.

confirm action

After that, close the registry editor and reboot the computer.

After restarting, you will no longer see the recent search history in File Explorer in Windows 11.

That is all; it is that simple to clear File Explorer history in Windows 11.

I hope this easy and straightforward Windows 11 guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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