System hacks: Managing Explorer’s search history

When we use the search function of Windows 10 Explorer, the system will record all the search information by default, but like web browsing, some search records are not wanted to be seen by others. This is when we can use the system’s registry and Group Policy functions to clear the search history or turn off the search history saving function to better protect our privacy.

A, clear the search keywords

We first open Explorer, enter a keyword in the search box to search. Click the “Recent Searches” button, and you can see the recently searched keywords in the pop-up menu. Click on the bottom of the “Clear Search History” command, you can clear all these keywords (Figure 1).


However, the traces of this removal method is a bit obvious, we can choose to remove only a certain or a few search records, with the help of the registry can be completed. Open the Registry Editor and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerWordWheelQuery in turn, each entry in the right-hand window represents a search keyword, where the largest number of entries is the most recently searched keyword, and the user can determine which keyword it is according to the order (Figure 2). Click the right mouse button on the corresponding entry and select “Delete” in the pop-up menu to delete the keyword.


Second, close the search record saving function

If you do not want to save the search history, we can turn off the function completely. In the “Run” dialog box, type “gpedit.msc” and enter, and in the Group Policy Editor window that opens, select “User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → File Explorer”, and then double-click the “Turn off the display of recent search entries in the File Explorer search box” option in the right-hand window (Figure 3). In the configuration window that opens, check the “Enabled” option, and then press the “OK” button to exit.


The Group Policy feature is relatively safe, but if you are using a home version of Windows 10 that does not support Group Policy settings, you will have to use the Registry Editor to disable the feature. We need to expand HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsExplorer in turn, in the right window, click the right mouse button, in the pop-up menu, select “New → DWORD (32-bit) value in turn “Double-click to open the new DWORD value just created, the “value data” modified to 1 (Figure 4). Then close the Registry Editor and restart the system.


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