Killer Tech Tips

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Clear Explorer Search History in Windows 7

with 43 comments

If you search for something in Windows Explorer, Windows 7 stores the search query in its history. If you go back at a later time interval, you’ll find your previous searches listed there.

Clear Windows 7 Explorer Search History

How to clear search history in Windows 7?

You can delete previous searches done in Windows 7 Explorer using the registry. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Press Win+R and type regedit. Hit Enter. If the UAC prompts you, click Yes.
  • Go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerWordWheelQuery
  • Right click on ‘WordWheelQuery’ and choose the Delete option. Click Yes in the confirmation dialog.
  • Close the Registry Editor

You will no longer see previous search queries in Windows Explorer. Your search history has been completely deleted.

Delete Windows Explorer Search History

I’ve recorded a screencast showing the entire process. Here’s the video:

Disclaimer: If you’re going to use the registry editor to clear recent searches in Windows Explorer in Windows 7, use it at your own risk. The author is not responsible for any damage caused.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

May 6th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Posted in how to

Tagged with ,

  • Brady

    thanks a bunch!

  • Ank

    Thanks Man..that was gr8…

  • Harravi

    Great man thanks… really helpful

  • Daz

    too easy, cheers!

  • LOL!!!

    Just highlight the item and press the delete button on your keyboard LOL!!!

  • erm!!!

    ye, its not there, so what now? and yes i looked in the right place before anyone says owt.

  • Nick

    I do not have the last item the wordwheelquerry option. I watched the video and everything. Now what?

  • Zaidad


    Is it possible to retain the deleted ‘WordWheelQuery’? I mean does it completely erases the search history or temporarily?

  • http://n/a Cal

    Thanks alot!

  • dan

    There is an easier way than editing your registry. Simply open an explorer window and click on the search box. The list of previously searched items will be displayed. Press the down arrow button to select the first item and press delete. That one item will be deleted. Hold delete to scroll through and delete the rest of the entries.

  • Sam

    Thank you Dan

  • Scooby

    Hah! That kills me! Delete… who woulda thunk it… awesome.

  • rich

    HELP…… both didnt work for me…………

  • tak

    i did the same but could not delete browsing history,
    i’m using windows 7 internet explorer 8. after deleting by doing all these steps still when i type in the address bar it shows all the links, please tell me if someone have the solution

  • vincenzo

    works like a charm. thanks!

  • zmarine44

    Awesome man! Thanks a lot, really appreciate it!

  • even easier solution

    as per Dan said, navigate on the search suggestion box with the keyboard arrows, and press delete

  • pepaya

    great thx……
    it works

  • @lol

    thanks lol

  • sriharsha

    its helpfull
    but too trickey

  • brigitte

    brilliant! many thanks indeed πŸ™‚

  • Shadow_zero

    Great tip! Odd it became such a hidden option, compared to Windows XP…

  • Hearns_blueworld

    Thank you

  • Hearns_blueworld

    Thank you

  • Sachira

    All you have to do is simply highlight the search term you want to delete and press the delete key…

    So why go through all this????

    (In WIndows 7 SP1 x86)

  • Mr. Lee

    This buds for me! πŸ™‚

  • Gigger98

    Hey… the plain ol’ highlight and delete works!

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  • WaliBaba

    Despite people commenting that all you need to do is highlight and delete, that was unsuccesful on my behalf. Your advice on removing Search History in Windows 7 Explorer work perfectly. Thank y ou.

  • WaliBaba

    Despite people commenting that all you need to do is highlight and delete, that was unsuccesful on my behalf. Your advice on removing Search History in Windows 7 Explorer work perfectly. Thank y ou.

  • wilshire

    its a great way to delete the whole search history πŸ™‚

    but i never knew that highlight-and-delete works too! Now i kno, cuz i read it in the comments section :)a little more gyan goes into my head! thanks a ton guys!! :) 

  • anonymous

    thanks, so much easier

  • Vicky

    Thanks !! πŸ™‚

  • wade crawler

    The highlight won’t work!

    Thank you so much Author…More Power!

  • David Pate

    You don’t “CLICK” on it. Just hold your mouse over it and then hit the delete button.

  • Shayan

    Shayan : thank you admin

  • Test


  • Guest


  • Stlthmc

    I believe this is because they are confusing Windows Explorer with Internet Explorer.

  • Andrew Kay

    Thank you! I have been wondering if there was a way to do that for years now…

  • Islam

    Β great tip.. thank u

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  • Kevin Ctid Richards

    totally awesome mate, thanks

  • Don

    that was easy, thank you