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Disable Display Of Recent Search Entries In Windows 8 Explorer [Tip]

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Just like Windows Vista and Windows 7, Windows 8 File Explorer includes real-time search feature to let you instantly find the required files and folders from any location. It shows you search results for files, folders, apps and other items as soon you start typing in search keywords. Although it provides users with quick search feature, it also displays search suggestions while you enter the search keywords in Explorer search bar. The search suggestions belong to MRU list that is stored and managed in Windows Registry, and if you want to remove the recent search suggestions, then you need to find and remove registry keys where all search suggestions are maintained. Windows 8 Local Policy Editor offers a simple policy setting for Windows Explorer search entries. Instead of manually removing the search entries from Windows Registry, you can use Local Group Policy Editor to permanently turn off display of recent search entries in Windows Explorer. In this post, we will guide you through the process of disabling search suggestions in Windows 8 Explorer.

Before you begin, make sure that you’ve logged in as administrator or have required administrative privileges to make changes to Windows 8 local policies. First off, go to Start Screen, type gpedit.msc select Apps from right sidebar and then select gpedit from main window.


This will open Local Policy Editor. Now, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer, and from main window, double click Turn off display of recent search entries in the Windows Explorer search box policy setting.

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By default, the policy setting is set to Not Configured, which means that it saves all the search keywords you use to find files and folders in Windows Explorer. Switching to Enabled option will immediately disable search suggestion in Windows Explorer. It must be noted that it’s a system-wide level change, and all the user account holders including Administrators, Users, and Guests will not be able to view their search history while using search bar in Windows Explorer.

Once policy setting is changed, close the window. Now, open Windows Run console using Win+R hotkey combination. Enter gpupdate /force to update the changes made to Local Group Policy.


It must be noted that it doesn’t disable or remove all MRU lists from Windows Registry, and you may view search suggestions in other Windows 8 applications. The above method can only disable search suggestions in Windows Explorer.

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Want to clear history of recently opened documents in Windows 8? Check out our guide here.

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