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Clear Run history

How to clear the run history on the Start menu

This article explains how to start a program using the Run command, add the Run command to the Start menu, clear, disable and enable the 'Run command' history.

The Run command located in the Start menu provides a quick way to the run programs and open files. If you run programs using the Run command located in the Start Menu, Windows records the programs and files names that you have typed in the Run dialog box. The run history eliminates the need for you to type in a command or path that you typed before. It works as the Autocomplete. You can access the Run history by opening the Start menu, selecting 'Run' and then clicking the down arrow for the Open box.

If you are using a shared or public computer, to protect your privacy, you may want to get rid of the Run history on the Start menu. You can clear run history (including programs, files and locations that you type into the Run command box) using special tools or clear run history entries manually.

Start a program using the Run command

If the Run command is not added to the Start menu

1. Open the Start menu and select 'All Programs'.

2. Select Accessories, and then click Run.

3. In the Run window, in the Open box, type the name of a program you want to run or the name of a file you want to open.

To quickly access the Run window, you can add the Run command to the Start menu:

1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.

2. Open the Start menu tab and click the Customize button.

3. In the Customize Start menu window, from the list of options select 'Run command' and click OK.

If the Run command is added to the Start menu, just open the Start menu, select Run and type a program of file name or location.


Where is the Windows Run history stored?

Windows Run history is stored in the registry in location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU.

To protect your privacy, you should clear run history

Clear Run history manually

To clear the Run history manually:

1. Open the 'Taskbar and Start Menu Properties' window. You can do it in two ways:

Right-click the Start button and select Properties

Or you can open the Start menu, select Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Taskbar and Start Menu

2. Open the Start menu tab and in the Privacy area uncheck the 'Store and display recently opened programs in the Start menu' option. If you need to clear recently opened files, uncheck 'Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar'

To clear an individual entry from the Run history:

Attention: Do not edit any registry entries unless you are certain that you know what you are doing as you can potentially corrupt your operating system.

1. Click the Start button and Select Run.

2. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe) - in the text field type regedit and press 'Enter'.
3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU.

4. On the right panel you will see the list of programs that you have run using 'Run' command.

5. Highlight the entry you want to remove from the run history and click 'Delete' or select Edit -> Delete.

6. Click Yes for confirmation.

7. Close the registry editor.

Note: You will need to restart your computer to apply changes.

Clear the Run history on the Start menu on Windows Vista

Find the detailed instructions on how to clear run history on the Start menu on Windows Vista.

The Windows Vista Start Menu contains a list of recently run programs which is shown once Start button is clicked. Whenever users run a program, Vista will keep tracks of this information and build a list of recently run applications and rank them according how frequently the program has been accessed and used. This recently and frequently run programs list provides users with easy to access shortcut to quickly open and run programs.

Generally, Windows Vista Start Menu contains by default 9 recently run programs.

Clear the Run history on the Start menu on Windows Vista

To clear the Run history on Vista

1. Right-click on the Start button and select 'Properties'.

2. In the 'Taskbar and Start Menu Properties' window, open the Start menu tab and click 'Customize'.

3. To clear the recently run programs click the 'Clear' button.

Disable the Run history

To disable run history on Vista (disable Start menu 'Recent programs list' on Vista).

1. In the 'Taskbar and Start Menu Properties' window open the Start menu tab.

2. In the Privacy area remove the check mark for 'Store and display a list of recently opened programs'.

To display the recently opened programs list again, you can add recent programs back to the Start menu.

Clear the Run history on Windows XP

Classic Start Menu

To clear the Start Menu Run history on Windows XP:

1. Right-click on the Start button and select 'Properties'.

2. Open the Start menu tab and click 'Customize'.

3. To clear recently run programs click the 'Clear' button, then click 'OK'

Standard Start Menu

To clear the Run history on Windows XP:

1. Right-click on the Start button and select 'Properties'.

2. Open the Start menu tab and click 'Customize'.

3. To clear recently run programs click the 'Clear List' button.

4. Click 'OK' to clear the Start menu run history.

How can I disable the Run history on the Start menu on Windows XP (Classic Start Menu)?
To disable the Windows XP Run history:

1. Right-click on the Start button and select 'Properties'.

2. Open the Start menu tab and click 'Customize'.

3. In the 'Advanced Start Menu options' remove the checkmark for 'Display Run', then click 'OK'.

How to clear the list of recently opened programs

Every time you open a program from the Start Menu, the date and number of times you used it is stored in an encrypted database. If you don't clear UserAssist data, it can compromise your privacy and security and increase the number of entries in the registry slowing Windows down.

Using special tools you can easily clear the recently opened programs list (Windows Explorer UserAssist Data).

Where is the recently opened programs list stored?
Windows keeps full run history under the key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist

Thursday, October 30, 2014
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