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Clear the Windows Run History (recently run programs)

April 29, 2009 by admin · 2 Comments 

Most of us use the “run” option in the start menu to open programs. If you are using a public computer such as in a cyber café, office or any other establishment, other users can easily see what programs you have used from the run history dialog box. Windows tracks all the programs you run using the “run” option in the start menu and store it as a list. Others who have access to the computer can easily access the programs that you tried to run using the run option. You have to compromise your privacy, if you do not clear the windows run history. You can clear Windows run history manually or using some special software. Nowadays, several software products are available in the market which can help you in cleaning the run history easily.

Why you should clean the Windows run history?

It is recommended to erase Windows run history before leaving the computer because any other people who have access to the computer can see the list of programs that you have used. If you are a person who gives at most importance to privacy then you have to clean the Windows run history on daily basis.

Where the Windows run history stored?

Windows run history includes the programs and files you recently run using the “run” option in the start menu. Usually, the Windows run history is stored in the registry in the location:
“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerRunMRU.”

How to erase Windows run history ?

If you are a person who uses the “run” option in the start menu frequently to open programs, you will see a run history on the run list. The run history contains all the previous commends you have typed in the “run” text filed. Same as the autocomplete feature, this run history also save your time by eliminating the need for typing a command or path that you have previously typed.

If you are using a private computer then this feature is good for you. Otherwise, it will seriously affect your privacy. You can manually erase the Windows run history by editing the registry. Follow the steps below to do so:

• Click the “Start” button on the bottom left of the screen.
• Select “Run” from the list.
• Type “regedit” in the text filed and press enter to run the registry editor.
• Go to the location: “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerRunMRU.” You can see the list of programs you have run using run command in the right panel of the window.
• Select the program you want to delete and click “delete” or select edit -> delete.
• Click “Yes” to confirm.
• Close the registry editor to continue.

You have to restart Windows to apply the changes. Do not edit registry, if you do not have a good idea about what you are going to do. If you change the registry settings incorrectly, it may corrupt the operating system. It is better to take a backup of the registry before making any changes in the registry. If anything goes wrong, you can restore the computer to the previous state with the help of the backup.

Editor’s Comment:
Recently new software has been released that can automatically erase all your computer activity for you.
For a list of the top brands of this new software. Click here to read our privacy software reviews.

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