Clean Windows history

How to clean history in Windows

Do you know that Windows stores lots tracks of your computer activity? To protect your privacy you should clean Windows history regularly. But getting rid of Windows history manually is much more difficult than you would think as Windows history tracks are stored in many different locations and some kinds of Windows history can't be cleaned manually.

If you are not an expert and want to permanently delete Windows history tracks from your computer, you should use special software.

Windows history tracks

Clean Windows clipboard
delete Windows Temporary Files
clean Recent documents list
clean the run programs list from the Start menu
clean Windows Search History
Windows Explorer UserAssist Data

Clean recent documents list

Windows stores a list of documents and files you have recently opened and worked with. The record of every document that you open on your computer can be easily accessed from the Start menu (click on Start, then Documents). To protect privacy, you should clean Recent Documents history.

Using the Disable Recent documents option you can prevent access to the Recent documents list without deleting recently used documents.

Clear Recent documents and Recent items on Windows Vista:
the Recent Items option, which is located on the right side of the Start menu, displays a list of the files that you have used recently. You can open a file from this list by clicking it. The Recent Items option appears on the Start menu by default, but you can remove it, which will stop Windows from compiling a list of your recently opened files. If you want to begin compiling a list of your recently opened documents and files again, you can add Recent Items back to the Start menu.

To clean recent documents list on Windows Vista (Standard Start Menu):
To clean 'Recent Items' (recent documents and files history) from the Start menu
Click the 'Start' button.
Right-click 'Recent items'.
Click 'Clear Recent Items List'.

Note: Clearing the Recent Items list does not delete the items from your computer.

To clean recent documents list on Windows Vista Classic Start Menu:
Click the 'Start' button.
Select 'Settings'.
Select 'Taskbar and Start Menu'.
Open 'Start menu' tab.
Click 'Customize'.
To clear recently opened documents and files history click the 'Clear' button.
Click 'OK'.

How to clean Recent documents on Windows XP/2000 manually
To clean Recent Documents history (most recently used documents list) for Windows XP manually:
Right-click the Start button and choose "Properties".
Then click "Customize".
Click the "Advanced" tab
To clear 'My Recent Documents folder' click "Clear List" and then click "OK".

Note: This action does not delete documents from the computer.

To clean the recent documents list on Windows 2000
To clear Recent Documents list (for Windows 2000):

Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar & Start Menu.
Click the Advanced tab.
In Customize Start menu, click Clear.

Recent Open/Save Files List ( ComDlg32\OpenSaveMRU and ComDlg32\LastVisitedMRU)

Most applications use the Windows-provided dialogs for open and save operations. Every time you open or save a file Windows keeps a record of this activity - Windows records the names of files that you open or save.
Very often when you choose the "open" or "save" item from the application's file menu, Windows displays a drop-down list of your most recently used files or opens the certain directory. Even if these names are not shown in the file open/save dialog of particular application, they are kept in a Windows registry and can be viewed. It can seriously compromise your privacy.

Clean Windows run history

Windows stores a list of programs you have run using the Run option (Run dialog box).
Windows Start Menu contains a list of recently run programs which will be shown once the Start button is clicked. Anyone who has access to your computer can see the list of programs that you've run. To protect your privacy you should clean run history regularly.

How to clean Windows Run history (Run command history) manually:
To clean Run history menu manually:
Click the 'Start' button and select 'Run'.
Start the registry editor (regedit.exe) - in the text field type regedit and press 'Enter'
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
On the right panel you will see the list of programs that you have run using 'Run' command.
Right-click on the program you want to delete and click 'Delete' or select Edit -> Delete.
Click Yes for confirmation.
Close the registry editor.
You will need to restart your computer to apply changes.
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.

Clean Windows Start Menu Run history

Every time you open a program from '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.
Windows keeps full run history under the key:

Windows Vista Start Menu contains a list of recently run programs (Vista Recent run list) which will be shown once Start button is clicked. Whenever users run 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.

Windows Start Menu Run history (recently opened programs)
To clean Run history on Vista (clean Vista Start menu 'Recent run programs list')
Click the 'Start' button.
Select 'Settings'.
Select 'Taskbar and Start Menu Properties'.
Open the 'Start menu' tab.
Click 'Customize'.
To clear recently run programs click the 'Clear' button.
Click 'OK' to clear Start menu run history.

How to clean Run history in the Start menu on Windows XP
To clean Windows XP Run history (Clear recently run programs list)
Right-click on the 'Start' button.
Select 'Properties'.
Open the 'Start menu' tab and click 'Customize'.
To clear recently run programs click the 'Clear' button.
Click 'OK' to clean Start menu run history.

Clean swap file (swapfile)

Windows uses part of a hard drive space as "virtual memory". A swap file (or pagefile) is a space on the hard disk used as the virtual memory extension of computer RAM. If Windows does not have enough actual memory, it uses swap file. Page file (swap file) is a hidden system file (pagefile.sys). If you want to see it, you should change your file viewing settings to "show hidden and system files". Swap file (pagefile) is usually located on the drive where your system is installed on, While working on PC, you use different programs - so page file (swap file) may contain sensitive or confidential information, some applications may store "clear" passwords. To protect your privacy you may want to delete swap file (page file) so nobody could see your data in the swap file.

Clean Windows search history

When you use the "Search" option in the Start menu, Windows keeps a list of the last files you searched for and the items you searched for in those files. And this search history will be visible to anyone who begins a new search. Windows 'Files & Folders' and 'Computers' search history can be easily seen if you open the "Search results" window (Start -> Search -> Files & Folders or Start -> Search -> Computers). Even if this information isn't shown in the "Search results" window, it is kept in a Windows registry and can be easily viewed.

Clean Windows Temporary Files (Windows Temporary Files directory)

Windows Temporary Files (Temp files) store Windows and other programs temporary files. Windows Temporary Files directory can become cluttered and contain files from programs you no longer have installed or files which may violate your privacy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

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