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Windows 7: Save History in Windows 7 Explorer Address Bar

20 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
Save History in Windows 7 Explorer Address Bar


I know that several people have asked how to delete the history from the Explorer Address Bar in Windows 7.

I have been having trouble in saving the history. No matter which folder / directory path I've used in the path, it never shows up. Originally, this was working fine.

The only thing that I did since my install was to turn off some of the windows features and services. I've tried to turn on the same but it hasn't helped.

Could someone tell me which windows features and services need to be on, for the address bar to save the history of all folder/ directory paths accessed in the past.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home 64, Vista Ultimate 64

I don't know for sure if this is the setting, but have you checked "Store and display recently opened items..." in the start menu properties? Right-click on the Taskbar, go to Start Menu tab.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7

Yes.. "Store and display recently opened items..." in the start menu properties is selected. This'll only affect the files to be displayed in the start menu, not the drop down history in the windows explorer address bar.

I've noticed that to delete history, there has been suggestions to go to IE and delete its history, which'll reflect in windows explorer (if I got the point right). Ofcourse, the simpler way would be to right click the explorer address bar and select delete history.

I wanted to mention that IE 8 is disabled on my laptop and I use Google Chrome (which doesn't seem to have a time limited history setting). I remember the drop down history working fine until I was using Firefox. I wonder if Chrome has something to do with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I know this post is old, but it was the only one I could find. The vast majority of Google results tend to be about deleting/disabling history. If the original topic starter ever found an answer, I wouldn't mind knowing.

As far as I can tell, folders you've browsed to will only be added to the Windows Explorer history if you open a file within said folder. The exception is archives, which often don't count. It is annoying to close a deeply nested subfolder only to realize you need to open it again, necessitating a whole lot of double clicking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #5


One suggestion would be to make a shortcut to your recent items/recent programs list. First, go to the Recent Items folder in Windows Explorer (located at: C:\Users\{name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent) right-click on it, and select Send To, Desktop (create shortcut). Then, open the Desktop folder in Windows Explorer, and highlight the new Recent Items shortcut link, and move it to wherever you want it in Windows Explorer.

You can also access your Recent Items by using Jump Lists:
How to Create Custom Jump Lists in Windows 7
How to Create your Own Custom Jump List
How to Change the Number of Recent Items to Display in Windows 7 Jump Lists

Jump Lists will require that you have Recent Programs and Recent Items turned ON for it to work.
How to Turn Recent Items On or Off in Windows 7
How to Enable or Disable Recent Items in Windows 7 and Vista

In IE, make sure you have these IE settings checked:
Start out by going to Tools, Internet Options, and on the 1st page, in Browsing History, be sure that "Delete browsing history on exit" is UNchecked. Then, select Settings, and fill in the number of days you want your websites to be saved. Then, while in Tools, Internet Options, go to Content, Autocomplete, Settings, and UNcheck: “Use Windows search for better results"

There's an easy way to access the History of your most recently visited websites, (those "deeply nested subfolders" you mentioned), which is by utilizing your IE 'Back Button': To access the History button, open IE and on the Address Bar at the top of the page, click on the down-arrow 6 just to the right of the Back + Forward buttons. Then you'll see the History button. OR instead, from IE page click on View, Explorer Bars, and select History. OR even easiest of all, on your keyboard, hit: Ctrl + Shift + H (or just Ctrl + H).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Somniator, and welcome to Seven Forums.

These may we what you are after for this.

Windows Explorer Auto Suggest - Turn On or Off

Windows Explorer AutoComplete - Turn On or Off

Recent Search Box Suggestions - Enable or Disable

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you for replying, Brink and Imperfect1. Every one of those features is enabled, and I make use of them occasionally. The main problem is that they are terribly inaccurate, or don't properly record your folder history at all. I'll give you some examples:

Recent Items: Only shows files you've accessed, not folders. If you rename a file, then copy it to another folder, neither the new filename nor the folder you placed the file in will show up in this list. Only the outdated filename will be in there.

Jump Lists: I use these quite often to pin my most accessed folders to Windows Explorer (which is itself pinned to the Start Menu). Under the "Recent" column of such a list is a listing of folders you've been to, but as I said in my previous post these only get remembered if you accessed a file in one of them (excluding archives, unless an extraction is done). It won't show a history of every single folder you've recently been in, nor any you've just renamed. I usually check here first, but more often than not the folder I want, and have just been in, isn't listed. Jumplist Launcher looks interesting, but doesn't really solve the problem (unless you plan on adding a whole lot of folders to it). Between the jump list function already in Windows 7, and the ability to create new toolbars (which you can just minimize to just one small icon and arrow on the taskbar), it doesn't really add anything new other than groups.

Recent search box suggestions: Flaky as heck, and kind of a cumbersome way to find folders you want to access. If I type D:\ I get no suggestions, and even if I hit return to do a full search, I will get no hits at all more often than not, even when the search term is typed exactly as the file or folder is named. Sometimes I'll get a bunch of irrelevant results instead. It doesn't want to give results for my Windows drive (C:\) either and likes to crash Windows Explorer occasionally too (which it just did again when I typed C:\*.pdf). I know this is an area that bothers users, as there has been much talk about its usefulness in Windows 7 on the Microsoft website. As implemented, it is a mediocre feature at best (Windows XP search worked much better).

Windows Explorer auto suggest: Doesn't work well at all. If I type "D:\Programs" for instance, I'll get suggestions for anything that is in that directory, but not any suggestions for subfolders/files deeper in (D:\Programs\Networking\Browsers\Plugins\Testing" for example). The only way to get to a subfolder this way is to type the full path manually, which would be way slower than simply double clicking folders/subfolders a whole bunch of times. Using known filenames or wildcards, like *.txt for example, yields a search online via Firefox instead of on my hard drive.

Auto Complete: If I open the Run menu, and type D:\ for example, I'll get a list of recently open files, but no folders. The list tends to be inaccurate too. Renamed files show up under their original filename, not their new one. Moved files show as being in their old location, not their new location. Using wildcards, like *\Browsers doesn't do anything. When I typed D: I got a list of 12 files and folders. Only two were accurate and worked lol.

History buttons in Windows Explorer: Regarding that little tiny down arrow next to the big blue arrow buttons; this is the closest thing to what we're seeking. It is the only thing that will show the last ten folders you've been to recently, and in proper order. Unfortunately this particular history gets erased the instant you close the Windows Explorer window.

Search program and files (bottom of the Start menu): This actually works fairly well. It doesn't always find what you're looking for though, and oft times you get too many irrelevant results. You'll also get duplicate results if what you're searching for is found in multiple libraries/locations, where each folder is a different location, but the name is the same. It also doesn't seem to work for the C: drive, other than showing you a list of folders in the root when you type C:\ (no subfolders).

Thanks again for trying to help. It is very appreciated. Unfortunately I doubt this is something that will ever work in the useful way we wish it would. I wouldn't be surprised if it is one of those things that we'll see work better in the next version of Windows, if Microsoft listens to their customers that is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #8

Win7 Ultimate, 64

Hi Somniator,

I have the same problem on a brand new HP laptop with Win7 pro. Let me know if you have found a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2016   #9

Win7 x64

Hello everyone, who might be searching answer for this in the future.

I've found a fix for this issue - empty dropdown list in windows explorer address bar.

For some reason my registry was missing the following folder:
As soon as it was created by me, it started populating itself, and the drop down list was not empty anymore.

Hope this helps.

- D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2016   #10

Windows 7 sp1 64-bit

I believe I have found "the" answer. It is clearly in the name of the registry key. "TypedPaths". NOT drilled-down-paths, not searched paths, but TYPED paths (copy/paste-enter also works). The drop down box is a history of the text that has been typed (entered) into the address bar. After trying several variations based on the discussions in this thread, I found that "sometimes" I was able to get URLs into that registry key, but not always. Anything that did make it into that registry key did then appear in the history drop down box, but it took a while to figure out which urls made it into that key.

Yes, Denter is correct - you must have the registry key for this to work, but you must also be entering text directly into the address bar. Drilling down in the window panes, or using the down-arrows next to each path segment in the "gray" address bar, does NOT populate the TypedPaths registry key, and therefore does NOT populate the history drop-down box.

Not quite the answer I think anyone was looking for, but now that I understand how that feature is "designed" to work, I can use that. I do wish it was a complete history of previously accessed folders through Windows Explorer, but it is apparently ONLY a history of the previously accessed folders TYPED INTO THE ADDRESS BAR in Windows Explorer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Save History in Windows 7 Explorer Address Bar

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