Disable Windows 11 Run Command History

The Windows Run dialog is one of the most efficient, straightforward and ad-free (for the time being) methods of starting a program or running a custom script in Windows.

If you’re like me, you may have grown to despise the ridiculous amount of mousing that Windows now requires. Features and controls that used to be one click away are now hidden behind layers of gross, flat Metro UI filth. Windows Run dialog still works as it did back in the 95 and 98 days, quickly launching an arbitrary program or script without traversing folders in the Start menu.

Lately I’ve updated my scripts to take usernames and passwords as arguments instead of hard-coding these in the script. All the reasons boil down to ‘security’; you don’t ever want to risk exposing usernames or passwords anywhere. That means turning off history and never, ever storing passwords in plain text! Bonus, this method makes the scripts easier to generalize and share on GitHub.

Via the UI

In Settings, go to Privacy & Security, and turn off the option ‘Let Windows improve Start and search results by tracking app launches’


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Via Registry

Open Registry Editor (Win+R, regedit) and go to

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Double-click the DWORD value Start_TrackProgs and change this value to 0



Via Run Dialog

Back up your registry before making changes!

The above registry edit can be done directly in the Run dialog and this is a beautifully ironic way to use the Run dialog for its last, un-remembered command.

Win+R and enter the following in the Run dialog. Windows will not ask for confirmation with the /f option, so be sure you know what you’re doing!

reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /v Start_TrackProgs /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

What do these commands do?

reg invokes the registry editor

add is the argument to add a value. We also use this to modify an existing key.

“HKEY_…” is the path in the registry to the hive key we want to modify.

/v means we want to change a value; “Start_TrackProgs” is the value in the key that we want to modify.

/t is the type of value we’re adding / deleting / modifying. In this case, it’s a REG_DWORD, a regular 32-bit number. Read more about registry types here.

/d is the data we want to add. Here, we want the data for this value to be 0.

/f will force the change – silently, and without confirmation.

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