Using ShellBagsView from NirSoft Utilities I've just found out that Windows is storing the names of visited directories together with things like window position, even for directories deleted many years ago.

I've tried to remove this information using Piriform CCleaner, I checked the box "Windows Size/Location Cache", but it doesn't work.

  • Is deleting all the registry entries safe?
  • Is there a better way?
  • What additional threats to privacy should I expect in Windows?
  • 2
    No easy way to do this, windows stores user tracks everywhere, you might explain why you want to do this, are you selling the PC? If you are selling it, I would erase/overwrite the entire disk and re-install the OS. – Moab Sep 10 '11 at 15:13
  • I don't have a real use case now, I just want to know what can be done. – maaartinus Sep 11 '11 at 12:12

You can use Process Monitor to see which registry entries the ShellBagView is looking at.

I wouldn't worry too much about your folder history. You've got bigger fish to fry, like the people tracking you using your cellphone.


Or use NirSoft's own CleanAfterMe.

  • I know which registry entries store the data, since ShellBagsView allows opening RegEdit directly with them. I'm just not sure what happens if I delete them. I tried CleanAfterMe, selected all Windows Explorer entries, but it's still there. I agree with the cell phone being a bigger issue. Thank you. – maaartinus Sep 11 '11 at 11:57
  • Did you refresh the Explorer instance? Try killing it with task manager, then restart it with task manager. – surfasb Sep 12 '11 at 21:39
  • I did not, but I rebooted since. Surely some entries are gone, but many very old ones persisted. Now I see that the persisted entries are all UNC paths, so it helped partly. – maaartinus Sep 16 '11 at 22:20

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