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Names of Previously Opened and Saved Files Appear in Typical Windows Explorer-Style Dialog Boxes in Windows XP

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Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q322948
For a Microsoft Windows Me and Windows 2000 version of this article, see 319958.

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
You may experience the following behavior:
  • A list of the files that you most recently used appears in the File name box in the Open dialog box, the Save As dialog box, or other typical Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes.
  • If you type a file name in the File name box in the Open dialog box, the Save As dialog box, or other Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes, an AutoComplete list of previously opened and saved files appears.
By default, Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes (for example, the Open dialog box and the Save As dialog box) provide both a most-recently-used (MRU) list of file names and an AutoComplete list of previously typed file names.
To prevent the MRU list and the AutoComplete list of file names from appearing, use the procedures that are described in this section.

How to Prevent the MRU List of File Names from Appearing

NOTE: After you complete this procedure, the MRU list does not appear in Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes; however, this list is not removed from the registry.

Windows XP Professional

  1. Log on as the user.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  4. In the left pane under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, expand Windows Explorer, and then click Common Open File Dialog.
  5. In the right pane, double-click Hide the dropdown list of recent files.
  6. Click Enabled, and then click OK.
  7. Click File, and then click Exit.

Windows XP Home Edition

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Log on as the user.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
    NOTE: If the Comdlg32 key does not exist, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Policies key.
    2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
    3. Type comdlg32, and then press ENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type nofilemru, and then press ENTER.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  8. Type 1, and then click OK.
  9. On the File menu, click Exit.

How to Prevent the AutoComplete List of File Names from Appearing

To prevent the AutoComplete list from appearing in typical Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes, turn off the AutoComplete functionality for Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer:
  1. Start Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Content tab, and then click AutoComplete.
  3. Under Use AutoComplete for, click to clear the Web Addresses check box, and then click OK.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, click to clear the Use inline AutoComplete check box in the Browsing section (if this check box has been selected).
  5. Click OK.
This behavior is by design.
The MRU lists for Windows Explorer-style dialog boxes are stored by file type for each user in the following registry key:
For developer information about how to customize the Open dialog box and the Save As dialog box, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 322948 - Last Review: 08/24/2007 03:42:42 - Revision: 1.3

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