Whenever you run a command from the Run dialog, Windows saves the entry in the registry. At a time 26 entries are preserved. When you enter 27th new command, first entry is removed, or overwritten you can say, with the new command.
There are many ways to delete stored commands, like for instance using CCleaner, or natively by going to Charm Bar > PC settings > Search settings > Click Delete history, in Windows 8. On earlier Windows versions you can delete Run history by right-clicking on Taskbar > Start Menu tab > Privacy > clear the Store and display a list of recently opened programs check box. All these methods clear the entire Run history at once; suppose if you wanted to remove any one item, the only option to that do that is by manually deleting it from the registry. Or, any easier way is to use the WindowsRunHistoryEditor program (shown later).
Manually Edit Windows Run History
Windows saves the Run MRU (Most Recently Used) information at this location in the Registry:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU. It’s the same location for all versions. To edit existing commands, just open Registry Editor and go to that location.
At the specified location you’ll find alphabets from a to z. Simply double-click on an alphabet to modify its value, and click OK to save changes. You can immediately view the result by opening the Run dialog.
Here’s a quick command to delete entire history in one go from the command prompt:
reg delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU /va /f
If you’re not comfortable editing the registry then checkout the easy to use front-end program below.
Program to Manage Windows Run History
WindowsRunHistoryEditor is a portable open source program that allows you to view, edit, or add entries to the Run MRU. On program start all existing commands are displayed in the program.
To delete an individual command item, click into the particular cell, delete its content, and click on save. Or to clear the whole history just click on the clear all data button.
You can also edit an existing command by changing its field value, or add a new command into the MRU list without actually running it. After making necessary changes, just click on Save. If you make a mistake just hit on the reload button to reload the current settings again without saving the edits.
WindowsRunHistoryEditor works on both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.