How to Delete Recent Searches in Outlook

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Microsoft Outlook provides users with the option to delete their email search history as needed.
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In today's "connected" society, many individuals have developed a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to how and when their personal information or sensitive data is being shared. This trend is not only in response to the growing number of cybercrimes occurring on a regular basis, but also an expanded prioritization of privacy.


If you share a computer with a colleague or family member, you may decide that you would like various forms of personal information, such as your Outlook search history, to be inaccessible to others. Fortunately, you can clear your Outlook search history using a few simple steps.

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Microsoft Outlook provides users with the option to delete their email search history as needed. You can also export your history as a CSV file prior to deleting it if needed.

The Basics of Outlook Search History

If you are seeking out a specific email in Outlook, you can take advantage of the onboard search tools. As a matter of convenience, Outlook records each of your searches and allows you to access this information at a later point. This could be particularly useful if you need to continually reference a single email over an extended period of time. Since all of your Outlook emails are stored in a single location, searching for content using this particular method is streamlined and very fast.


That being said, privacy issues may arise in situations where you are sharing a computer or even a single Outlook account. For example, many individuals maintain a joint email account. In a situation such as this, you may discover that you can access not only your own recent email search history, but also the search history of other users.


Maintaining and Controlling Your Search History

In the event that you would like to erase your search history, you can do so in a matter of seconds. As a first step, locate the "Settings" menu at the top of the Outlook web browser. Click this menu option and then select the "View all Outlook Settings" option from the listing. At this point, you should be presented with a more extensive set of options and customizable parameters.


Select the "General" menu and then navigate to the "Privacy and Data" heading. At this point, two unique options will be available to you. If you are ready to delete your search history entirely, you can do so by clicking the "Delete history" button. Following this command, you will no longer be able to access any element of your search history, nor will any other user.


In some situations, you may have a vested interest in preserving your search history prior to deleting it. In order to do so, you can select the "Export" option. Here, you will have the ability to convert your search history into a CSV file. This particular file format can be viewed in a variety of popular programs, including Excel. You can also import and format CSV files into word processing documents as needed. Once your search history has been exported, you can then delete it as needed.


Other Relevant Considerations

If security is a priority, the steps you have used to view Outlook search history or clear Outlook search history may only be the beginning. As a general rule, sharing accounts always creates opportunities for information to be viewed and distributed without your oversight. You may decide that a secure, private account is in your best interest.