How to Delete Word History: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting your word history can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is follow a few steps to clear your recent documents list or remove individual words from your dictionary. This quick overview will help you understand the process, and the detailed steps below will guide you through it.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Delete Word History

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that deleting your word history can mean two things: clearing your recent documents list or removing words from your custom dictionary. Let’s tackle both.

Step 1: Open Word Options

Open the Word program and go to ‘File’, then select ‘Options’.

In this first step, you’re accessing the backend of the Word program where you can make changes to how the program operates.

Step 2: Clear Recent Documents

In the Word Options menu, select ‘Advanced’, then scroll down to the ‘Display’ section and click ‘Clear’ next to ‘Show this number of Recent Documents’.

By completing this step, you’re erasing the list of documents that Word saves for quick access.

Step 3: Remove Words from Dictionary

Under the Word Options menu, select ‘Proofing’ and then ‘Custom Dictionaries’. Choose the dictionary you want to edit and click ‘Edit Word List’.

This step allows you to remove any unwanted words that you’ve added to the dictionary, ensuring they won’t be recognized as correct in future documents.

After completing these actions, your word history will be cleared. You’ll notice that your recent documents list is empty and any custom words you’ve removed are no longer in your dictionary.

Tips for Managing Your Word History

  • Regularly clear your recent documents to maintain privacy, especially if you share your computer with others.
  • Be cautious when editing your custom dictionary, as removing standard words can lead to more spelling errors.
  • If you want to keep certain documents handy, pin them to your recent documents list instead of clearing everything.
  • Make use of Word’s ‘Autocorrect Options’ to manage commonly mistyped words.
  • Remember to save your changes in the Word Options menu before exiting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover a word history after I’ve deleted it?

Once you’ve cleared your recent documents or removed words from your dictionary, they cannot be recovered. It’s a permanent action.

Will deleting my word history affect my saved documents?

No, deleting your word history only affects the list of recent documents and custom dictionary words. Your saved documents will remain untouched.

Can I delete word history on all versions of Word?

The steps to delete word history are similar across most versions of Word, but the exact path to the options may vary slightly.

How often should I delete my word history?

It’s a personal preference. Some people clear it regularly for privacy reasons, while others rarely do it.

Can other people see my word history if I’m using a shared computer?

Yes, if you don’t clear your recent documents, anyone with access to your computer can see what you’ve been working on.


  1. Open Word Options
  2. Clear Recent Documents
  3. Remove Words from Dictionary


Clearing your word history is a great way to keep your work private and ensure your Word program only recognizes the words you want it to. Whether you’re looking to tidy up your recent documents list or pruning your custom dictionary, following the steps above will help you accomplish your task with ease. Just remember that once you delete your word history, there’s no going back, so be sure of your decision before you proceed. If you’re concerned about privacy or just like to keep a neat digital workspace, make it a habit to clear out your history regularly. Happy typing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy