Enable autocomplete for File Explorer in Windows 10

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File Explorer makes it easy to browse and access your files and folders, but if you visit more complex locations such as the Registry or the Device Manager you will need to remember their paths to enter them in the Explorer address bar. For this reason, it can be convenient to enable autocomplete for File Explorer in Windows 10.

As you might suspect, File Explorer’s autocomplete works just like for any other application. It will automatically provide suggestions as you type and you can select any of them to jump to that specific location without having to manually fill in the complete path.

With autocomplete enabled, you can simply type a “d” if you want to open Device Manager and File Explorer, as well as the Run dialog, will provide suggestions.

How to enable autocomplete for File Explorer in Windows 10

If you want to enable autocomplete for File Explorer in Windows 10, you will need to perform a simple Registry hack. For this, you will need to have administrative permissions so make sure you do before proceeding to the instructions.

enable autocomplete for File Explorer

Launch the Run dialog (the fastest way to do it is using the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut), type “regedit” without quote marks and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Navigate to the location below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoComplete

If you don’t have the AutoComplete key, just go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\

Then, you’ll need to manually create it under the Explorer key. Right-click the Explorer key, select New -> Key and name it AutoComplete.

enable autocomplete for File Explorer in Windows 10

The AutoComplete key should have a value called AutoSuggest. If it’s not there, you will need to create it as well. Right-click in the right pane, select New -> String Value, name it AutoSuggest and set its value to “yes”.

With this final step, you’ve enabled autocomplete in File Explorer. From then on, when you type in Explorer’s address bar or in the Run dialog, you will get autocomplete suggestions.

When you type in the address bar in File Explorer or inside the run dialog box, Windows will attempt to autocomplete the address for you.

If you ever change your mind and you’d like to disable autocomplete in File Explorer, you can either delete the AutoSuggest string or set its value to “no” instead of “yes”. If the value wasn’t already there and you had to manually create it, deleting it is safe. Otherwise, we recommend you just change its value and keep it there.

We haven’t tested this Registry tweak for older versions of Windows such as 7 or 8, but in theory, it should work on them too. In some cases, you may already have autocomplete enabled by default. Also, there’s no need to worry that autocomplete will affect File Explorer’s speed – it will remain the same.

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