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Remove all Author Names from Excel

If you are reading this tutorial, I believe that you are a computer user who frequently visits forums and downloads Excel, Word, or PowerPoint files to your computer (whether you are helping with some solutions or reading a document). Over time during the current year or more in the past years, you have opened a lot of files/documents.

Also, you noticed that when saving your own document (Save or Save As) in the "Authors:" field, you have more than one author in the list. In this list, there can be a hundred names, ie authors of Word documents, Excel Workbook or PowerPoint presentations. This list can grow to hundreds of names over time.

Authors names in Excel Save As window


Authors names in MS Word Save As windows

Also, in the "Tags: Add a tag" field there are a lot of sentences (phrases) that associate with the title of a document that you once opened.

remove metadata from excel or word

Remove Author Tags from Excel, Word and PowerPoint

You've reached the point where you want to remove items (author names) from this list, but you don't know how?

As you continue reading this tutorial, find out how you can remove the list of document authors you once opened.

This list of author names is the result of "Windows Search Engine" (Indexing Options) when indexing specific folders. All files in the folders viewed by the "Windows Indexing Search Engine" will automatically add the collected names of the document authors found on the hard disk to this list.

Indexing Options in Control Panel

Clear from memory, list of author tags in 'Save As' window

There are several things you can do to delete (clean) or remove the names of all Word document authors or Excel Workbooks, etc.

Open each file individually and remove the author via the "Inspect document" or "Incpect Workbook" option. So remove the name of the author of the document. Exclude the folder containing the files in question, from indexing, ie. do not allow Windows to index the respective folder. Reduce the "Windows.edb" file that contains a list of indexed files. (Delete and rebuild Windows.edb file)

Solution 1

Resize/reduce Windows.edb file

So in the first solution, you can open each file individually and remove the author's name (Required to delete and rebuild new 'Windows.edb' file).
Stop indexing (Start -> in Search field enter 'services' -> Stop item 'Windows Search')

stop services windows search

In Windows Explorer, on 'View' tab turn ON "Show hidden files, folders and drives".

How to show hidden files, folders or drives


Delete file on the path ("C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb"). Go to Windows Explorer and delete 'Windows.edb' file (You must have administrator privileges).

Windows.edb file keep authors files name

Restart your PC -> Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Indexing Options,

Set options in windows Search Engine on Windows 7


Rebuild Windows.edb file.

On the 'Indexing Settings' tab and click on 'Advanced' button and click on the 'Rebuild' button. Confirm with OK button. Also in the "Advanced" dialog you can choose which files you do not want to index.

How to remove authors name from Windows Index Search

Solution 2

How to exclude a specific folder or files from indexing?

After rebuilding the 'Windows.edb' file, do the following.
- Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Indexing Options
- Click on 'Modify' button
- Uncheck certain folder

Change location Windfows.edb file


Windows Search Engine automatically indexes all files in set folders and collects specific data, authors, meta-tags, metadata and the like. The collected author data that created the open files is automatically displayed in the "Authors:" field as a list when you want to save a Workbook or Document.

So, to remove author names from this list, one of the above must be done, with the file "Windowws.edb".