A comparison of the effects of two different types of pre-tasks on performance and memory processes in visual search was drawn. Previous studies had revealed an enhanced search performance after a preceding search task in the same display (Körner & Gilchrist, 2007). In the present study, this repeated search paradigm was compared to a search task preceded by a free-viewing period (preview; e.g. Hollingworth, 2009). It was assumed that observers would profit more by a preview than by an attention-demanding preceding search. Eighteen participants searched a ten-letter display in two conditions (repeated search and preview search), while response times were collected and eye movements were monitored. The results clearly demonstrated that both preceding tasks facilitated visual search compared to a control condition. Moreover, a preview led to an even larger benefit than a preceding search did. In both conditions, search performance depended on the recency of the target fixation in the pre-task, suggesting an underlying limited-capacity memory process. Although the preview was assumed to enable observers to prepare for the forthcoming search, the results did not show evidence for a beneficial contribution of intentional learning processes. Even though no difference was found in visual behavior during the pre-tasks, the difference in search performance can probably be ascribed to the differing requirements of the pre-tasks. In a preview observers don?t have to recruit all attentional resources for the pre-task itself. Therefore, it is conceivable that observers are able to build up more stable memory representations during the preview.