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How to Clear or Delete My Recent Documents in Windows

Looking for a way to delete recent documents list on Windows? Don’t you hate how many things Windows keeps track of, such as all the recent documents you open in ANY program? Of course, most of the time I don’t care about this and I leave it on, but there are times when you prefer not to see the data, such as when you are on a shared computer or a public computer.

If you want to disable recent documents and delete / clean up the most recent documents, it is actually a fairly simple process. The most recent document list was removed by default from the Start menu starting in Windows 7, but it still exists in the Jump List.

Clear recent documents Windows 7 & 8

On Windows 7 and 8, you will not see a list of recently used documents by default in the Start menu; however, it still exists. If you right-click the Start Menu, select Properties, go to the Start Menu tab, and then click the Customize button, the Recent Items check box appears at the bottom.

If this box is checked, you will see recent documents in the Start menu as shown below:

In addition to the Start menu, if Recent Items is enabled, you will also see a list of recent documents by right-clicking the program in the taskbar. This is called a jump list and includes an individual menu for each program.

There are now two ways to get rid of items from the Jump List or Recent Documents in Windows 7 and later: either clear the Jump List or prevent Windows from showing any recent documents at all.

I already wrote a detailed post on how to clean up transitions in Windows 7, so read it first. However, this only temporarily clears the jump list. When you open other documents, the most recent documents appear in the Jump List again.

If you return to the Settings dialog where you enabled Recent Documents, you will see two options at the bottom for the size of the Start menu:

We are interested in the number of recent items displayed in the jump lists. Go ahead and set this value and Windows will no longer display the list of recently opened documents. If you right-click a program in the taskbar, the list disappears.

However, this is a double fallacy. First, when I opened Word, all my recent documents were listed there! Therefore, to really delete the recent documents list, you must clear it from the application itself.

For Word, open the program, click File and then Options. Click Advanced in the left menu and scroll down until you see the Display section.

Here you will see the option Show this number of recent documents. Go ahead and change this value to 0. Now the list will disappear from Word itself.

Second, setting 0 for the number of recent items displayed in jump lists is misleading because even if you no longer see the list when you right-click, Windows still keeps history! For example, change the value back from 0 to something else, for example 5. Now when you, for example, right-click Word, you will see the list returned!

To prevent Windows from keeping history altogether, you need to right-click on Start, go to Properties again, and click on the Start Menu tab. This time, don’t click Configure!

In the Privacy section, you will see the Store checkbox and display recently opened items in the Start menu and taskbar. Go ahead and uncheck this box, and now Windows will no longer keep the history of your recently opened documents for any program. As mentioned earlier, a standalone program itself can keep a list of recent documents, which must be manually cleaned up.

Clear recent documents in Windows XP and Vista

I’m going to explain the method for clearing the recent documents list in Windows XP, but the same is true for Windows Vista. So here’s a step-by-step guide to remove my recent docs list:

First, right-click on the Start button and select Properties: < / p>

You will now be in the Start Menu and Taskbar Properties dialog box. You should already be on the Start Menu tab. Go ahead and click the “Configure” button.

You should now see the Customize Start Menu dialog box. Click the Advanced tab.

At the bottom you will see a section titled “Recent Documents.” Click Clear List to clear the most recent list of documents. If you don’t want Windows to record your recent documents, uncheck “List my last open documents.” Done!

Now the option in the Start menu for the most recent documents will be removed and nothing will be written! have questions, leave a comment! Enjoy!

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