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Windows 7: Recent Items List - Clear

Recent Items List - Clear

How to Clear Recent Items List in Windows 7
Published by Brink
29 Aug 2011
Published by

How to Clear Recent Items List in Windows 7

information   Information
Recent Items is a list of your recently opened files.

This will show you how to clear recent items list to be empty afterwards in the Windows 7 Start Menu.

Note   Note
The hidden system folder Recent Items is located at:

C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items

If you go to the Recent Items folder location above and you have a yellow folder named Recent instead of one named Recent Items with a icon, then right click on the Recent folder and click Delete. Type shell:recent in the white line (Start Search) area of the Start Menu and press Enter. Logoff and logon, or restart the computer, to rebuild the folder back to the default Recent Items. Recent Items will not function correctly if is not set as the default Recent Items folder.

If this did not fix the Recent Items folder, then see the post at this link to make sure that the registry locations at the link have the correct locations entered for them.

EXAMPLE: Recent Items Cleared in Start Menu
Recent Items List - Clear-empty.jpg




OPTION ONE
To Clear Recent Items List Automatically on Exit

NOTE: This option will also clear the Recent items in Jump Lists as well, and not just in the Start Menu.
1. For how, see: How to Clear Recent Items and Documents on Exit of Windows 7




OPTION TWO
To Clear Recent Items from Start Menu
1. Open the Start Menu.

2. Right click on the Recent Items button, and click on Clear recent items list. (see screenshot below)
Recent Items List - Clear-start_menu.jpg




OPTION THREE
To Clear Recent Items using Start Menu Properties

NOTE: This option will also clear the Recent items in Jump Lists as well, and not just in the Start Menu.
1. Right click on the Start button, and click on Properties.

2. Uncheck the Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar box, and click on Apply. (see screenshot below step 4)
NOTE: Turning off recent items will clear it.

3. If you would like to turn recent items back on, then check the Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar box. (see screenshot below step 4)

4. Click on OK. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Properties.jpg
Views: 33418
Size:  60.1 KB




OPTION FOUR
To Clear Recent Items using Windows Explorer
1. Open Windows Explorer, and do either step 2, 3, or 4 below.

2. Navigate to the hidden system folder Windows folder below, right click on Recent Items, and click on Clear recent items list. (see screenshot below)
C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows

Recent Items List - Clear-explorer-1.jpg
OR

2. Navigate to the hidden system folder Recent Items folder below, right click on a empty space in the Recent Items folder, and click on Clear recent items list. (see screenshot below)
C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items


Recent Items List - Clear-explorer-2.jpg
3. Navigate to the hidden system folder Recent Items folder below, and delete any file in the Recent Items folder that you want cleared from the recent items list. (see screenshot below step 2)
WARNING: DO NOT DELETE the Recent Items folder itself.
C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items




OPTION FIVE
To Reset and Clear "Recent Items" using a REG File
1. Click on the Download button below to download the file below.
Reset_and_Clear_Recent_Items.reg

download
2. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.

3. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

4. Click on Run, Yes, Yes, and OK when prompted.

5. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.
That's it,
Shawn





17 Jan 2012   #1
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Tutorial updated to add OPTION FIVE to be able to do this with a REG file.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2012   #2
HantsDave

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Is there an answer anywhere to get 'recent items' to list documents in the order they are opened rather than the useless list that is alphabetical? Have searched and searched and it appears to be an old problem that has suddenly started on my Windows 7 Pro 64 bit PC! As a work around (why do I hate that - because we shouldn't have to that's why) I've put a shortcut into the start menu but the recent items folder lists everything not just documents and is just not so convenient.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #3
azwan88

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Hello.. I have a problem now. Delete recent item option didn't appear. Can you help with this?


Attached Thumbnails
Recent Items List - Clear-untitled.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 May 2012   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Azwan, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Double check to see if the blue NOTE box at the top of the tutorial may apply to you for this, and see if you see the same as below.
Recent Items List - Clear-recent.jpg
In the mean time, you should be able to use any of the other options in the tutorial to clear Recent Items as well.

Hope this helps,
Shawn


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #5
azwan88

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Brink, after delete Recent folder, then I type shell:recent on search box (Start Menu). After that I restarted my laptop. Nothing happen. No Recent Items folder there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

.....then see the post at this link to make sure that the registry locations at the link have the correct locations entered for them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #7
azwan88

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

I followed the steps. Then the problem won't go away. Should I delete the Recent folder then follow the steps regarding the link that you mention?


Attached Thumbnails
Recent Items List - Clear-recent01.jpg   Recent Items List - Clear-recent02.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #8
azwan88

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Dear Brink, it's working!!!. I don't know what happen. The Recent Items appear suddenly. LOL. Thank a lot Brink!! Now I can sleep ..


Attached Thumbnails
Recent Items List - Clear-recent03.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2012   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

That's great news Azwan. Have a good nights sleep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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