How To: Disable and Clear Recent Files in Windows 10

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The Recent Files aspect of Windows Explorer will work or not for you. I don’t like it very much because I prefer the traditional display of the disk and folder explorer. However, many people I know like to be able to quickly pick up a file where it left off. If you are not sure about this feature, here’s how to delete the latest files from Windows 10 File Explorer.

Recent Files is a development of Windows 7 and 8 favorites, which displays up to ten current folders and up to twenty current files. Although it is designed to be useful, it does not work for everyone. This means that there is only one thing to do.

How the latest elements work in Windows

In the File Explorer, Windows displays only the most recently opened items. However, in the Start menu and skip lists in the taskbar, under Recently used items, you can see the most recently used items for this application. Microsoft Word displays recent documents, Internet Explorer displays recent websites and Microsoft Paint displays recently opened images, for example. By default, Windows displays the ten most recently used items by file name.

Your recent items and common locations are stored in the following folders:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items

To delete current files from Windows 10

Disable via settings

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Click on Customize.
  3. In the left pane, click Start.
  4. Disable Show recently opened items in jump lists at startup or in the taskbar.

Disabling the last items using group policy (all users)

Although the application settings allow you to disable the latest items and frequent locations per account, it is not possible to disable them for all users. To do this, you must change a policy in the Group Policy Editor that is available to all Pro and Enterprise users. This method is particularly useful for system administrators.

  • Open the Start menu, search for “gpedit.msc” and press Enter to open the Group Policy Editor. Then go to User Configuration -> Administration Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar.
  • On the right, locate and double-click on the “Do not keep history of recently opened documents” policy. This is the policy that allows you to enable or disable common elements and common locations.
  • In this window, select the Radio enabled option and click the Apply and OK buttons to save the changes.

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Manual deletion of recent files

Information about the most recently opened files is stored as cached data. You can retrieve this data and delete it manually from time to time. To do that:

  • Press “Windows” + “R” simultaneously to open the “Run” prompt.
  • Copy the following address into this file


  • Click on “OK”, press “Ctrl” + “A”, then “Shift” + “Delete” at the same time.
  • At the order prompt, click Yes.
  • All “Recent Files” displayed in the File Explorer have now disappeared.



You can also delete recently opened documents by double-clicking on the Delete Recent Items menu in the Start menu.

That’s right, friends. Now that you have successfully disabled the last common files and folders in Windows 10, you no longer have to worry about the list of recent files that is updated every time you open a file or document. This will be really beneficial if you want to hide your current files and folders from others as part of your privacy and security.

If you have other ways to disable them, you can share them in the comment field below.

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