Guide to Clear Recent Files on Windows 10 With Ease

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Is your computer acting sluggish? Or perhaps you’ve shared your PC and want to keep your activity private? Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered. This guide will teach you how to clear recent files on Windows 10 efficiently.

Part 1: Where Can You Find Recent Files on Windows 10

1. Quick Access Panel of File Explorer:

The quick access panel has a multitude of commands, is available in the file explorer, and can be customized, i.e., autonomous from the tab on the display ribbon. The Quick Access Toolbar gives easy, and fast access to some of the most frequently used options like Undo, Save, and Redo.

If you are using Windows 10, you can see Quick Access on File explorer. Whenever you open the File Explorer window, there will be a list of recently accessed folders and files if you go down and look at the list under Quick Access in the “navigation pane.”

It makes it easier for users to access frequently used folders and files. All these files and folders are available in “Recent Files” and “Frequent Folders,” and these can show only 10 folders and 20 files at a time.

Though it is a good option to access frequently used files, it is not for everybody. Instead, they will be interested in how to clear recent files on Windows 10.

PS: for users who wish to learn how to record screens on Windows 10, just read more.

2. In a Jump List, you will be able to access all recent files linked with a specific application on the Task Bar

The jump list contains all the files and folders you have accessed, which come up when you right-click on the application they belong to.

It means Windows will save your recently used folders and files every time you use it, making them available for you to access.

These Jump Lists are available in Start Menu or on the Taskbar in the form of an application symbol. Jump List will be available for the applications customized on the Taskbar or currently running apps.

Jump lists of applications are saved at different locations separately that will be accessible through File Explorer. A Jump List will give you access to all recent files linked with a particular application.

Once a file or a folder is added to the Jump List, it might remain there indefinitely. The good thing about Jump List is that you can easily get to frequently used files and folders without much hassle, but the bad thing is anybody can look into your recent activity on the computer, which is not good for your privacy.

Suppose you take your privacy seriously and don’t want anybody to violate it by going through your recently used files and folders. In that case, it is very important to clear recent files on Windows 10. Let’s start with Windows 7; it has another feature in it that is called Jump List.

But in Windows 8 and 10, this feature, called Jump List, was moved from the Start Menu to Taskbar on the Desktop. For example, if you are using a Microsoft Word file and right-click on it in the Taskbar, it will show you the list of recently opened files in this particular application of Microsoft Word.

In case nobody has access to your computer, it is a good feature to easily and rapidly access your most frequently used files easily and rapidly. Microsoft must have put a feature in Windows so that customers can get to the recently used files and folders without going through a lengthy process and save their precious time using this feature. On the contrary, the option is also available to clear recent files on Windows 10.

The application must support this feature to access the Jump List. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to see the Jump list after right-clicking on the application.

Besides click here to find out how to remove the FileRepMalware issue.

Part 2: How to Clear Recent Files Using Windows 10 Settings

To clear recent files on Windows 10 using Settings, you should follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Go to the Settings of Windows 10, and then hit the Personalization option.

Settings app not opening in Windows 10

Step 2: Go to the Start option on the left pane and turn the option from On to Off. You will see the recently opened items in the Jump List in the Start Menu or on the Taskbar.

Window photo

By this process, except for the pinned items, you will be able to clear all the recent items in the Jump List.

Part 3: How to Clear Recent Files on Windows 10 with the Help of File Explorer

If you want to clear recent files on Windows 10 with the help of File Explorer, you would need to follow the steps given below in the same manner. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to get rid of recent files.

Step 1: Go to File Explorer, open the File option, select the change folder, and click on options.

Step 2: Below the General Tab, click on the Clear option to immediately clean up the recent files from File Explorer history.

Clear FileEx photo

Using this method to clear the recent files on Windows 10, you will also be able to remove data from Quick Access. There is a chance that some of the files might not have been removed in this process. So, you have to do it again to get rid of all the files.

Part 4: How to Clear Individual Items from Recent Files or Frequent Folders

Though there are many ways to clear recent files on Windows 10, you can also remove individual items one by one from Quick Access without getting rid of all of the recent files or folders.

This feature is quite helpful when you don’t want to get rid of all the recent files but only a few from the whole list. This way, you will still be able to get access to the most recent file you have used of your choice.

If you want to clear some of the recent files on Windows 10, you would have to follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Go to File Explorer on your computer and open the Quick Access view.

Quick access photo

Step 2: Select a file or folder you want to clear from recent files on your Windows 10. Once you have selected the required files or folders, you just need to right-click on the folders or files and click on “Remove from Quick Access” in the menu that pops open.

Remove from Quick Access

Part 5: How to Clear Jump Lists Manually

We know that the idea of Jump List was introduced in Windows 7. Since the introduction of the feature of Jump List has been a great help in improving efficiency and flow of work.

Sometimes, you don’t need these files and folders in recent files after your work is done, and you want to remove all these files from the recent files list. It is effortless and simple to get rid of all these files from the recent file list by following the steps given below.

Step 1: First, you have to right-click on the Desktop and choose the Personalize option from the list you get by right-clicking on the Desktop.

JumpList photo

Step 2: Second, you need to click on the Start Menu once you are in the Start Menu. Now, all you have to do is scroll down to the Show Recently Opened items in the Jump List or the Taskbar and then turn the button from ON to OFF.

JumpList photo

Part 6: Use Stellar BitRaser File Eraser to Clear Recent Files on Windows 10 Completely

Introduction of BitRaser File Eraser:

It is an advanced file remover software that can clear recent files on Windows 10, like internet history, permanent files, folders, and application leftovers.

Apart from the above-mentioned actions, it can also be used to clear more IT properties and storage devices like SSD cards, Laptops, hard drives, desktop computers, and storage media like USB or media cards.

  • Remove traces of an installed application, internet history, and system activity.
  • One of the best features is that It can support 17 different international erasure standards. Nato and DoD standards are, to name a few.
  • Give erasure certification to help meet legal requirements.
  • Automatically remove the files and folders, as you don’t have to select the files and folders manually.
  • Produce Erasure Reports.
  • It has the search and erases option as well.
  • It can be installed and applied to all Windows and Windows Server versions.
  • Get rid of chat messages.
  • It has the ability to clean data from different email accounts of your choice.
  • It makes it possible to clean unused disk space.

How to Repair Damaged Word Files with BitRaser File Eraser:

It is possible to remove data from recent files on Mac with the help of the following steps given below.

Step 1: First, you have to download the Stellar BitRaser for the files on Windows 10 and connect the hard drive of the Mac to the computer.

Step 2: You have to install Stellar BitRaser and then launch it by double-clicking on the application Icon. Once you have launched the application, select your Mac Drive from the options.

Step 3: Third, choose the Erase option from the menu to remove recent files and data from your Mac drive using Windows 10.

Clear Recent Files on Windows 10 Using BitRaser

One of the biggest drawbacks of this software is that if you remove your recent files’ data with the help of this software, you wouldn’t be able to recover any of that data even with the help of different data recovery tools or services.

So, if you have erased your recent files with the help of Stellar BitRaser, you wouldn’t be able to recover them. Therefore, select the files and folders with great care before you decide to clear them with the help of Stellar BitRaser. Otherwise, you will erase your important data permanently.


Q1: Does clearing recent files delete them permanently?

No, clearing recent files only removes the shortcut to those files from your Recent Files list. The original files remain intact.

Q2: Can I disable the Recent Files feature on Windows 10?

Yes, you can disable this feature via the Privacy Settings in the Settings App.

Q3: Is it safe to use third-party tools to clear recent files?

As long as the tool is from a reputable source, it should be safe. However, always ensure you have a reliable antivirus software running when downloading third-party tools.

Q4: How often should I clear my recent files?

There’s no definitive answer to this, as it depends on your personal usage and needs. However, if you work with large files frequently, clearing recent files more often may help improve system performance.

Q5: Will clearing recent files speed up my computer?

Clearing recent files can help free up some system resources, but it’s unlikely to significantly boost your computer’s speed. Regular system maintenance and hardware upgrades are the best ways to improve computer performance.


To summarize all the discussion above, your privacy is at risk when you use your PC, and someone else is also using it, as anyone with little computer knowledge can see the recent files. It is of utmost importance that you delete the unwanted recent file history from your computer.

Hopefully, this article will help you clear recent files on Windows 10 using various tools and techniques, some of which are contained with Windows, and some are external.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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