How to Clear “Recent Files” in Windows 10’s File Explorer

Ben Stegner 24-08-2016

While Windows 10 and its subsequent updates have brought many major new features to the table 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love Are you still on the fence about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? We have summarized the most important new features. Be sure to try all of them if you've already upgraded! Read More , there are also little touches that you might not notice at first. From wording changes to the aesthetics of system utilities, there’s good and bad to discover in the small changes Windows 10 made.


One of those changes you might love or hate is the recent and frequent items being always kept at the bottom of your File Explorer’s left-hand panel, along with the Quick Access menu. We’ve covered how to get the most out of the File Explorer How to Get the Most Out of the Windows 10 File Explorer Windows File Explorer is one of the most underrated features of Windows 10. Here we demonstrate how to manage and control the Windows 10 File Explorer from the bottom up and reveal features you never... Read More before, and that certainly includes having quick-access folders stay the way you want them.

If your recent files are clogging up your otherwise clean file explorer, here’s how to reset them to a clean state.

Open a File Explorer window and click File in the top-left corner, followed by Change folder and search options. Near the bottom of the resulting options window, you’ll see a section titled Privacy that lets you completely turn off these suggestions. To reset them instead, just click the Clear button.

Click OK to return to where you were in the File Explorer, and you should see that those frequent and recent folders and files aren’t around anymore.

There’s not much else to worry about here! Whenever you notice Windows suggesting folders a bit too aggressively, just pop open this menu and give them a reset.


Having bigger issues after installing the Anniversary Update? Here are solutions to common problems you might have 16 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Issues & How to Fix Them The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings many improvements, but it has also introduced a host of new problems and annoyances. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix them. Read More .

Do you like the suggested folders, or do you think they just get in the way? Let us know if you’ve cleared these by leaving a comment!

Image Credit: flydragon via

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Tricks.

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