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Clearing "Recent Documents"

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by hickok45, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. hickok45

    hickok45 Millennium Member

    Oct 17, 1999
    I thought this was a simple thing; I used to be able to do it. Anyway, in Winders XP how do you clear Recent Documents from the START menu. Actually, I'd prefer they don't ever even show up there. In many years of computing, I've never used that route to return to a file. Don't need it. It's just a security liability as far as I'm concerned.

    I have financial records and things that I don't have in passworded folders but are deeply hidden. Doesn't matter how cleverly I put things in layers of folders, all someone has to do if I leave my machine logged in is to just go to Recent Documents!

    Help. Thanks.

  2. kc8ykd


    Oct 6, 2005
    You can disable the "Recent Documents" in XP by doing the following..

    If using the regular Start Menu:

    Right click on the task bar
    Click Properties
    Click the tab labeled Start Menu
    Click the button Customize
    Click the tab Advanced
    UNCHECK the box labeled List my most recently opened documents
    Click the button Clear List
    Click OK
    Click OK

    You've now removed the listing of recent documents as well as removing the Recent Documents feature totally from the Start Menu.

    Here is a walk-thru for removing the "Documents" entry from the Classic Start Menu in windows xp (a little bit more complicated, but not by much):
  3. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    You should give XP-Antispy a try … this is a handy little utility lets you automatically disable many of XP/Vista’s annoying features as well as the built-in update and authentication features such as ...

    Disable disk cleanup wizard
    Disable Balloon Tips
    Disable the search assistant
    Clean history of recently used documents on system shutdown
    Deny starting regedit.exe
    Add command line prompt in the context menu

    … to name a few.

    Don’t let the name scare you away from this utility, it is available for download from, and other respected sites.

    You can do everything that it does manually … in about an hour, or use this and be finished in a few minutes. I’ve been using it for years on every computer setup I do, it saves a lot of keyboard time.

    BTW: you can just as easily change anything back to the original settings.
  4. hickok45

    hickok45 Millennium Member

    Oct 17, 1999