Windows 10 – How to Clear Recent Files in File Explorer

If you haven’t noticed ye (but you might already have), File Explorer in Windows 10 keeps a list of files and folders that you’ve recently used and/or opened. They will be displayed right at the bottom of the window. While it is handy for some, but there are those when you want to keep those recently opened files to yourself, especially when you’re opening up sensitive information and you’re constantly sharing your computer with other people. If so, then you might be happy to know that there is a way to delete those files within that list. But do take note that these are just shortcuts, so deleting the items in this particular list will not remove the original file or folder from your computer’s storage.

Windows 10 - How to Clear Recent Files in File Explorer

Clearing the Recent Files List in the Windows 10 File Explorer

Step 1 – The first step in clearing the recent files list in File Explorer in Windows 10 is to open it up first. An easy way to do this is to press the Windows Key + “E” on your keyboard. Once it is open, head on to “File” found at the upper left corner of the window and click on it. In the menu that will pop up, choose “Change folder and search options.”

Step 2 – In the Folder Options window that pops up, on the General tab, click the “Clear” button which is found right next to the “Clear File Explorer history” text. Do take note that there will be no confirmation nor dialog box, or anything for that matter, to warn you about what you’re about to do. Hence, be sure that when you want to clear the recent files found in the Windows 10 File Explorer that you’re really sure that you want to do it. However, at this point (and the fact that you’re here reading this), then you’ve already made a clear decision that you want to clear the items on that list.

Step 3 – And that’s practically it; these are the small number of steps in order to clear the items found in the File Explorer’s Recent Files list in Windows 10. When you head back to the Recent Files list, you would be able to see… absolutely nothing. Nothing will be there except a clean, white window. Now there are some that would want an easier way to do this, such as a toolbar button to immediately clear out the items in this particular list. It would seem that Microsoft did not put such a feature to the operating system yet, and those who do want such a functionality are only left waiting for it to happen.


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