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

While Windows 10 and its subsequent updates have brought many major new features to the table, 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 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.


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