Most of us find it handy to have an extended Recent Documents history record in Office Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2007 as it offers a smart shortcut to check recently used spreadsheets, presentations and files. But sometimes Recent Documents history record can be a big problem for users who work with private or sensitive documents.

History list showing “Recent Documents” tends to expose the existence and trace of documents which are otherwise hidden. Users who do not wish to use the expanded Recent Documents aspect in Office 2007 can follow a simple method to disable history tracking on used files.

To ensure that MS Office 2007 applications do not keep a track of recently opened documents history or MRU list, you need to follow some easy steps mentioned below:

1. First of all, click on the office button on any of the MS Office 2007 applications. If you open Word Doc, then click on the “Word Options” tab, if you open Excel, then click on “Excel Options” tab, or if you open a PowerPoint file, click on “PowerPoint Options” tab.
2. Then choose the Advanced tab
3. Scroll down to view the display section
4. Now fix the count for “Show this number of Recent Documents” as 0 (Zero).
5. Click on the “OK” button
6. You will need to repeat the steps for all Office 2007 applications, which are PowerPoint, excel and Word.

By doing this you will notice that your “Recent Documents” list appears blank all the time.

Setting a registry value is possible to facilitate a policy that avoids display of MRU lists. Users need to take a note that this policy affects a majority of Microsoft programs including all Office versions along with its individual products.

Hence, by using registry value trick to turn off the policy, you can prevent display of most recently used documents history for all programs such as MRUs on open and save dialog boxes and the file menu.

1. You need to use “Run” from Start button and type “regedit
2. Then follow the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

If you are unable to locate “Explorer”, you will need to create the entry in policies folder.

3. With the help of “NoRecentDocsHistory” key, create DWORD value and fix the value as 1

The “Recent Documents” record history will stop getting listed henceforth and you will find it blank at all times.