In Windows Vista, most of the recently accessed are stored in a “Recent Items” list. The primary purpose of this list is to give the user easy access to the programs/files that he/she uses the most. This list stores information of your file activity on the system for up to last 10 files that you open or access. It lists all the files you have accessed, including documents, spreadsheets, worksheets, presentations, photos, pictures, images, PDFs, ZIPs, etc.

However, in order to preserve the privacy of the files/documents that you use, you might wish to delete the “Recent Items” list. If you want to do so, you are not alone – and there is a simple way by which you can remove all items from the “Recent Items” list.

Here is what you have to do –

  1. Open Start Menu and right-click on Recent Items.
  2. Select Clear Recent Items List.
  3. Wait for the computer to delete all the necessary historic information.

This trick is particularly useful if you used a shared computer and have some private work to do. In such a case, you do not want the other users to know of the files/documents that you have accessed on the machine. Thus, the above trick helps you to keep your private files away from prying eyes and long noses.


  1. I’m new to computers and every step is a new nightmare. Now I want to edit my Recently Opened Files list (I only use Word2007 on Vista). I’ve found instructions for deleting the entire list of files, but no info on how to just go down the list and keep some and get rid of others. It seems so simple – some things you’ll want to look at again, some can just be thrown away. I manage to get them deleted some place else, but they still appear on the “Recent Files” list! Then I click on them to try to erase them, and the computer rings and says that file cannot be located. I hate this computer. I hate my life. By the way, if someone is wonderful enough to help me, I’m not even sure I’ll be able to find this Web site again! I don’t know how to “Bookmarrk”things (or whatever), so I’mk going to just write it down on real paper with a real pen. Finally, another irritation. I have consulted 3 manuals about Word and Vista, and NONE of them cover this topuc. Please help! (By the way, last night after 5 hours I found a website that taught me how to put an accent mark in Spanish – everything takes so long to figure out…) Please help if you can —- Lili