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How to Clear Windows 11 Quick Access History in File Explorer


The main aim of Microsoft to add the Quick Access feature was to enhance the user’s productivity and help in managing frequently files quickly and efficiently.

But, it appears that you want to hide some files and folders from quick access in file explorer or just want to declutter your files and maintain the device.

how to clear recent files in windows

We can view the quick access history or recent files by opening the quick access history folder in file explorer and by right-clicking the file explorer icon in the taskbar.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to clear quick access history in file explorer and taskbar:


The algorithm used to arrange recent files in Windows is intended to function in the following manner:

The default number of items arranged is 10, however, the user can increase it by modifying some settings manually. The most recently used file is at the top of the list, which is arranged in a chronological sequence that means the older items will move down the list and newer items take their positions. Also, you’ll find the pinned items there which means they will follow the same arrangement but they’ll not be vanished from the list and remain their changing their positions. Once the pinned items are equal to the maximum number of items specified in the settings, which is equal to 10 by default, you’ll not be able to add more items until you unpin the items manually or increase the number of items shown.


Step 1: Open ‘File Explorer Options’ from the start menu.

file explorer options icon in windows
‘File Explorer Options’ Icon

Step 2: In the ‘General’ tab, click the ‘Clear’ option under the ‘Privacy’ section.

click 'clear' option to clear file explorer history in file options in windows
Clear button

Step 1: Press the ‘Windows Key + R’ to open Windows Run and navigate to the following file path:
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\

navigate to recent folder on the main drive from Windows Run
Windows Run

Step 2: Select all the apps, folders, files and simply delete them by pressing the ‘Delete’ key.


Step 1: Open ‘This PC’ or ‘File Explorer’ from the Start menu.

Step 2: Click the three-dot menu (also called Meatball menu) on the top bar and select the ‘options’ button from the dropdown menu.

select options tab from the dropdown menu
“Options” option

Step 3: The ‘Folder Options’ menu will appear. In the general tab, click the ‘Clear’ option under the ‘Privacy’ Section.

click 'clear' option to clear file explorer history in file options in windows
Clear button

Step 1: Open ‘This PC’ or ‘File Explorer’ from the Start menu and select the quick access tab from the left sidebar.

Step 2: To remove the pinned items from the quick access history, right-click the pinned item and click the “Unpin from Quick Access” button.

unpin the pinned items from quick access
Unpin the Pinned Items from Quick Access

We can clear recent files in quick access using any of the following three methods – using file explorer options, This PC or File Explorer or Appdata Folder, as covered above.

Cleaning the recent files in quick access history doesn’t harm the system at all. So, don’t worry about this matter. It totally depends on your preferences whether or not clean quick access history.

Further, customize your computer’s built-in settings by following the related articles below.


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