Windows 11 Recent Files Disable/Enable: 2 Fixes + 1 Tip

Wanna disable Windows 11 recommended but don’t know how? Try the simple steps shown below to finish this task with ease. And also you can get a bonus tip here.


By Clytze Updated on March 15, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

User case


How do I turn off recent files in Windows 11?

I'm running Windows 11 Pro 64-bit Version: 21H2 (OS Build 22000.527). How can I get rid of the "Recommended" section on the Start Menu of Windows 11? It is driving me crazy and clutters up my Start Menu. I don't want to open recently opened photo, file, or whatever. Please get rid of it. Cheers.

- Question from ElevenForum

Windows 11 Recent Files Disable

The Windows 11 update makes a number of big changes from previous versions. Some users find these changes are not so useful and want them back to the former state, such as restore Windows 11 taskbar. The biggest change that defines the look of Windows 11 is the new Start menu. Whenever you click the Windows key, it displays the most recently used applications and recent files on the screen.

Recent files is one of the most useful features in Windows 11 because it automatically lists the last 20 files you accessed in the Quick Access Directory. But what if you don't want other people to see recently accessed files when they use your computer? In this article, I will teach you how to disable Windows 11 Recommended to use this feature according to your actual needs.

Backup Windows 11 to Prevent Data Loss

You can back up your Windows 11 with the best free backup software to protect your computer from system crashes, hacker attacks, and any other error.

Fix 1. Let Windows 11 don't show recent files via Settings

How do I turn off recent files on Windows 11? The most commonly used solution is to disable it from Settings.

1. Press Windows + I together to open Windows Settings.

2. Click on Personalization from the left pane, scroll down the list and click on Start.


3. Toggle off the option Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer, then exit Settings. The next time you open it, you won’t see recent files in Recommended.

Turn Off

Tip: If you want to reset the view to turn on Recent files on Windows 11, just toggle switch on again, then exit Settings to check if it is shown in the Recommended.

Fix 2. Make Windows 11 disable recent files via Group Policy

1. Open Start and type gpedit.msc. in the search box, click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. Browse the following path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.

Local Group Policy Editor

3. On the right side, double-click the Do not keep history of recently opened documents option. In the pop-up window, click Enabled button>ApplyOK.


After that, the Windows 11 Jump Lists in the taskbar, Start menu, and File Explorer will no longer display recent items and locations.

Tip: To switch it on again, just click on Disabled in Step 3 to keep history if recently opened documents.

Bonus tip: Always backup Windows 11 to protect your data

To set up a secure and efficient backup solution on your computer, AOMEI Backupper Standard can be your best assistant. It's a free backup software that supports all Windows OS (Win 11, 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, XP) and all detectable devices (internal/external drive, USB flash drive, network share, NAS, cloud, etc).

With AOMEI Backupper, you will save a lot of time and effort for data protection. No need to worry about system crash, hardware failure, or hacker attack anymore. If something bad really happens to your PC, you can easily restore system image to let your computer go back to its normal state. It has the following advantages:

AOMEI Backupper
Free Windows 11 Backup Software
  • 4 backup solutions: It allows you to do system backup, disk backup, file backup and partition backup as you need.
  • Automatic backup: You can choose to set up backup tasks daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on how often you make changes to your files.
  • Various backup destinations: It could backup Windows 11 to external drive, USB, local disk, network drive, NAS, cloud, etc.

This tool offers you 3 backup types, full backup, incremental and differential backup (in advanced edition), and the last two options only backup the changed files or folders. Now, I'll show you how to create a full backup of your Windows 11 PC for disaster recovery. Just download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, then choose System Backup under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Step 2. The partitions associated with system files will be selected automatically, you don't have to select them manually. Just choose a destination path to save your backup image.

Select Destination Path

Step 3. You can set up Schedule Backup to automate your backup tasks so you won't forget. You could set the system backup task to run daily, weekly, or monthly, event triggers, USB plug in, etc.

Schedule Settings

Options: you could also comment, split, and encrypt (paid version) your backup image, customize the compress level, enable email notifications, and more.
Backup Scheme: This option allows you to delete old backup images automatically (By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly) while the backups exceed the backup number you want to keep. You can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other editions to enjoy it.

Step 4. Click the Start Backup button to create the system state backup in Windows 11 to protect your data security.

Start Backup Scheduled

✿ How to restore the system image backup if something goes wrong:

Click Restore > Select Task or Select Image File. Then, follow the wizard to complete the system recovery process.

Select Task

FAQs about Disabling Recent Files on Windows 11

#1. How to hide Recent files in File Explorer?

To hide Recent files in File Explorer on Windows 11, open File Explorer > tap on the See more (3 dots) button in the command bar, and click Options to open the Folder Options windows. Under the General tab, uncheck Show recently used files under Privacy, and click OK to save the change.

#2. How to remove all recent files from Quick Access in Windows 11?

To clear Quick Access in Windows 11: 

  • Open File Explorer, select the View tab, then click Options.
  • Select the Change folder and search options.
  • Under the General tab, uncheck Show recently used files in Quick Access.
  • Click Clear to clear the list, and click OK.

#3. Why is Windows 11 Recent files not showing?

If your Recent files on Windows 11 not showing, you may have disabled it, you can turn it on again by referring to the steps above. 

Another reason is that the files that aren't appearing are too old. The Recent files list on Windows 11 typically only shows files that you've opened within the last month or so. Or, the files are being excluded from the list for some reason.

#4. Does removing from Quick Access delete files?

No, Quick Access is simply a shortcut section that links to folders and files stored elsewhere. Any items you delete from Quick Access will remain intact in their original location.

Wrapping up

Now you know how to let Windows 11 Recent files disable or enable follow the steps shown above. Windows 11 does bring many updates and changes, so if you don't like it you can set it up as you like. Also, there is a bonus tip for you to backup your Windows 11 with the best free backup software – AOMEI Backupper, if there’s something bad occurs, you can use the created system backup image to recover your PC to previous date.

Moreover, AOMEI Backupper can safeguard your data security by offering you numerous powerful features such as Disk wipe, which allows you to wipe free space on Windows 11. You can tackle Surface Pro 7 Windows 11 issues without effort as well. Download and try it now!

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.