Stop Recent Files & Folders Appearing In Quick Access [Windows 10]

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One of the most unfortunate stories that came out after Windows 10 was released was one of a man who let his system upgrade overnight. Once it had upgraded, the new Photos app promptly displayed a slideshow of his photos which were not only unsuitable for work, but also his marriage. The photos app was really just showing off. Windows 10 has a few features like this that are designed for convenience but can backfire on a user. If you’ve been using Windows 10 for a few days you must have noticed the new Quick Access location (not an actual location) that File Explorer opens to. It populates with your recent files and folders which I personally find useful. If you, however, find it to be annoying and pretty much a breadcrumb of what files you’re working on, here’s how you can turn it off.

Open File Explorer and click the View menu on the title bar. On the far right, you will see the Options button. Click it to open Folder Options.

In the General tab, under the Privacy section, uncheck the ‘Show recently used files in Quick access’ and Show frequently used folders in Quick access’ options, and click Apply.

win10-Folder Options

If you like the feature but would like to clear the files that are currently appearing in Quick access, click the ‘Clear’ button on this very same tab under the Privacy section and Quick access will delete your windows browsing history. It will then re-populate recent files and frequently accessed folders from that point forward based on what files and folders you browse.

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  • Liam

    One of the most annoying feature !!
    Thanks for the tip

  • ArchCast

    How to system restore my PC eithout logging in (Windows 10)?

  • Meera

    thank you soooo much! this was very very helpful!

  • howardelton

    thank you. It’s back to behaving like the favourites list for me.

  • Anon

    Holy. Fucking. Cucking. Shit.
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    Th-Thank you.

  • denno

    Nope—mine was already unchecked. Any more ideas?

    • Dolphin

      Mine were unchecked too. I checked them again then unchecked them and it went away. Trouble is it came back next time i opened it up, WTF?

    • Dolphin

      Next best thing, right button Quick Access and Collapse it. At least it seems to stay that way.

  • Bob

    This is about the fifth thing I’ve had to look up and ‘fix’ in Windows 10. Some of them required registry updates. I love how MS decides what their users want/need.

  • Abby

    This feature is so annoying. Favorites is what I want not what MS wants. Mine is unchecked and it still kept adding these stupid folders that I don’t want quick access to. I’m used to putting what I want in favorite what sense does it make if your quick access is as long as your hard drive.