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How To Delete And Disable Recent History In Ubuntu [Tip]

Whenever files are accessed in an operating system, a log of recently accessed files and folders is created. While this can be handy to reopen recent files and folders quickly, it can also become a privacy issue for some users. Unlike Windows, where it’s fairly easy to find recent documents (as explained here),  Ubuntu users often find it hard to find the recently used documents. Moreover, some users might want to prevent the logging of recent history. In this post we will tell you how to delete recent history in Ubuntu and how to disable recent history logging.

To  delete recent history, open the Terminal and enter the below commands:

rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlitezeitgeist-daemon --replace

Note: Activity.Sqlite is basically a file located in the share directory with the path: ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite


To prevent new items from being created, use this command:

echo -n > ~/.recently-used.xbelsudo chattr +i .recently-used.xbel

You can revert the changes to enable logging again by using the following Terminal command:

sudo chattr -i .recently-used.xbel
This tip was posted by multifo at Ubuntu Forums!


  1. The code is in 2 lines:

    1 – rm $HOME/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite
    2 – zeitgeist-daemon –replace

    This is the way to have it to work.

  2. rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlitezeitgeist-daemon –replace

    gives this error:

    rm: unrecognized option ‘–replace’
    Try `rm –help’ for more information.

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