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

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.

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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About Lily Herman

Lily Herman
Lily Herman is a New York-based writer and editor. In recent months, her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Glamour, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, TIME, Newsweek, Fast Company, and Mashable. You can check out her website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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