How to

How to Clear or Disable the Recent Documents List in Microsoft Word 2016

When you open Microsoft Word, a list of recently-opened documents appears on the left side of the screen. You can clear files from this list or, if you ‘d rather not see recent documents at all, disable the list completely.

The recent files list likewise shows up when you pick the “Open” alternative from within Word, and on the jump list for the Word taskbar button. Cleaning the list clears those documents out of the 2 locations within Word, but not on the dive list. You’ll need to clear the dive list separately. Disabling the current documents view avoids them from showing up in any of these places. Here’s how to do it.

Clear the Recent Documents List

Clearing the current documents list is simple. Whether you’re on Word’s opening splash screen or on the “Open” page when opening a document, right-click on any file in the recent list, and after that select the “Clear Unpinned Documents” option.

Update: In the current versions of Word 2019 and Word for Office 365, you’ll require to click the “Open” icon on the left side of the Word home screen prior to right-clicking current documents and choosing this choice. This will then delete those recent documents from the Home screen. You can’t right-click and clear files directly from the home screen for some reason.

In the caution box that appears, click the “Yes” button.

This clears all files from the recent list that you have not pinned as preferred files.

If you choose, you can also pick the “Remove From List” choice on that menu to get rid of only the document you right-clicked.

Disable the Recent Documents List

Disabling the recent files list completely is likewise quite simple. If you’re on Word’s opening splash screen, click the “Open Other Documents” link at the bottom left.

Or, if you’ve already got a document open, click the “File” menu.

Next, click the “Options” command towards the bottom left.

In the “Word Options” menu, switch to the “Advanced” tab.

On the right, scroll down to the “Display” section. Disable the screen of recent files by setting the “Show this number of Recent Documents” choice to zero, and then click the “OKAY” button.

Now, when you open Word (or use the “Open” command within the app), the Recent Documents list should be empty. You ought to likewise no longer see recent file listed on the jumplist for the taskbar button.

If you wish to re-enable the screen of recent files in the future, go back to that same “Word Options” window and set the variety of recent documents you desire shown. 50 is the default setting, however you can pick any number between 0 and 50. Simply note that when you re-enable the recent file display, any previously-displayed documents will be revealed once again.

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