Managing how long to retain opened files in the 'Recent Files' list

Apr 7, 2016
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For Windows 10, can anyone tell me how it is possible to manage how long files that have been opened are maintained in the Recent Files list in Quick Access?

Similarly, is it possible to manage how many files that have been opened are maintained in the Recent Files list in Quick Access?


Windows 10 Pro x64, v1607, build 14393.1358.


Mar 4, 2016
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Hi SamRick,

It's been a while since I played around with the Recent files of Quick Access, so the information below may be a little outdated now given the changes Microsoft are introducing with Windows 10 service.

That said, here is a basic outline of how this all works from the introduction of Windows 10 OS.

As you are probably aware, with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Microsoft controlled the number of Recent Files displayed using a 32-bit DWORD value: JumpListItems_Maximum.

This value was located in one of two locations:
  • For the Current User
  • For All Users

With the introduction of Windows 10 Microsoft deprecated this value and the default number of items displayed was now 11 items [ I may be mistaken on the exact number, as its been a while since I looked into this ].

Up until the current OS Build of Windows 10, it has always been possible to control some aspects of the Quick Access Recent Files. The basics methods are as follows:

To Clear Recent Files/Folders list
  • In File Explorer select the View tab
  • Click Options > Change folder and search options
  • On the General tab under the Privacy panel click the Clear button to remove all history

To Not Display Recent Files and/or Folders
  • In the location above, remove the checks next to:
    • Show recently used files in Quick Access
    • Show frequently used folders in Quick Access
  • After removing the checks, click the Clear button
Within File Explorer, you can also remove individual items from displaying by right-clicking the item and selecting Remove from Quick Access. This will prevent it displaying in the future under Recent Files.


Note: Later if you change your mind and want to see it listed, simply open the Folder Options window and click the Clear button then close and re-open File Explorer, which will cancel your choice to remove the item.

Now returning to your questions. You do have a limited capacity to control the number of items displayed here, or by right-clicking on an application and selecting Recent. This involves modifying the Windows Registry.

To do this do the following:

  • Press your Windows key + S together
  • In the Search/Cortana field type command
  • In the search results, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • When the User Account Control prompts you, click Yes
  • In the Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following:
REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /v JumpListItems_Maximum /t REG_DWORD /d 20 /f

Press Enter key to execute

Sample image


Type exit and press Enter key to close the console.

  • In the command above the Data value represented by /d 20 can be in the range of 0 to 60
  • [ for example: /d 60 ]
  • If you choose 0 as your value then the default number or displayed items will be 11
  • Depending on the OS Build you are on will determine whether or not any other chosen values from 1 to 60 determines the number or recent files displayed. For example, testing this on the current prerelease OS Build 16226.1000 results in unstable changes, where you see one less item displayed than the value you enter [i.e. when choosing /d 20 I saw 19 items displayed].
  • If you wish to affect All users not just the current user, then the above command needs to be:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /v JumpListItems_Maximum /t REG_DWORD /d 20 /f

Regarding, how long these items display:

  • Other than what I said at the start of this thread, there is no way I am aware of of controlling how long items display, other than to remove them from Quick Access, or erase the history.
  • The most recent files are displayed, so if your value is set to show 20, then first item will be automatically removed when you have viewed your 21st file, and so on.


Jan 28, 2020
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I used your Registry edit in an earlier version of windows and was ideal....ii now have windows 10 Pro 18362.535 and I do the above fix and the list of "Recent Files" in File explorer / QuickAccess remains at 20 is there a new workaround?

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