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Published on 05.22.09 by Brent Trahan

Clear the History of Recently Opened Documents When Logging Off

Learn how to clear the recently opened documents history when you log off in Windows 7.

If you enable this setting, the system deletes shortcuts to recently used document files when the user logs off. As a result, the Recent Items menu on the Start menu is always empty when the user logs on. In addition, recently and frequently used items in the Jump Lists off of programs in the Start Menu and Taskbar will be cleared when the user logs off.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, the system retains document shortcuts, and when a user logs on, the Recent Items menu and the Jump Lists appear just as it did when the user logged off.

Note: The system saves document shortcuts in the user profile in the System-drive\Users\User-name\Recent folder.

Also, see the “Remove Recent Items menu from Start Menu” and “Do not keep history of recently opened documents” policies in this folder. The system only uses this setting when neither of these related settings are selected.

This setting does not clear the list of recent files that Windows programs display at the bottom of the File menu. See the “Do not keep history of recently opened documents” setting.

This policy setting also does not hide document shortcuts displayed in the Open dialog box. See the “Hide the dropdown list of recent files” setting.

This policy also does not clear items that the user may have pinned to the Jump Lists, or Tasks that the application has provided for their menu. See the “Do not allow pinning items in Jump Lists” setting.

Clear the History of Recently Opened Documents when Logging Off

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and then select Start Menu and Taskbar in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Clear history of recently opened documents on exit on the Advanced menu in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable and then click OK to save the changes.


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One Response to “Clear the History of Recently Opened Documents When Logging Off”

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  1. Shahnawaz Ibrahim says:


    And delete the list of recently opened documents..

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