How to Get All Recent Files List on Windows 10/8.1 and Add it to Desktop,Taskbar

Like in earlier Windows Operating Systems, Windows 10 doesn’t have the old type of recent files list in the start menu or anywhere to access quickly. Though it shows the recent 20 files in the “Quick access” area that is not handy if you want to see more than 20 recent documents (including folders) on your Windows 10 computer.  Today we will be showing you how to get back the recent files list in Windows 10/8.1 and add it to the start menu, desktop, and taskbar.

We have earlier explained that similar way for Windows 7 to access recent items.  Check out another useful guide about finding the IP address of a network printer on Windows 10.

Here is the Quick access on Windows 10 (Applicable for Windows 8.1 too)

This can be accessed from Windows Explorer as below.

quick access in Windows 10

Under Quick access in Windows 10, you can find the recently opened files, but it has the limitation of showing the only limited number of items. So, is Recent Items in Windows 10 dead? No! Recent Items in Windows 10 still exist and it can be accessed via below steps.

We will be showing how to add recent items to the desktop and taskbar for quick access.

3 Ways to Access Recent Items in Windows 10

1) Windows 10 still record and keep the recently opened files/folders under ‘Recent’ folder. Open it by below command.

Open the Run and type shell:recent as this,

Type in Run - Recent Items in Windows 10


Here is the recent files/folders in Windows 10. You can easily see the path of the folder. As usual, it keeps a different path for every user on the computer.

Hint: If you are an administrator of a computer in Workgroup (home or office) or domain environment, you can see others’ recent items by accessing correct folder under the user profile.

recent items in Windows 10


2) If you are the one who wants to access the recent items on your Windows 10 desktop or laptop computer regularly, here is the way to make a shortcut and add wherever you want.

Add Recent items to the Desktop as an icon.

Right click on the empty space in the desktop and create a new shortcut. Type %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ in the location of the item.

recent items shortcut in Windows 10 desktop

Give a name and create it. You will see the shortcut and it can be opened to access Recent items easily.

recent items icon

3) To make it easier, you can add this shortcut to your taskbar, Start menu and even quick access area. So it will be part of your quick access area to access Recent items in Windows 10.

pin to taskbar

You would see the recent items folder under Quick Access in Windows Explorer and Start menu now. To add it to the taskbar, right click on the icon from Start menu and select pin to the taskbar as below

pin recent items in Windows 10

Hope this small guide would be helpful to access more recent items (files and folders) on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 on your laptop or desktop computers.

If any of the above solutions did not fix the Windows PC issues, we recommend downloading the below PC repair tool to identify and solve any PC Issues.

PC Repair

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

1 thought on “How to Get All Recent Files List on Windows 10/8.1 and Add it to Desktop,Taskbar”

  1. I do not want recent “items” in the quick access list. I want recent “files” just as they are when you open up File Explorer initially. Recent items has too many folders and other items that are not helpful. Recent Files just lists the files I recently worked on or saved.
    When you navigate away from Quick Access display, the only way to see that list of files is to close File Explorer and re-open it. There should be a “Quick Access” link on the left pane that re-opens that list.

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