[Guide] Windows 7 Recent Documents Location, How to Find and Show It?

By default, Recent Documents is not included in the Windows 7 start menu. You will not find it where it used to available on earlier Windows XP, it is in a different location like Windows Vista. This simple guide shows you how to find Windows 7 recent documents location and add it to the start menu. So you can access it easily and frequently.

Accessing Recent documents is very useful to view the recently opened files from a local computer or network location. Sometimes you would have opened and worked with a file but forgot the exact location of it later, by viewing the recent documents list you can easily find the particular important files no matter where it is saved.

Here we show you the exact location of the recent documents list on the Windows 7 computer, this will be helpful if you like to delete/remove some or all recent documents shortcut from the list.

Recent Documents on Windows 7 is Located Here,

Recent Documents Location

Since it’s an user specific history, you will find the list of files, folders and other places which recently accessed under every particular user profile folder. Show hidden files option should be enabled (in folder options) to browse this path.

To clear or remove the recent documents in Windows 7, simply delete all files from this location. Do not worry, you are not going to delete the actual files, this is just a shortcut (reference) of the file/folder which is located somewhere on your PC or network.

How to Show Recent Documents in Start Menu

Here is the default setup without recent documents on the start menu,

no recent documents in Windows 7

1) Right click on the Windows taskbar and go to Properties.

Under Start Menu click Customize as shown below.

customize start menu

2) Find out ‘Recent Items’ and enable it. Also, you can control the number of recent items to show in the list from the start menu.

enable recent items in Windows 7

3) Press OK to show recent documents on the start menu.

Recent items on Windows 7 start menu


How to Disable or Turn Off Recent Items in Windows 7

In some cases, you would not like to see any recent history, so it can be turned off or disabled permanently in Windows 7.

You will find the privacy option as shown below under taskbar and start menu properties. Simply removing the check box will help in not storing any files/history in Windows 7 recent items.

disable windows 7 recent items

Image credit

We are sure that this simple guide is useful to locate the recent items folder in Windows 7 and add it to the start menu. Also, you can permanently disable this feature, so the Windows 7 will not record the history of the recently accessed, files and location for your privacy purpose.

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.

14 thoughts on “[Guide] Windows 7 Recent Documents Location, How to Find and Show It?”

  1. I tried the above questions, perhaps you disable recent items (enabled do not keep history of recently opened documents), try to follow the steps – the steps below :

    1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
    2. In the left pane, click on the arrow to expand User Configuration > Administrative Templates, then click on Start Menu and Taskbar.
    3. In the right pane, right click on Do not keep history of recently opened documents and click on Edit.
    4. Select Not Configured or Disabled.


  2. I’m found located folder recent items but i’m not found file recent documents, please help, i’m use windows 7 32bit, thank’s before.

  3. WTF? This is Windows 7? You take all the logical useful functions from previous systems and bury them where no one will ever use them? Pure genius! What’s next, remove the start button and replace it with command line? Best of luck with your crappy OS. Mac is about 100 years ahead of you guys. You can try to copy them but you still just don’t get it and you never will.

    • “What’s next, remove the start button”
      I guess they read your comment when they developed Windows 8… =)

  4. Guaranteed solution to this problem:

    Upgrade your Windows 7 to Mac OSX and you won’t need to worry about these silly problems.
    Time is money people!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Only a monkey can’t find recent documents on their desktop. Where is the folder that stores recent shortcuts and .wmv files

  6. Open “start’ menu
    Right-click and select ‘property’
    Select the tab ‘start menu’
    Select ‘customize’
    Enable the option ‘display recent items’
    Adjust the number of items you want to display (10 by default)
    in the Privacy section (still on the ‘start menu’ tab) activate ‘Store and display recently opened items…’

    And the recent items folder is located:
    (where %YOURNAME% is the account name)

    Type “recent” (without quotes) in ‘run’ and press enter. A window will appear that contains recently accessed items.
    You can access ‘run’ by pressing window button+r.

  8. I can find the recent items list but there are never any items in the list. It never gets populated.

    I have done all these things listed in this forum but it does not work. I even tried to paste a shortcut into that recent items folder.

  9. I can only assume that all those people thanking you have not actually applied the instructions you have given. The problem is “Recent Items” in Windows 7 is not the same as “Recent Documents” in previous versions of Windows, so your “tip” does nothing to assist users, like me, who are trying to set up a “Recent Documents” folder.

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