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How to clear recent document lists from Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2014-09-29

The recent opened workbook lists will be stored in the Recent pane when we open an Excel file each time as following screenshot shown. But, sometimes, you need to clear such long boring workbook lists from the Recent pane. This article will show you how to make the recent document lists disappear.

doc-clear-recent-file-list-1

Clear the recent document lists with Options feature

Clear the recent document lists with Clear unpinned Workbooks function

Clear the recent document lists with VBA code


arrow blue right bubble Clear the recent document lists with Options feature

To remove the recent document lists in Excel, you can go to the Excel Options to do a little setting. Please do as follows:

1. Open a workbook, and go to click File > Options (In Excel 2007. Click Office button > Excel Options), and in the Excel Options dialog box, please click Advanced from the left pane, and then scroll down to the Display section and change the number to 0 besides the Show this number of Recent Documents text box. See screenshot:

doc-clear-recent-file-list-1

2. Then click OK to close this dialog, and now when you go the Recent pane, all the recent document lists have been cleared at once, see screenshots:

doc-clear-recent-file-list-3 -2 doc-clear-recent-file-list-4

Note: If you want to restore the recent items, you can type the number back to the Show this number of Recent Documents text box in the Excel Options dialog.


arrow blue right bubble Clear the recent document lists with Clear unpinned Workbooks function

You can also remove all the recent document lists by applying the Clear unpinned Workbooks feature.

1. Go to the recent document lists by clicking File > Recent in Excel 2010, or click File > Open > Recent Workbooks in Excel 2013.

2. Then in the Recent Workbooks list, right click and choose Clear unpinned Workbooks from the context menu, see screenshot:

doc-clear-recent-file-list-1

3. And a prompt box will pop out to remind you if you want to remove all the unpinned items from the list, click Yes button, and all the unpinned recent workbooks will be cleared at once.

doc-clear-recent-file-list-1

Notes:

1. After removing the recent document lists, they are not restored any more, and this method is only applied to Excel 2010, 2013.

2. This method only remove the unpinned files.


arrow blue right bubble Clear the recent document lists with VBA code

The following VBA code can help you to remove all the recent document lists immediately as well.

1. Press the ALT + F11 keys together, and it opens the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: remove the recent document lists

Sub Clearrecentfiles()
'Update 20140925
On Error Resume Next
Do Until Err.Number <> 0
Application.RecentFiles.Item(1).Delete
Loop
End Sub

3. Then press F5 key to run this code, and all the recent document lists have been removed at once.

Note: With this code, the recent document lists cannot be restored.

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Comments (7)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Useless. The recent locations, folders, whatever you name them, remains, can't get rid of them, annoying me over months, close to a year. Incredible!!!!! Freaking unwanted crap! Even posting here was an effort what a laugh! Everything goes in the direction of "let's provide useless service". Very good!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
With VBA!
(I forgot the article was not only about VBA)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
How to clear only unpinned recent files?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Well that only cleared them when I kept it set at 0, I tried closing and restarting, but all the deleted files shoe back up, the clear all unpinned option is not showing up in my version of 365
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
VBA - How do I remove a folder list name from the recent save as list in excel 2016?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Did you ever figure this out? I have the same question.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Right Click on Taskbar, click on Taskbar Setting then click on Start which is on the leftside of the page and then turn off the “Show recently opened items in Jump List on Start or the Task Bar.
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