How to Hide or Remove Recent Files in Windows 11 Start Menu

Don’t like recently opened files to appear in the Start menu? Here is how to remove recommended or recent files in the Windows 11 Start menu.

Windows 11 comes with a lot of visual changes compared to Windows 10 or any other previous version. Two of the most striking design changes are the centered taskbar, which you can move to the left side, and a redesigned Start menu that looks a lot like a mobile launcher. All in all, the new redesign is a much-needed change.

The new Start menu in Windows 11 has three main sections. The first section contains a pinned app list that a user can customize. The second section is the Recommended or Recent Files section. The third section provides quick access to user settings, system folders, and the shutdown or power buttons.

By default, the Recommended section is auto-populated with the files you opened recently or files that Windows thinks you might need. Generally, this is a good thing because the Recommended section gives quick access to recently opened files. However, not everyone likes it. Mainly because of privacy concerns, and the recent files section is not that useful if you are not using it. Add to that; the recent files section is not updated in real-time. This means there is no guarantee that you will see a recently opened file immediately in the Recommended section.

The good thing is, if you don’t need it, you can easily hide or remove the recent files in the Windows 11 Start menu. All you have to do is turn off a single option in the Settings app. Here is how to do it.

Remove recent files in Windows 11 Start menu

To hide or remove the recent files in Windows 11 Start menu, follow the below steps.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Settings’ option.
  3. Select “Personalization” on the sidebar.
  4. Click the “Start” option on the main page.
  5. Turn off the “Show recently opened items in Start, Jump lists, and File Explorer” option.
  6. Close the Settings app.

Detailed steps:

The option to hide recent or recommended files is in the Settings app. So, right-click on the Start menu and select the “Settings” option. This action will open Windows 11 Settings.

open settings in Windows 11

After opening the Settings app, select the “Personalization” option on the sidebar and click on the “Start” option on the main page. As the name suggests, this is where you can configure the functionality and looks of the Windows 11 Start menu.

select start option

On this page, turn off the “Show recently opened items in Start, Jump lists, and File Explorer” option.

remove recent files or recommended from start menu in Windows 11

As soon as you do that, the Windows 11 Start menu will no longer display recommended or recent files. In addition to the Start menu, the option also disables recent files in the Jump Lists and File Explorer.

recent files removed from Windows 11 start menu

Even after removing the Recent Files in the Windows 11 Start menu, the Recommended section is not entirely removed or collapsed. Instead, it tells that you need to enable the Recent Files option to see your recent files. Hopefully, future builds will remove this section once the Recent Files are disabled or removed in the Start menu.

That is all. It is that simple to remove recent files in Windows 11 Start menu. If you ever want to see the recent files, follow the same steps but turn on the option we just disabled.

If you need any help, comment below, and I try to help as much as possible.

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