How to clear recent documents in word

Written by amy dombrower
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How to clear recent documents in word
Clear the Recent Documents list in Microsoft Word. (laptop image by Angie Lingnau from Fotolia.com)

Microsoft Word, along with various other Microsoft Office programs, shows a list of recently used documents to provide quick access to your files. Word lets you customise this list of recent documents to suit your preferences. For instance, you can pin certain documents to the list, so they will always show up. By clearing the list, the feature is turned off and you will no longer see any recent documents. To turn the feature back on, you just have to tell Word the number of documents you want to include in the list and reopen your documents.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word.

  2. 2

    Click the "File" tab.

  3. 3

    Click "Options," then "Advanced." In the "Display" section, go to "Show This Number of Recent Documents."

  4. 4

    Enter "0" to clear the Recent Documents list. If you want to turn the feature back on at any time, go back to this menu and choose a new number of files to display.

  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word.

  2. 2

    Click the "Microsoft Office Button." Select "Word Options."

  3. 3

    Click the "Advanced" tab. Scroll down to the "Display" section.

  4. 4

    Click "0" in the "Show This Number of Recent Documents" list" to clear the list. Click "OK." To turn the feature back on, go back to this menu and select a different number. The list will update when you open your files.

Tips and warnings

  • In Word 2010, there is a feature you can use to quickly clear all the unpinned items in the Recent Documents list. Click the "File" tab, then click "Recent." Right-click one of the files in the list. Click "Clear Unpinned Items." Click "Yes."

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