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Clear recent documents in Word

Microsoft Word keeps track of the list of documents opened by the user. This list is displayed in the File menu. Press Alt-F and you can see the Filemenu along with the list of recently opened documents.If you are sharing the account with others and don’t want the list of the documents to be displayed. then you can disable this feature by doing the following steps. Note that this is a per user list of documents, other users won’t be able to see the list from their accounts.Word 2007

  • Open File menu( Press Alt -F)
  • Click on Word Options button ( this is at the bottom of the File menu, see the above image)


  • In the Word options window select ‘Advanced‘ from the list displayed on the left.
  • Scroll down and navigate to the section ‘Display‘.
  • In ‘Show this number of recent documents‘ box, set the number to 0.
  • Press OK button and close the window.

Word 2010(Office 2010):

The steps for clearing recent document list in Word 2010 are slightly different.

  • Open File menu and select Options
  • Click on Advanced tab
  • Go the the display section.  Set the value to 0 for the setting ‘show this number of recent documents‘.
After changing the settings as above, Word will not track the list of the documents you accessed and so it does not show any entries in the File menu. Even if the above setting is reverted, it won’t show the list of documents previously opened as it did not keep track of them.  It will start tracking the list only after the setting is enabled.
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jim Considine June 22, 2011, 10:07 pm

    The box on my Office 2007 (Word and Excel) is grayed out and will not accept inputting a number.

  • Techblogger June 23, 2011, 9:31 am

    Setting the following registry value to 0 would solve the issue.

    NoRecentDocsHistory (DWORD) under HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer

    Source: //forums.techarena.in/office-setup/742337.htm

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