How to Delete Recent Files in Windows 8/10/11?

How to delete recent files in Windows 8 if those files take too many computer resources? You’ll learn to delete recent files and how to disable them in File Explorer in Windows.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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After you use a program, new data files will emerge for running the program smoothly and some of them will leave tracks in File Explorer. These recent files will store on your C drive and they will accumulate on the disk and occupy some free space. Thus, many users wish to delete them and if possible, disable the recent files showing in File Explorer.

Then, how can you safely clear recent files in Windows 11/10/8? If you’re also looking for detailed methods, this guide will help you to remove recent files and offer you some practical ideas on how to clear junk files to improve PC performance.

How to delete recent files in Windows 8/10/11?

First, we’ll show you how to delete recent files.

Step 1. Click “Windows” + “R” to open the Run window, and type or copy and paste the following content and click “OK”: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent

Run appdata recent files

Step 2. In the new window, you can select all files and delete them.

Delete recent files

Then the recent files will be removed. You can regularly clean these files in this way.

How to permanently disable Recent Files in File Explorer?

If you’re sharing your PC with other people, then you might wish to hide recently opened files in File Explorer. The operation is not difficult.

Step 1. Type “Edit group policy” and open it.

Step 2. On the left of the window, please locate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.

Step 3. In the right part, find “Do not keep history of recent opened documents” and double-click it to open its settings window.

Disable recent files in File Explorer

Step 4. In the new window, click “Enable”. And save the changes. Then the recent files won’t show in the File Explorer Quick Access.


How do you clear recently emerged junk files on your PC?

Recent files are quite a small part of the junk files in your computer system. Usually, to ensure your system and programs run smoothly, the system will create numerous temporary data information and various small files. They are important when the system executes the tasks, however, after that, most of them will be obsolete and stay on the disk. What’s worse, they often are stored on the C drive. If you just leave them, they will also devour large available space on your disk. And if you’re using an HDD as the system disk, the PC speed will be greatly affected.

So, to keep your system and disk in a nice status, we suggest you regularly clear junk files. Of course, you can use Windows built-in tools like Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense to do some basic cleaning, but if you want to thoroughly clean all useless files, we recommend you try AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

It is a free disk and partition manager for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP systems to efficiently and easily manage computers. The “PC Cleaner” function can thoroughly scan your computer system and disks to filter all outdated files and clean them with only one click.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, and then click "Free up" > "PC Cleaner".

PC Cleaner

Step 2. In the pop-up window, click "Start Scan" to scan for junk files.

Start scan

Step 3. Wait until the scanning process completes.


Step 4. After the scan is completed, all kinds of available junk files will be listed. Then, tick the options you want to clean, then click "Clean All" to begin the cleaning process.

After scanning

Step 5. When you see a correct symbol displayed in the interface, you can click "Back" to exit the Window.

Cleanup finish

How to delete hidden large files in the Windows system?

Some users may find that, no matter how many times they clean, the disk is still in the dilemma of space insufficiency. The factors of this predicament are multifarious. If you didn’t install large programs on your C drive, then one of the possible reasons is that there are large files hidden in them.

These files may emerge during the program running process. Or they may be once only used for a system task. Windows won’t clear them via Disk Cleanup because they might be recognizable for the system.

Thus, in this case, you can upgrade your AOMEI Partition Assistant from the Standard Edition to the Professional Edition for complete file cleanup. And this edition also allows you to move installed programs from the C drive to another drive/disk if you find there are movable apps on the system drive after the scanning.

Here are how to clean large files hidden deeply in Windows.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, click "Free up", then click "Delete Large Files".

Delete large files

Step 2. In the new interface, all partitions will be listed, you need to tick the target partition and click "Start Scan". (Only the system disk is ticked by default, if you click "Start Scan" with no partition ticked, the tip "Please tick the folder or partition to be scanned and try again" will pop up.)

Start scan

Step 3. After scanning, you can see all the large files, some important large files that you need to pay attention to will be marked in red. Tick the large files you want to delete and click "Delete".


Step 4. In a new window, there’s summarized information about all the target large files, you can see how much space you can get by deleting them. Click "Delete Now", then all target files will be deleted.

Delete now

Final lines

This is how to delete recent files in Windows 8/10/11. If you feel your PC starts to slow down, you can try to clean the junk files and free up more available space on the system partition. AOMEI Partition Assistant has many practical features in the advanced edition such as cloning disk, OS migration, MBR/GPT conversion without cleaning data, etc. And there is the Server Edition for Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2)/2003 users.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.