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Clearing the Recent Documents List

The Recent Documents list is great for quickly reopening files you've worked with recently, particularly because you can increase the size of the list, as described earlier. It's not so great if other people have access to your computer because then they can easily see what you've been working on, and if you've been working on documents that contain sensitive data, the Recent Document list just makes life a bit too easy for a snoop. To increase security, you should remove sensitive items from the Recent Documents list. You can do this either by removing specific documents or by clearing the entire list.

To remove a single item from the Recent Documents list, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+-. (Use the dash on the upper row of the keyboard, not the one on the numeric keypad.) The mouse pointer changes to a horizontal line.
  2. Click the Office button.
  3. In the Recent Documents list, click the document you want to clear.

For maximum privacy and security, you might prefer to clear the entire Recent Documents list (say, at the end of the day when you're done working or when you are leaving your desk for an extended time). You can do this by running the procedure shown in Listing 3.7.

Listing 3.7. A Procedure That Removes All Items From the Recent Documents List

Sub ClearRecentFiles()
    Dim rf As RecentFile
    For Each rf In Application.RecentFiles
     Next 'rf
End Sub
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