How to Clear Windows 10 Quick Access History in File Explorer

The Quick Access feature in Windows 10 lets you access frequently used files and folders easily. However, you might want to clear it out periodically.

Windows 10 introduces a new feature in File Explorer called “Quick Access.” It replaces the Favorites feature that was in previous versions of Windows. The new feature allows you easy access to files and folders you frequently use, no matter their location, i.e., a network location or OneDrive.

Quick Access Windows 10

Windows 10’s new Quick Access feature in File Explorer

Quick Access can make your workflow faster and improve productivity. It makes it so you don’t have to navigate to a file or folder buried deep in a directory in the file system. However, you might want to delete the Quick Access history periodically to help maintain some privacy or make a fresh start.

Clear Windows 10 Quick Access History

Click Start and type: file explorer options and hit Enter or click the option at the top of the search results.

Start Windows 10

In the Privacy section, make sure both boxes are checked for recently used files and folders in Quick Access and click the Clear button.

Clear Quick Access History

That’s it. This comes in handy if you’re working on different projects and need to start with a clean slate of new files and folders. It also helps your privacy by not showing the items you’re accessing a lot. When people pass by or look over your shoulder, you might not want certain things to show up.

If you’re not a fan of Quick Access, you can make Windows 10 open File Explorer to This PC instead.

For more about using File Explorer, check out our article on tips for managing files and folders in Windows 10.

What’s your opinion on the Quick Access view in Windows 10? Are you a fan or prefer the classic This PC view? Let us know in the comment section below.



  1. prabakaran

    For the kind of work I do with the PC, THIS PC is sufficient. In addition the additional facility takes up Disk space, without producing tangible benefits.

  2. arrow

    A welcome post. I can see some value in Quick Access but after years of dealing with Windows versions I far prefer This PC, a value I am accustomed too,

  3. Johan

    THis really helped in fixing a persistent problem.

  4. Tim

    Thanks for your post – but wouldn’t it be shorter/easier to say

    1. Right-click on Quick Access, selection Options, Click Clear?

  5. RS

    Uhu, workfiles. Lets just be honest here, we mainly use this procedure to hide other things. ;-)

  6. bigbilly

    THANK YOU! now my mom wont see the alarming amount of porn on my computer by accidentally clicking on my quick access to try to find innocent photos of my dog!

  7. John IL

    Sometimes I download video files to download folder. I delete them but the link to the file shows up still in Quick Access. Doesn’t seem to be helpful at all if it doesn’t recognize the file has been deleted off the local drive? I don’t use cloud storage and do not link OneDrive to my PC either. Nice I can just turn it off.

  8. Simon

    Seems to have helped with slow creation / renaming / deletion of folders

  9. esa

    Doesn’t work. Still appears above This PC list. (Latest Windows 10 version)

  10. May

    Quick Access makes things easier especially for those of us who deal with many files. I sure do not need to add them to favorites like in the past. I however would prefer to not see the files that are deleted.

  11. Cary

    “That’s it” isn’t quite right…
    If the item(s) is ‘pinned’ IT WILL NOT BE REMOVED!
    Must be ‘unpinned’, either before or after it is “cleared”.

  12. Mymimilami Santos

    This helped so much thank you! My school wont see the anime photos now Lmao

  13. Monica Alvarez

    I hate file explorer.. It distracts me. I prefer to choose what I want to open myself and not be presented with million files in front of me. I know what I opened last. Not sure I understood how to remove it, though

  14. Mohak Dudhani

    Lovely!! worked like a charm! Thanks

  15. Ak Snak

    Thank you so much! Now I’m not bothered by that mess of unorganized files!

  16. Paul Reicht

    Perfect direction, could not have been easier.

  17. DCRobbie

    Quick access just keeps growing and growing. I’ve tried selecting the two options under PRIVACY in File Explorer options and then selecting CLEAR and APPLY to no avail. Cannot make it disappear.

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