How do I delete items in the Recent Document list?


MT the Marble

I move files a lot around my harddrive. When I want to open a file I recently
opened, it's there on the Recent Documents list. However, I have most
probably moved the file and I have to re-open it the manual way. Is there any
way to delete the files there?

Herb Tyson [MVP]

What version of Word? If Word 2003 or earlier, press Ctrl+Alt+Dash (top row
dash... between 0/) and+/=). This turns the pointer into a big dash. Click
on File, and then click on the file you want removed from the list.

If you're using Word 2007, there's no easy and direct way. You can set the
number of recent documents to 0 and then back to the desired number. But,
that gets rid of them all, rather than selectively.

Panish Desai


I think you are using MS Word 2007. You can follow the steps below and that
can help you in removing the items from Recent document list on Office Button

Step 1: Remove an Item from Recent Document List in Word 2007

1. Quit Word 2007 and Close all the other applications.
2. Use key combination "Windows Key + R" to get Run prompt, type "regedit"
(Without Quotes) and Click OK
3. Locate the Folder "
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\File MRU"
4. On the Right Side Column of folder File MRU, you should find the list
of Items (check the File name under Data Column)
5. Right Click on the required Item and Delete the Item.
6. Close the Registry Editor and Launch Word 2007

Graham Mayor

*Word up to 2003*
If you want to delete them all then set tools > options > general > recently
used files to 0, confirm the change, then change it back to the number it
was previously.

See also

If you want to selectively delete, then it gets altogether more complicated,
but friend and fellow MVP Greg Maxey has done all the work - see

*Word 2007*
The list is stored in the registry at
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12\Word\FileMRU, from where you
can delete individual entries
You can use the following macro which will reset the list to your preset
preferred number of displayed documents:

Sub ClearMRU
Application.DisplayRecentFiles = True
listsize = RecentFiles.Maximum
RecentFiles.Maximum = 0
RecentFiles.Maximum = listsize
End Sub

or again to edit the list see

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Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site

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Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site

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A more incremental method is to just ignore the outdated listing and
manually open then save it. Eventually the old link will fall off the
bottom of the list. No messing around in Registry or reading up
on specific procedures. (Yeah, the Lazy Man's Way usually works
for me.)

Terry Farrell

In Word 2007, you can have 50+ files listed in the MRU (depending on the
size/resolution of your screen), so the lazy man's way may take a very long



Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. I'm lazy enough to set Word 2003 at
its max of 9 but I can't imagine setting it at 50. Maybe 20 max.
After 20 or so, I won't even remember opening the file. ;-)

Besides, I can ignore the old link for a very, very long time. The
old link always is below the new one you created by manually opening
and saving the file in its new location, so you'll see the new one
first when eyeballing down the list.

I know, this is a kludge work-around and not the elegant full-blown
solution that experts like to offer; but sometimes the problem is not
worth the effort to fix it elegantly.

Jelle Janssens

Thanks a lot about the CTRL+ALT+- combo. I really didn't know about
that and I couldn't find something like HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\File MRU in the registry. It was for a non-
technical user anyway, so this method is easier than explaining them
how to navigate in the registry.

Kind regards,

Terry Farrell

Just beware that any menu or menu item that you click on with the thick
black hyphen will be deleted; not just the MRU files. It may be even more
dangerous for novice users.


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