Recent Files Exclusions

Recent Files Exclusions is a free app that provides a way to recursively exclude files and folders from the Windows Recent Files list (the lower pane in Explorer’s home view). This capability is not otherwise available since Windows only allows hiding specific files from Recent Items, after the fact.

Download Recent Files Exclusions

Or get it from the Microsoft Store …

This application is open source. View the code on GitHub.

Why is it necessary?

Windows only provides the ability to exclude (hide) specific files from Recent Items, one by one, after the fact. Further, removal of a folder from Quick Access does not prevent its files from being added to the Recent Files list.

How does it work?

Recent Files Exclusions monitors the Recent Items database in Windows and prunes it in real-time when a change occurs. You can exclude any path or filenames by using a matching substring. For instance, accounting would match all files in c:\users\jeremy\accounting, or a specific filename like accounting-export.csv.

How do I use it?

Simply install and it’ll live in your system tray, pruning your Recent Files in real-time. You can specify your exclusion list by clicking the tray icon to open its main window, or re-launching the app.

Recent Files Exclusions app screenshot
Recent Files Exclusions App Screenshot

Installer Return Codes

0 = success (including over-top replacement)
1 = failure or user abort

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