Windows XP includes a feature that keeps track of all recent documents you have opened or used. The idea is that you can select Start/Recent Documents History and quickly reopen any document you have recently used. I use many documents each day and never use the feature myself. In my opinion, I can keep up with what I want to use without Windows XP doing it for me.

The bad thing about Recent Documents History is that Windows XP has to calculate what should be put there each time you boot Windows, which can slow things down. So, if you never use the Recent Documents History, it’s a good idea to disable it. Here’s how:

1. Open the Registry Editor (select Start/Run, type regedit, and click OK).

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mcft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

3. Create a NoRecentDocsHistory D_WORD key. Double-click the value to open it once it is created.

4. Set the Data Value to 1 to enable the restriction.

5. Click OK and close the Registry Editor. You’ll need to restart the computer for the change to take effect.


  1. [...] Join Date: Oct 1999 Posts: 2,785 Location: You might look at this short article and see if it helps. I have not had a chance to try what it recommends.…uments-history/ [...]

  2. Steve says:

    For Vista, the Recent Documents are have changed to become a saved search. To remove, go to your user profile folder (in my case, C:\Users\Steve), and open the “Searches” folder. In there you should see “Recent Documents”. If you right-mouse-click and rename this “NoThanks” or something, you should see that “Recent Documents” disappears. If all is well and your a confident type, you can then delete “NoThanks” and have done with it.
    Hope that helps.

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