When you launch the Microsoft Word program on your computer, you get quick access to several of its main features right on the home screen. One of these is the recently used files list for Microsoft Word. This option lets you quickly access the documents that you were recently working on, and clicking on any of these opens up the file in the program.

Feb 22, 2020 If Microsoft Office Word 2016 or 2013 no longer shows Recent Documents below the Open option, you can not open an edited Word document via the Recent option. Follow the advice on this page, you'll efficiently restore the disappeared list of recent documents, and even recover the lost Word file with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Word has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to read and author documents. Word also offers the Accessibility Checker that locates elements that might cause problems for people with disabilities.

  1. May 11, 2020  Clear recent items in Word and Excel 2016 for Mac Hi, I would like to clear my Recent lists. But I do not have the option to 'Clear unpinned items'. When I right click I am just given the option to 'Remove from Recent'. Any idea how I can fix this? The option to clear unpinned documents is only available for the Office 2016 suite on.
  2. Sep 05, 2016 This article will guide you on how to disable or delete your recent document list in Microsoft Word or Excel. This will give you little security and safety from other users who may use your PC. They will not guess or know which files you were working on. The procedure is very easy to follow and implement.

It’s a pretty quick way to get back to your work that you left unfinished the previous time. You actually save yourself from the hassle of manually finding the document wherever it’s saved on your computer. The software finds and displays that for you.

Although it’s a really useful feature, it may not be so for some users. If you’re someone who never uses this recently used files list in Word and you’d rather not have it there, you can actually disable it in the program. You can also remove specific documents from the list if you don’t want to disable it entirely.

Clear a Single Recently Used File In Microsoft Word

If it’s only a single or a few files that you’d like to remove from the recently used files list in MS Word, you can do it by right-clicking on the files and selecting an option. It removes your chosen files from the list and you can do it for as many files as you want.

  • Launch the Microsoft Word program on your computer.
  • When it opens, you’ll likely land on the home screen. On this screen, you’ll find the Recent section showing all of your recent files created in the program.
    To remove a file from the list, right-click on the file and select Remove from list.
  • The file will instantly be removed without any prompts.

The next file in the list will take up the removed file’s place.

Remove All The Recently Used Files In Microsoft Word

If you don’t want for any of your recent files to appear in the list, you can remove all the files from there by selecting a single option in Word. It’ll clear up the entire list and give you an empty section on the home screen.

These steps should work for the latest MS Word 2019/Office 365. If you’re an Office 2016 user, please skip to the next section.

  • Open the MS Word software on your computer.
  • Although the option to clear the entire recent list is built into Word, you’re not going to see it when you right-click on any file on the homescreen. You’ll first need to click on an option before the option is revealed.
    Click on Open in the left sidebar of Word.
  • Your recent files list will appear on the right-hand side pane. To clear all the entries from this list, right-click on any one of the documents in the list and select Clear unpinned items.
  • A prompt will appear saying that all the items from the list will be removed. Click on the Yes button to continue.

You should find that your recent documents list is now empty.

Remove The Recently Used Documents In Word 2016

If you’re on Microsoft Word 2016, you can actually clear the entire recently used files list in Word without going to the Open menu.

While you’re on the home screen of the software, right-click on any of your recent documents and select Clear unpinned items. Hit Yes in the prompt that follows and your list will be cleared.

As you can see, there isn’t a huge difference between doing the task in Office 2019 and Office 2016 but it’s good to know exactly where the option is located in various versions of the software.

Disable The Recently Used Files Section In Microsoft Word

Recently used files section in Word may be helpful to many users, even with certain items removed from it. However, if you do not happen to use it at all and you find it taking unnecessary space on the Word’s home screen, you can actually get it removed from there.

The recent files section can be completely disabled and there’s a built-in option in the software to do it. Also, if you ever decide to get it back, you can do so by reversing the change you made to the settings.

  • Open Microsoft Word on your computer.
  • On the home screen, look for the option that says Options, usually located at the lower-left corner, and click on it to open it.
  • A box will open on your screen letting you manage several settings for Word. You need to find the option that says Advanced in the left sidebar and click on it. The option you’re looking for is located there.
  • When it opens, scroll down until you find the section that says Display. There’ll be an entry named Show this number of Recent Documents and then a number specified next to it. What you want to do is decrease the number from whatever it is right now to 0 (zero). You can also directly type 0 in the field.
  • Click on the OK button at the bottom to save the changes.
  • The next time you launch the program, you’ll find that there are no entries at all in the list.

What you actually did above was set the number of recent documents to zero and Word displayed zero (empty) entries on its home screen.

How To Bring Back The Recently Used Files List In Word

If you ever need to bring the recent documents list back, you can do so by opening the same Options panel and then clicking on Advanced.

Then enter the number of recent documents you want to see in the Display section’s first option and hit OK. Your list should be back.


If Microsoft Office Word 2016 or 2013 no longer shows Recent Documents below the Open option, you can not open an edited Word document via the Recent option. Relax! Follow the advice on this page, you'll efficiently restore the disappeared list of recent documents, and even recover the lost Word file with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

How do I find recent documents in Word

'The recent files list was always there whenever I open the File > Open option in Microsoft Office Word on Windows 10. However, not this time.

The Excel, Notepad, and PowerPoint are all fine, whereas the Word 2016 is not showing recent documents anymore. I don't know what happened and I need help to restore the disappeared recent list so that I could continue using this function again.'

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Sign In with MS AccountOpen a blank Word file > Sign in with email > Enter your password..Full steps
Method 2. Disable and Re-enable Recent DocumentsDisable Recent Documents > Open Advanced feature > Set the number..Full steps

The Recent Documents option is regarded as quick access for Microsoft Office users to get their saved documents, excel, or powerpoint, etc. files. When you can't find a Word document on your local PC drive, the Recent Documents option can also help you quickly locate and access it.

Word Download

However, according to some MS Office Word users, the Recent Document option may not show up in the Word application. If you happen to have this incident on your Windows PC, don't worry. In the following, you'll learn the causes that make Word Recent Documents option disappeared and how to recover it in Word 2016/2013.

Why is recent documents list not showing in Word

To bring the missing recent documents back to its list in the Windows operating system, you must figure out the exact causes in the first place. Mostly, there are three reasons that may disable the recent documents list showing up in Word application:

# 1. Recent Word files were manually removed from the Recent Documents list

Microsoft Office allows users to remove an individual file from the recently used file list with the option 'Remove from list'. In fact, you don't remove the file from your entire system unless you pressed 'Delete'.

If you have manually removed or deleted the recently opened or edited word documents from the Recent Documents list, you'll have to find and open your Word files one by one on your local drive or external storage devices.

# 2. Microsoft Office Word is logged out with no MS account

Sometimes, if you used to sign in with a Microsoft Office account in Word 2013, 2016 while editing documents, the Word application would record all the operations and changes that you have made into your MS account.

As a result, when you sign out with your MS Account in MS Word, you may lose some recordings, such as the Recent Document list recordings.

# 3. The Recent Documents list was disabled

Drivers anatel wn5301a h1 v02. Usually, the MS Office Word Recent Document list was enabled by default. However, due to false operation or personal needs, some users may disable this feature to speed up Microsoft Office Word on their computers. If it's so, the workarounds towards this issue are available in the next part to help.

Continue reading to check and apply a suitable solution to make the recent Word files re-appear in the list.

How to recover recent documents in Word on Windows 10/8/7

In this part, we're going to illustrate some practical solutions that you can pick up to bring the disappeared Recent Documents list back on your Word 2013/2016. The provided methods can also be applied to other versions of Microsoft Office applications like MS Excel, PPT, Word 2010, etc.

Fix 1. Sign In with MS Account to Make Recent Documents Show Up in Word

If you are currently logged out of your MS account, you can retry to sign in with your Microsoft Office account to bring the disappeared Recent Document list show up:

Step 1. Open a blank new Word file, click 'Sign in' at the right top corner and select 'Yes' to allow Office connect to the Internet.

Step 2. Sign in with your email address or phone number, click 'Next' to continue.

Step 3. Enter your password and click 'Sign in' to log in to your MS account.

Step 4. Now, you can open a new Word file, go to File > Open > Check the Recent Document list under Open.

If the recent Word files show up on the list, congratulations. You can directly access and open these files through this list. If nothing appears, follow the next fix to enable the Recent Documents list feature.

Fix 2. Disable and re-enable Recent Documents feature

If the Recent Document feature is disabled, you won't be able to view anything under the Open column in MS Word 2013, 2016. You can first try to disable this feature and then re-enable it with new settings in Word:

Step 1. Disable Recent Documents feature in Word

1. Open Word 2013/2016, click File -> Options -> Advanced.

2. Under Display, set 'Show this number of Recent Documents' to '0' and uncheck the box of 'Quickly access this number of Recent Documents'.

Step 2. Re-enable Recent Documents in MS Word

1. Open Advanced feature in Word by opening a new Word file, go to File > Options > Advanced.

Word 2016 For Mac Help

2. Set the number '0' to '10' '15' '25' or other numbers as you like next to 'Show this number of Recent Documents'. If this number is set to zero, undoubtedly, you don't see a single recent document showing in this area.

3. Check the box of 'Quickly access this number of Recent Documents' and change the number '0' to '10' '15' '25' or other numbers as you like.

Step 3. Click 'OK' to keep all the changes, restart the Word application.

After this, you can open a new Word file, go to File > Open > Recent Documents to check your missing Word files from the list.

Bonus Tip: Restore Missing or Lost Word Documents

After making Word document files show up in the Recent Documents list, you can quickly access and open your files through this list. If MS Word doesn't bring up your desired Word file, don't worry. You can first try to search the document name on your PC, or check the Recycle Bin to see if you can find the file.

If nothing is found, the Word file is probably lost or missing. At this moment, reliable Office file recovery software is the best choice to bring your recently lost or missing documents back.

EaseUS file recovery software is able to help. No matter how you lost your files, it takes only 3 steps to scan and bring your lost files back:

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing 'Documents' from the drop-down list in 'Filter'.


Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click 'Recover'.

Further Word FAQs

On this page, we included two fixes of making Recent Documents show up in Word 2013, 2016. We also introduce a bonus tip to help you recover lost or deleted Word document on your computer.

Here, we also gathered some frequently asked questions about the MS Word document. If you are interested in one of them, continue reading and you may find a desired answer or satisfying solution toward your issues:

Question 1: How do I find my recent documents in Windows 10?

Answer: The recent documents option has been removed from Windows 10. However, you can still access all your recent files via Quick access on your PC.

Press Windows Key + E > Open File Explorer > Select 'Quick access' > Check all your recently viewed files or documents under Recent files.

Question 2: How do I find recent documents in Word?

Answer: Your Recent Documents list is under the File menu in Word. To open it, you need to launch the Word application, go to File > Open > Click 'Recent Documents' and then you will see a list of your recent documents.

You can simply click the document to open it. If you don't see anything below the Recent Document list, try the provided solutions on this page to fix it.

Question 3. How do I recover an unsaved Word document?

Answer: Microsoft Office has added this feature to automatically keep the unsaved document when you accidentally closed the Word or Excel application. To restore the unsaved Word file, you can simply relaunch Word app > Go to File > Open > Click 'Recover Unsaved Document' > Select the unsaved file and save it as .doc or .docx on another secure location.

If you have further questions on restoring lost or closed Word file without saving, refer to this link for more detailed solutions: 3 Ways to Recover Unsaved Word Document in Windows 10.

If you have more questions, try the Search options on our website (https://www.easeus.com) or go to the How-To tips page to find more solutions.