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I recently received a question regarding my article about Microsoft Office 2010 Backstage View. “Is there anyway I can also remove the list in Recent Places.” Let’s take a look at that.

The Recent Places panel appears in Word 2010, Excel 2010, and PowerPoint 2010. There are a few things you can do to customize the Recent Places panel. You can:

  • Pin locations (always keep these locations in the list)
  • Unpin locations
  • Selectively remove locations
  • Clear all unpinned locations

To Get Started

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click the Recent option:

To Pin a Location to the List

Click the Pin button next to location name

Or right-click the location and select Pin to list

To Unpin a Location from the List

Click the Pin button next to location name

Or right-click the location and select Unpin from list

To Selectively Remove a Location

  1. Right-click the location you want to remove
  2. Select Remove from list

    (This option is available even if the location is pinned to the list)

To Clear All Unpinned Locations

  1. Right-click any location on the Recent Places list
  2. Select Clear unpinned Places

    (If you want to remove all the locations in the list, make sure none of the locations are pinned.)
  3. Click Yes

    This will clear all the unpinned locations from your Recent Places list.

You can use the same techniques to customize the Recent Documents, Recent Workbooks, and Recent Presentations lists in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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15 Responses to “Recent Places in Microsoft Office 2010”

  1. Thanks for sharing these great resources with your readership. If you are interested, I’m sure the Office community would love to learn some of these tips and tricks on the Office page on Facebook. You can join the community at http://www.facebook.com/Office.

    Microsoft Office Outreach

  2. How can this Recent Documents and Recent Places be removed once and forever and not start each time Word is started?


  3. I have the same question as George…this feature is annoying.

    How can this Recent Documents and Recent Places be removed once and forever and not start each time Word is started?


  4. Any news? I’d like to disable this as well.

  5. You cannot directly edit the File tab in Office 2010, so you can’t just remove the Recent group. To not show Recent Documents, go to File>Options>Advanced, scroll down to the Display section and change Show this number of Recent Documents: to 0.
    Microsoft has an article about changing the number of Recent Places http://support.microsoft.com/kb/983006/en-us This involves editing the Registry. This is not something I do, so if you’re going to try it, follow their instructions carefully.

  6. I’m hoping you can help me with a related question or at least point me in the right direction. I’d like to be able to customize the view of the recent documents/places. I find the icons distracting and unnecessary and do not need the address of the document displayed. Is there a way to change this? Office 2007 had a nice long list (of just documents names) that displayed all at once. It was clean and simple and I’d like it back (or something like it.) With all of the customization available in Office 2010, I’m a little surprised I can’t do this. Thanks.

  7. I think this is what Stuck@work is looking for.
    Click the File tab and select recent. At the bottom of the page, check the “Quickly access this number of Recent Documents:” and enter a number (up to 20). This will display that number of recent documents on the left, between the Close command and Info tab.

  8. Is there a way to get to the recent places when saving a file. It is nice to open recent places but I want to be able to save to them as well from the save dialog box.


  9. This all refers to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, however, in my Outlook 2007, when saving attachments, I had the option in the left pane of the save window for “recent places,” which saved a LOT of navigation time. That option does not appear in Outlook 2010, as far as I can find. Is there a way to put it in there? (Leave it to MS to constantly “improve” their products and make them harder to use and eliminate the helpful elements .)

  10. “I have the same question…this feature is annoying.

    How can this Recent Documents and Recent Places be removed once and forever and not start each time Word is started?”

    Hate the ribbon. No value-add, just a barrier to entry for anyone already familiar with Office programs.

  11. I have a similar related question.
    I’ve recently transitioned from Office 2003 to 2010 and found the recent documents list that opened down the right side of the screen extremely useful.
    Does anyone know if or how I can get Word 2010 & Excel 2010 to show the File tab instead of the Home tab on startup?
    I also would like the option to not open a new blank document on startup, as I am generally working on existing documents.

  12. my issue with word/ppt/excel 2010 is that even when i try to unpin or clear the recents, the recent list seems to be stuck on a few docs that were opened a long time ago and the legitimate recent docs never seem to show up on the list. somehow the mechanism seems broken. does anyone else see this behavior?

  13. I am the opposite, I Have Microsoft 2010 and I want to “ENABLE” Recent Documents which currently does not happen. The Word and Powerpoint do. Please advise.

  14. I do not ever want any documents to show up in the Recent list.

    I’ve tried the settings changes suggested by Posted by: Steve Sopchak September 7th, 2010 at 11:20 am and it shows 0 (zero) recent documents but the recent documents are still in the list.

    I’ve changed the settings and then closed Excel completely and brought it back up and it still shows the zero recent documents setting but it also still shows documents in the stinking list.

    Any updates on how to get ride of this feature completely and for good?


  15. Hi there,

    I have the same issue as Dee here.

    I can’t seem to delete a select few items out of the list as they just remain there, all others, I’ve been able to delete out however very easily via the right click, remove from this list function.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to go about this?

    Thank you in advance!


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