Disable Recently Used Files in Ubuntu 17.10 / 18.04

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Ubuntu desktop keeps track of recent files and folders you open so you can quickly access them when you need to in the future. files that you open frequently are at the top of the list. This feature is there to help you get to the stuff you recently opened or used to improve your productivity.

It also makes it easier to find items that you have been working on in the file manager. however this can also be a privacy nightmare. for privacy minded folks, it can quickly be disabled or turned off.

Ubuntu allows you to completely disable the recently used feature so it never records your file manage activities. Do this to keep your file usage history private instead, or only track your very recent history.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to turn off file history tracking to improve your pravicy.

When you’re ready, continue the the steps below

Step 1: Turn off File History Tracking

To disable or turn off file tracking on Ubuntu, go to the system menu at the top right corner and select System Settings options.

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Then nagivate to Privacy to open the panel

Select Usage & History.

Set the Recently Used switch to OFF.

ubuntu recenly used

To re-enable this feature, set the Recently Used switch to ON.

Use the Clear Recent History button to purge the history immediately.

Doing this will have no effect on your web browsing history. To disble tracking in the browser, you’ll have to do that within the browser settings page.

Step 2: Only Keep History for Brief Period

If you don’t now wish to completely disable the Recently Used feature, you can configure it to only keep file history for a day or two. The default settings stores it forever.

To only retain history of your recenly used files for a few days, configure the settings from the same panel.

Do not turn OFF Recently Use, but instead,

Select the length of time to Retain History. Choose from options 1 day7 days30 days, or Forever.

ubuntu recently used items

Use the Clear Recent History button to purge the history immediately.

This is how to turn off recently used items in Ubuntu.


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  1. I cannot find recent documents at all? how to enable and access them?

  2. Charlie Jonshon

    From this article, I got to know how to disable recently used files in ubuntu, here it is explained very nicely with its respective screenshot also can check windows 10 startup folder for any further query regarding windows.

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