Word 2007: Deleting individual documents from the Recent Documents listAugust 6, 2010
You can clear the Recent Documents list of all entries by opening Word Options, selecting the Advanced tab, scrolling to the Display section and setting the value for Show this number of Recent Documents to 0 (zero).
However, what if you only want to remove one or two documents from this list? Perhaps, like me, you need to take a screen shot and there are some document titles in the list that you’d rather not show the world (or your users at least). You only want to get rid of a couple, not the whole lot, so how do you do this?
Update June 2015: This is much easier in Word 2010 onwards — just right-click on the document in the Recent Documents list and select Remove from list. You can also change how many you see at the bottom of the Recent Documents/Recent places window.
However, if you’re using Word 2007, you’ll need to follow the instructions below.
With Word 2007, you need to delete these entries out of the Registry. Be warned: If you are not comfortable with working in the Registry, I suggest that you reset the number to zero using the method above, close Word, re-open Word, reset the number back to what you want, then open and close several documents so that you have a list populated with the documents you want.
If you are familiar with working in the Registry, then here’s how you find and delete the Recent Document entries you don’t want listed. Note: It’s possible that this Registry modification will also modify the list of files shown in the Compare Documents window.
- Close Word.
- Open the Registry. (If you don’t how to do this, you shouldn’t be working in the Registry!!)
- Go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\File MRU (Note: Office 12.0 is Word 2007). For Word 2010, you need to go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Word\File MRU
- Find and select the documents you want to remove. You can select more than one. In the example below, I have some test documents (highlighted in yellow) that I don’t want to see in the screen shot.
- Right-click then select Delete. You are not asked to confirm this deletion. Note: You aren’t deleting the documents — you’re only deleting the link to them from the Recent Documents list.
- Close the Registry.
- Re-open Word — your Recent Documents list will no longer show those documents.