Clear lists on the Start menu and taskbar

Windows saves a history of the programs, files, folders, and websites you open, and displays them in the Start menu and in the Jump Lists on both the Start menu and the taskbar.

Watch this video to learn how to clear lists on the Start menu and taskbar (1:16)

You might choose to clear this history periodically if, for example, you use a shared or public computer. Clearing items from the Start menu and Jump Lists doesn’t delete the items from your computer, and any pinned items remain pinned.

Picture of the Start Menu tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box
You can clear lists of recently-used programs and recently-opened items.

To clear lists

  1. Open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Taskbar and Start Menu.

  2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then do one of the following:

    • To prevent recently opened programs from appearing in the Start menu, clear the Store and display recently opened programs in the Start menu check box.

    • To clear recently opened files in the Jump Lists on the taskbar and Start menu, clear the Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar check box.

  3. Click OK.

To begin displaying recently opened programs and files again, select the check boxes, and then click OK.

Note

  • Some programs display useful tasks in their Jump Lists. Tasks on a Jump List can’t be added to or removed.