How to Clear Recent Documents in Excel (3 Effective Ways)

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Clearing recent documents in Excel defines the removal of the recent documents from the Recent tab. We often clear recent documents to have a more sophisticated look at the workbook.
In this free Excel tutorial, we will try to learn 3 simple and effective ways to clear recent documents in Excel.

How to Clear Recent Documents in Excel

In this article, I will try to explain how to clear recent documents in Excel-

  • Using Excel Options feature
  • Applying Remove from List option and
  • Implementing a VBA code

I hope you will have a clear idea of how to clear recent documents in Excel after reading this article.


How to Clear Recent Documents in Excel: 3 Effective Ways

In this article, you will see 3 different processes to clear recent documents in Excel. Two of them with the built-in options and one with a simple VBA code. You can apply these methods regardless of which version of Excel you are using. No matter, if you are using Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, or more recent versions like Excel 2019, Excel 2021, or Excel 365.


1. Using Excel Options Feature to Clear Recent Documents

This method clears all the recent documents and at the same time prevents any recent documents from being saved. Please follow the instructions below.

Steps:

  • First, go to the File tab.

how to clear recent documents in excel

  • After that, you will see a lot of files that you used recently or even a long time ago.
  • To remove them from the list, click on Options.

Using Excel Options Feature to Clear Recent Documents

  • Next, in the Excel Options window, select Advanced and then go to the Display.
  • Later, set ‘Show this Number of Recent Workbooks’ to 0 (zero).
  • Thereafter, click OK.

Finally, you will see all the recent documents removed from the history.

Thus, you can clear recent documents in Excel by using the Options feature. If you open new workbooks, the Recent tab of the Excel workbook will still be empty because of this command.


2. Clear Unpinned Workbooks Applying ‘Remove from List’

We can use the Remove from List or Clear Unpinned Workbooks function to clear recent documents. Let’s have a look at the following procedure.

Steps:

  • First, go to the File menu and then go to the Recent tab.
  • Right-click on any of the recent documents that you want to remove and select Remove from List.
  • This command will remove that recent document.

Applying Remove from List or Clear Unpinned Workbooks Function to Clear Recent Documents

  • Thereafter, if you want to clear all the recent documents, go to More Workbooks. You will find this option at the right bottom corner of the Recent tab.

  • Next, in the Workbooks tab, right-click on any of the recent documents and select Clear unpinned items.

  • This command will lead you to a warning message. Just click Yes.

Implementing VBA to Clear Recent Documents

  • After that, you will see all the recent documents removed from the history.

Applying Remove from List or Clear Unpinned Workbooks Function to Clear Recent Documents

Thus, you can clear recent documents in Excel by using the Remove from List or Clear Unpinned Items function.

Read More: How to Clear Excel Temp Files


3. Implementing VBA to Clear Recent Documents

We can also use Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to clear recent documents in Excel. Let’s go through the process below.

Steps:

  • First, go to the Developer tab and then select Visual Basic.

Implementing VBA to Clear Recent Documents

  • After that, the VBA editor will appear. Select Insert >> Module to open a VBA Module.

  • Now, type the following code in the VBA Module.
Sub ClearRecentDocuments()
On Error Resume Next
Do Until Err.Number <> 0
Application.RecentFiles.Item(1).Delete
Loop
End Sub

The code uses a Do Loop statement to remove all the recent documents from the history.

  • After that, go back to your sheet and run the Macro named ClearRecentDocuments.

  • Next, go to the File tab and you will see all the recent documents removed from the history.

Implementing VBA to Clear Recent Documents

Thus you can clear recent documents by using VBA.

Read More: Difference Between Delete and Clear Contents in Excel


In this article, I have explained how to clear recent documents in Excel using Excel Options feature, applying ‘Remove from List’ option and implementing a VBA code. I hope this article is a great help for you.


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Meraz Al Nahian
Meraz Al Nahian

Md. Meraz Al Nahian has worked with the ExcelDemy project for over 1.5 years. He wrote 140+ articles for ExcelDemy. He also solved a lot of user problems and worked on dashboards. He is interested in data analysis, advanced Excel, statistics, and dashboards. He also likes to explore various Excel and VBA applications. He completed his graduation in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). He enjoys exploring Excel-related features to gain efficiency... Read Full Bio

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