Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to Clear and Delete Recent Documents List in Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Microsoft Office 2007 Word, Excel and PowerPoint uses new Office Fluent Ribbon user interface with a big right pane section of the Office menu been devoted to “Recent Documents” list. The “Recent Documents” list reconds each and every files that user opens recently, and display the list whenever Office button is pressed for quick easy access.
The “Recent Documents” list shouldn’t be any problem if you’re the only user on the computer. However, if the same computer and same user account is shared by many people, or you’re using a borrowed or public computer, the “Recent Documents” will expose documents using trace. To protect your privacy, users need to delete all file opened history in “Recent Documents”.
Click on Office button, and then click on Word Options (in Word 2007) or Excel Options (in Excel 2007) or PowerPoint Options (in PowerPoint 2007) in the bottom of Office Menu. Go to the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Display section. Set the value for Show this number of Recent Documents: to 0 (zero).
Click OK button. Repeat steps above again, and set back the value for the number of Recent Documents to show to its original default, i.e. 17. If you don’t want this particular Office 2007 application to remember any Recent Documents, you can leave the value at 0 and skip this step. Note that you have to do this for each Word, Excel and PowerPoint individually. And if you not intend to delete all entries in “Recent Documents” list, or don’t want to perform the task one by one on many Office 2007 products, it’s possible to clear and delete the “Recent Documents” items, all or some of them, in the registry.
To do so, run Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the one of the following registry key branches:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\File MRUHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\File MRUHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\PowerPoint\File MRU

Each registry key represent a corresponding Office 2007 product respectively, which should be pretty obviously. Inside the File MRU key, there are plenty of items on the right value pane. Delete any - one, some or all - of the item entries that you want to make disappear and delete from “Recent Documents” list. Restart respective Office 2007 program to see the changes.

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