Clear Recent Documents in Microsoft Word 2010

Microsoft Word 2010 is a widely used work processing program that focuses on making the user experience as streamlined and as simple as possible. This is accomplished through the use of the navigational ribbon and menus displayed at the top of the program, and through the multiple levels of customization that are possible with the program’s various options. One way that Microsoft Word 2010 attempts to simplify the user experience is through the inclusion of a Recent menu that becomes accessible after you click the Office button located at the top-left corner of the Microsoft Word 2010 program window. This Recent menu is meant to serve as a simple way for you to access documents on which you have recently been working, without needing to sift through your Documents folder, or remember the obscure location in which you saved the file. However, if you want to clear recent documents from Microsoft Word 2010’s memory, then method for doing so is not abundantly clear.


Clear Recent Documents from Microsoft Word 2010 Entirely


Anyone that has used Microsoft Word to create more than a handful of documents can understand why Microsoft has included a method for you to quickly locate your recent documents. However, some people use a shared computer to produce documents that contain sensitive information, or they are creating documents that they do not want other people to be reading or even editing. This concern for privacy can lead to an effort to clear recent documents from Microsoft Word 2010, but locating the method for doing so is not as intuitive as one might think.

Microsoft Word 2010 program settings and customization options are mostly found on the Options menu that is located at the bottom of the menu that opens when you click the Office button at the top-left corner of the Microsoft Word window.

Click Options to clear recent documents


Once you click the Options menu, a pop-up window will open on top of Microsoft Word 2010, appropriately titled Word Options. If you click the Advanced option at the left side of the Word Options window, you will be given a number of options for customizing the way that your Microsoft Word 2010 installation behaves.

Clear recent documents from the Advanced menu


Included among the list of options on this screen, once you scroll down a little bit, is a Display section that contains the setting you need to adjust to clear recent documents from Microsoft Word 2010. Simply click the arrows to the right of Show this number of Recent Documents until the number is 0. If you do want to keep some of your recent documents displayed, you can set this number to any value that you want.

clear recent documents by setting the value to 0


Once you have finished setting the number of recent documents to 0, you can click the OK button at the bottom of the window to save your changes and close the window. If you now click the Recent option at the left side of the window, you will see that all of your recent documents have been removed from the list.

If you want to learn how to make additional customizations to Microsoft Word 2010 and your documents, you can also read this article to learn about adding page borders and other effects.

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