Windows 11 recent files and folders crossed out in Start menu.

By default, whenever you click the Start menu in Windows 11, you’ll see a “Recommended” section that includes a list of files and folders you’ve opened recently. Here’s how to turn that off.

First, open Settings. You can find it pinned to the Start menu and click the gear icon, or you can press Windows+i on your keyboard to bring it up.

Click "Settings" in the Windows 11 Start menu.

In Settings, locate the sidebar and click “Personalization.” In the options on the right side of the window, scroll down and select “Start.”

In Windows 11 Settings, click "Personalization," then "Start."

In “Start” settings, set the switch beside “Show recently opened items in Start, Jump lists, and File Explorer” to “Off.”

In Start settings, set the switch beside "Show recently opened items in Start, Jump lists, and File Explorer" to "Off."

Now, close Settings. The next time you open the Start menu, you won’t see your recent files in the “Recommended” section anymore.

A Windows 11 start menu with no recently opened files under "Recommended."

Nice and clean. Have fun exploring Windows 11!

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Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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