How to add Recent Folders and Recent Items to the navigation pane in Windows 10

In two previous articles, we reviewed how to add Recent Folders and Recent Items locations to Quick Access. The Quick Access folder is the new default location where File Explorer opens in Windows 10. If you want to add Recent Folders and/or Recent Items outside of Quick Access as separate items in the left pane (navigation pane), you can apply a simple Registy tweak as described below.
Windows 10 recent items and recent folders in nav pane

This tweak will be suitable for those who have disabled Quick Access from being shown in File Explorer using Winaero Tweaker or manually using this guide: How to hide and remove Quick Access icon from File Explorer in Windows 10.

Remember the article How to re-add Favorites to navigation pane of Windows 10 Explorer? Today, we will use exactly the same method to add Recent Folders and Recent Items to the navigation pane. They will appear as separate items in the left area of File Explorer.

To avoid Registry editing, I prepared ready-to-use Registry files which you can download and apply.

Download Registry Files

In the ZIP archive you downloaded, you will find some *.reg files: Add Recent Folders.reg, Add Recent Items.reg and Restore Defaults.reg. Double click the desired file to make the changes and then re-open File Explorer windows. There is a folder called "64-bit". If you are running 64-bit Windows 10, then you must additionally merge the appropriate files from that subfolder.

If you prefer to do everything manually, do the following:

First refer to our Registry Editor guide. Here is how you do the Registry tweaks manually:

Add Recent Folders to the navigation pane of File Explorer in Windows 10

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Recent Places"


@="Recent Places"


Add Recent Items to the navigation pane of File Explorer in Windows 10

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Recent Items"


@="Recent Items"


That's it. You are done!

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

19 thoughts on “How to add Recent Folders and Recent Items to the navigation pane in Windows 10”

  1. Well done Sergey. An added benefit of your method is that the Recent Folders and Recent Items also work in Windows 10 Open and Save As dialogue boxes. Additionally, the Recent Folders works in the File Explorer jump list. I tip my hat to you, sir. Your solution is better than the one I published back in August.

    – ThePhinx

    1. Hi,
      I ran these reg files and was delighted to see that they seemed to work both in the file explorer and in save as /open commands. Unfortunately I’ve just realised on saving an image from the web that it doesn’t seem to be the case for browser save as commands. Not only do I still not see Recent Places there but I also still see OneDrive, which I removed using a different regedit guide. I’m wondering if there’s a step I missed somewhere along the line, or something extra I need to do?
      Thanks in advance,

  2. Tried this on two computers, and it works for the regular Explorer windows, but is not there for “Save As”

    Weird thing is, I had to use the regular (not 64 bit) one even though my OS is 64 bit.

  3. Same for me I’m afraid – worked perfectly in Explorer but not in Save As. So thanks for Explorer – shame about Save As. Any ideas as to why it didn’t work?

  4. Thanks for the tweaks. Wish you had dates on the article and on the comments so we know if we are looking at something 2 days or 200 days old.

      1. I don’t see the article date or tags either. And it would be nice if the dates would also show on user comments. Perhaps a browser issue winaero should look at? I’m using IE in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. (Edge is STILL missing functionality I use often.) Posted 10/30/2016 in case others can’t see the date.

        And thanks big time Sergey for the tip. Easier than the tip posted by ThePhinx, who now links here and recommends your solution instead.

        1. The article has the following meta:

          This entry was posted in Windows 10 and tagged left pane recent places, recent items, recent items left pane, recent places, Windows 10 recent items, Windows 10 recent places on January 22, 2016 by Sergey Tkachenko.

          Well, for comments, I will do something.

          1. Sergey –

            I searched for “2016” on the page and finally found the date (and other meta) at the bottom of the article, underneath “related articles.” So yes, the information is there, but not in a place where I think most people look for it or will find it. Assuming you control this website (thanks, very useful), you might consider putting that info, at least the date, at the top where I think most people look for it. That is where it is on most other blog and article websites.

            Again, thanks for making the (Windows) world a better place.

          2. Thanks for kind words.
            I will try my best to find some time to change the page layout.

  5. I too was disappointed to find that it worked only for the File Explorer dialog and not the Save As/Open dialogues. I have 64-bit Windows 10 and really miss the Recent Places in the Save As dialog.

  6. Your fix works in file explorer but when I got to save a word document in a recent folder, they still aren’t visible.

  7. Thank you for this – bummed it doesn’t work for the ‘Save As’ also though. :( any plans to create a file for that also? :D

  8. I believe the reason this works for some and not others with Save As is due to x86 apps on x64 OS. For example, we use Office 2016 x86 on Windows 10 x64 at my company. After applying both the x86 and x64 files, x64 programs, such as Notepad, show the Recent Items and Recent Places folders in the Save As dialog but they do not show when running an x86 program, such as Word, when using the Save As dialog. Seems that there is something missing from the x64 files, which are responsible for applying the necessary changes to the x86 Save As dialogs on an x64 OS. I tried a few changes myself based on what was already in these files but was unable to find a solution.

    Do you have any ideas, Sergey?

    We’re so close to a pristine solution! Thanks for what you have done so far.

  9. Super useful thank you! But would it be possible to have them working in the “copy to” or “move to” dialogue box?
    In my case if click on the recent folders or favorites icon, it does not expand as its empty…
    It would be even more useful as in the “save as” box, am i correct?


  10. Jan 2020–Updates must have changed registry. Could not find registry entries such as System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree and SortOrderIndex under registry values for “recent places”.
    Found multiple reg entries for recent places and 22877a6d-37a1-461a-91b0-dbda5aaebc99; none had the values that need to be changed.

  11. I am using Windows 10 Home 64. Just a new installation (may 2020) and I cannot find this (22877a6d-37a1-461a-91b0-dbda5aaebc99} entry in the register. What do I wrong? Thank you, Maya

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