Windows 10 does not come with the Recent places option in the navigation pane of File Explorer like Windows 8 or Windows 7. Instead, it has the "Recent files" group inside the Quick Access folder. This is not at all convenient for users who were used to accessing Recent places with one click from the navigation pane. Today we will see how to add Recent items to left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10.
We also covered how to add recent places to the left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10. I recommend you to read it, as it can be useful to have both Recent items (documents) and Recent Places in the left pane. Read the following article if you are interested:
How to add Recent places to left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10
To add Recent items to the left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10, you need to do the following:
- Press Win + R shortcut keys together on the keyboard to open the Run dialog. Tip: See the complete list of Win key shortcuts available in Windows.
- Enter the following in the Run box:
The command is a special shell command. For the full list of shell commands available in Windows 10, refer to the following article: List of shell commands in Windows 10
- The Recent items folder will be opened in File Explorer:Press the Alt + Up shortcut keys together to go to the parent folder of "Recent items" in File Explorer.
- Right click the Recent items folder and pick Pin to Quick Access from the context menu.
That's it. Now you have Recent items in the left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10.
This trick works in Windows 10 Technical Preview for now. It can stop working later if Microsoft decides to change things in the release version.
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42 thoughts on “How to add Recent items to left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10”
Good one Sergey! Thank you.
This is really “Recent Items” though, which is a lot more than just folders so includes a lot of junk. I miss the true “Recent Folders” (just folders and maybe network shortcuts, as I recall) from older versions of Windows. Yes, a few of the most recent show up individually in Quick Access, but that’s not the same idea.
This still works in the official release and it is completely AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I can’t function without my Recent Items. You should republish this so it gets bumped up in chronological Google searches. I know a lot of other people are looking for their Recent Items right now too!
Recent Files will show up in Save Dialogs under Quick Access but not Recent Folders. Frequent Folders are NOT the same as Recent Folders and this is seriously hurting my workflow. Hopw MS fix this soon.
Great to get this functionality back. thank you!!!
This doesn’t work. I mean, it works, you can put the shortcut there, but then when you try to navigate there to save a file it tells you the folder is read-only. This is NOT “Recent Folders” as we knew it.
Like BC noted, above, this is truly destroying my workflow. I used “recent folders” hundreds of times a day, I’d say 90 – 95% of the navigating I did, I did through Recent Folders. Frequent folders is USELESS. Recent items is USELESS.
Why would Microsoft take away such a useful feature and replace it with nonsense?
I completely agree dotlizard. I’ve been trying to find a way to use the frequent folders and recent items for the past couple of weeks to no avail. It’s completely useless! By the time what I need shows up in the those lists I’ve already moved on to something else. I need to be able to navigate to a folder I’ve just used quickly… and recent places did this perfectly.
The solution that’s posted here does help somewhat but I find that it doesn’t actually show up in some of my save dialogs… it just depends on the program. Most of the adobe software is a no go though and that’s what I use the most.
copy Recent Places shortcut to Documents. Its then one click futher but work …
Awesome ! Good stuff Sergey.
It’s working nicely when I open file explorer, but it is still missing from under quick access in save dialogs-popups:-( Thats where it is really needed as file explorer is still so very lame (compared to tcmd)
I’ve figured out how to restore Recent Folders under Quick Access in Windows 10. Better yet, I’ve figure out how to how to also get Recent Folders and Recent Items working permanently in the Save As dialog boxes under Windows 10. If you’re interested, see my guides posted here: http://bit.ly/1ibFE4i or my YouTube tutorials posted here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_RFRX0C9s56-7RshMmuKPg
Many thanks to Sergey for allowing me to post these tutorial links on his excellent blog site, Winaero. I hope you find these tutorials useful.
This did it for me, thanks ThePhinx for working out this incredibly complex solution (and thanks to Sergy for creating this page which enabled me to find it in the first place :-) )
How on earth you guys know this stuff is a mystery, to most people I know, I’m the guru (at httр://аdvаntа.рrо – quick plug!) but you guys are on another level totally, incredible. Many thanks :-)
Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Not being able to save to a recent folder has been driving me crazy since I got a new computer earlier this year, and I finally decided to spend some time researching a solution. I can’t believe it’s this complicated (complicated, but not difficult), but it works.
Followed your instructions with illustrations “How to add Recent places to left pane of File Explorer in Windows 10” and when I right click “Recent Items” to Pin to Quick Access, I receive “Unspecified Error” C:\Users\Doc\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
If I go to the Recent Items Folder and right click to Pin a Folder to Quick Access I receive a RealPlayer Cloud Notification “You’re currently not logged in to RealPlayer Cloud. Would Like to Log In?
this is amazing!!
Excellent clear and concise instructions and worked a treat for me, many thanks!
You are welcome Nick
This doesn’t even make sense! You are talking at first about bringing Recent Places back to Windows 10 users, but midway through your description, you change your spiel to a Recent Items link in the left column! Then a bunch of people start referring to Recent Folders. Recent Places is what we want. Recent Items is not at all as functional as Recent Places.
File open? Save as? This is where I need recent folders most, bring it back MS!!!
copy Recent Places shortcut to Documents. Its one click futher but …
I followed the instructions from ThePhinx that he provides via bit.ly link in a comment above. It works!
Thank you so much! You are a hero!
Thank you very much!
Don’t mention it.
Clear easy to follow instructions. Many thanks but not just what I was looking for. MS have really screwed up so much with Windows 10. I am so sorry to have upgraded.
Thank you. This was keeping me from upgrading to 10. Now we’re all happy
Awesome, so easy, I was spending an extra 30 mins each day without this feature. Thank you!
you are welcome
thank you, thank you, thank you
Setting up new computer is painful. This was painless. Thank you very much.
Thank you!!! You are the best!!!!
Just what I needed. Thanks!!
Why the heck would they remove this?
Good one, thanks.
STOP IMPROVING things in ways that break things….
Perfect–just what I needed. THanks!
Thank you so much! I missed this when our network upgraded. So happy to have it back!
Thank you- my most used feature is back!
Wonderful! THANK YOU! Much more convenient.
Thank you very much
HELP PLEASE…I have always used the RECENT ITEMS & RECENT FOLDERS in my quick access. However, after a recent C: drive repair these 2 locations disappear when accessing Quick Access from withing a running app (ie…opening a file from within MSWord). The locations are present ONLY when accessing through file explorer.
Could you please tell me is your Word 32-bit or 64-bit?
Save As dialog doesn’t typically display the Recent Items or Recent Folders shortcuts in the Quick Access panel, but if you click the panel and press F5 to refresh, then it shows them!
Annoying but it works!