How to disable and clear jump lists and recent documents in Windows 8.1

Like its predecessors, Windows 8.1 tracks and stores information about which programs you opened most often and which documents you opened recently. This information is used by the OS to provide quicker access to documents via jumplists when you need them again. This feature which collects and tracks user information is called UserAssist. If you have privacy concerns or simply don't need it, you can disable it.

Jump lists
Disabling the user tracking feature will slightly improve Windows performance as it greatly reduces the number of writes to the Registry and hard drive.

  1. Right click in an empty area of the Taskbar and choose Properties.taskbar properties
  2. Go to the "Jump Lists" tab.
  3. Under "Privacy", untick these two checkboxes:
    - Store recently opened programs (which is the count of your most frequently used apps)
    - Store and display recently opened items in Jump Lists (which tracks your recent documents)
    disable jump lists in Windows 8
  4. Click the Apply button and you are done.

This will disable Jump Lists and clear the recently used apps and docs history. This also clears the history from the Run dialog and furthermore, the history of anything you open from the Run dialog will no longer be maintained.

Note that if you have installed a Start Menu on Windows 8, then this will also disable jumplists and frequent programs list in it. The unified list of recent documents and places in Explorer will also be no longer maintained.

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!


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.

One thought on “How to disable and clear jump lists and recent documents in Windows 8.1”

  1. This, (Explorer History), has for some time been a mystery and a source of frustration. Whomever may reading this, you will find this as a quick fix!
    Thank you so very much,
    Peter G.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.