Remove Recommended Recent Files from Start Menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 Win + X Menu Icon

This post will show you how to remove Recommended (recent files)  from the Start Menu in Windows 11. The new Start menu in Windows 11 is one of the biggest visual changes in the latest operating system from Microsoft.

While the Start menu in Windows 10 splits between the list of apps and Live Tiles, in Windows 11, the operating system displays regular apps shortcuts and recent files and folders. The section with pinned apps is user-customizable. You can pin or remove apps from the Start menu in Windows 11. The other part tries to be "smart" by displaying your recent files and folders and recommending apps. After installing Windows 11, for example, the "Recommended" section will show you the Get Started app with tips and tricks for Windows 11.

Not everyone likes that change in the Start menu. Luckily, there are at least two methods that you can use to improve the situation. There is a free and open source ExplorerPatcher app that will do the trick. If you aren't about installing anything third-party, there is an alternative solution as well.

This article will show you how to remove recent files and apps from the Start menu in Windows 11.

Remove Recommended Section from Start menu in Windows 11

  1. Download the free and open source ExplorerPatcher app from GitHub.
  2. Run the ep_setup.exe file you have downloaded to install the app.
  3. The screen goes blank for a half of a minute. Wait for the desktop to appear.
  4. Now, right-click the taskbar and select the Properties item added by ExplorerPatcher.
  5. On the left side of its window, click on the Start menu item.
  6. On the right, place a check mark next to the "Disable the "Recommended" section" option. 
  7. Finally, press the Win key on your keyboard. The Start pane will no longer have the Recommended section.

If you prefer to not install any third-party software in your Windows 11, you can use an alternative solution. By following the guidance below, you will disable the contents of the Recommended section, but it will remain visible. Thought it will always appear empty.

How to Hide Recommended Files in the Start menu

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing the Win + I  keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Personalization > Start.
  3. Disable the Show recently opened items in Start setting.
  4. Note that turning that option off also disables recent files in jump lists. You will lose the ability to open previously used files by right-clicking apps on the taskbar.


Unfortunately, disabling the "Recommended" list in the Start menu leaves half of the UI hanging empty.

👉 Tip: You can significantly reduce the empty space taken by the "Recommended" area by switching the Start menu layout to "More pins". An option for that is available starting in build 22509. To check what build of Windows 11 you have installed, press Win + R and enter the winver command.

As of now, there is no visible "Clear all" button, so to delete all the recent files and folders in the Start menu in Windows 11, you need to open the Start menu settings.

Remove Individual Recent Files from Start

You can delete individual apps, files, and folders instead of disabling the entire section.

To remove a file from the "Recommended" section in Windows 11, right-click the file and select Remove from list.

Also, you can click the More button and right-click any file. Again, press Remove from list.

That is how you remove recent files in the Start menu in Windows 11.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple.

9 thoughts on “Remove Recommended Recent Files from Start Menu in Windows 11”

  1. We need to be able to remove that entire section… and expand the start… and have icon groups… and have folders. Sigh, 11’s Start Menu is such a downgrade.

    1. You can disable the entire section in settings-personalization-start-> show recently open files (disable this)

      1. That just removes the files you recently opened, but the blank, empty section remains, which is a complete waste.

  2. And why “Recommended”?
    “Recently Used” yes, but why does it need to ‘recommend’ me to run a certain app or edit a particular document?
    The wording seems very odd to me!

  3. Where is the location of the recommended list file? It’s not in the C:\Users\’USER’\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent or anywhere else I have looked

    1. httрs://рurеinfоtеch.соm/remоvе-stаrt-reсommеndеd-windоws-11/

      let me know if you find a better solution! ty

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