You may need to enable this feature in Windows 10 to be able to view and open recently used folders and files directly from File Explorer. You can also clear your File Explorer history with the click of a button.
Even though there are two ways to access this, let’s do it through the Control Panel. If you don’t see your control panel, click the Start button and then scroll down through all your apps to the bottom and click to open the folder “Windows System.” Once the folder expands, click to open the “Control Panel.” Once your Control Panel opens, change the “View by” option in the upper-right corner to: “Large icons.” Next, click “File Explorer Options.”
To enable viewing recently used folders and files, click the General tab at the top of the box if it is not already open. You’ll checkmark the two boxes at the bottom where it states: “Show recently used files in Quick access” and “Show frequently used folders in Quick access.” Take notice of the “Clear” button. Click this occasionally to remove your file history.
Next, at the top, click the drop-down box next to: “Open File Explorer to:” and then select “Quick access.” Once you make these selections, at the bottom click “OK” to save your changes and close the box. You can also close the Control Panel.
Next, let’s look at the new Quick access area. Please open File Explorer.
Once File Explorer opens, you’ll see it states “Quick access” near the top and then it will display all of your folders and files (if you check-marked both boxes) that have been opened recently. If you just enabled this feature, it will not show your folders and files yet, until you begin to open them from this point on. This becomes a very handy feature when it comes to finding folders and files you have worked on previously.
There is one more thing I want to show you about the folder options: Sometimes you will see a computer where there are boxes next to the items in File Explorer and you select them by placing a checkmark in the box instead of just highlighting them. If you want to change this, open the control panel again and then click “File Explorer Options.” At the top of the box, click the “View” tab. Below, scroll all the way to the bottom and remove the checkmark from “Use check boxes to select items.” Click “OK” to save your changes and to close the box and then you can close remaining windows.
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 500 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.