My Recent Documents Have Gone Bye-Bye

Q: In the start menu of my Windows XP machine, there is a heading that says My Recent Documents. All of the files that I have recently modified or viewed are placed under that heading, and I’d rather not have that type of information displayed on this public computer. How can I remove it from the start menu? By the way, I’m using the regular Windows XP start menu instead of the classic one, if that helps.

A: Not all of us have the luxury of possessing our very own personal computer, and instead, we end up sharing it with other snoops. Even if the files you are messing with are perfectly OK, it’s still nice to have some measure of privacy. Removing the My Recent Documents header from the start menu will not hide all of your activities, but it is a good first step to take in order to keep the unskilled curious individuals out of the loop.

To get rid of it, right click on the Start button and select Properties. Make sure that the Start Menu tab is selected at the top, and then click on the Customize button next to the Start menu option. Select the Advanced tab at the top and then uncheck the option that says, “List my most recently opened documents” under the Recent documents heading. If you’d like to keep the My Recent Documents heading intact and just clear the list instead, then click on the Clear List button.

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