macOS High Sierra - clearing "Recents"

vic777

Expert Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,364
Hey guys,

Is anyone here on High Sierra?

Even though I've set the System Preferences > General > Number of recent items to "None", I can still, in Finder, go to: Go > Recents and see all the recent items

Is there any way to clear these items?

I've searched online, most people just tell you to set the System Preferences, as I've already done - it doesn't work
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
38,909
Did you log out and back in? Or restart?

There used to simply be a "Clear" option on that very menu. Don't have High Sierra to confirm though.
 

greg0205

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
22,045
Hey guys,

Is anyone here on High Sierra?

Even though I've set the System Preferences > General > Number of recent items to "None", I can still, in Finder, go to: Go > Recents and see all the recent items

Is there any way to clear these items?

I've searched online, most people just tell you to set the System Preferences, as I've already done - it doesn't work

Wait, are you talking about the drop-down menu from the taskbar or Recents in Finder. Either way, I'm going to go ahead and ask why you'd want to do this? I've always found 'em really handy.

Did you log out and back in? Or restart?

There used to simply be a "Clear" option on that very menu. Don't have High Sierra to confirm though.

It's still there.
 

vic777

Expert Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,364
Yep, did both

I've tried looking for a "Clear" option, I see it on apps like Preview, under the recents, but not for Finder
 

vic777

Expert Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,364
Wait, are you talking about the drop-down menu from the taskbar or Recents in Finder. Either way, I'm going to go ahead and ask why you'd want to do this? I've always found 'em really handy.



It's still there.

No, I am talking about going to Finder's "Go" menu, then the fourth menu item, which is "Recents". If you select that, you go to a view listing all recent items.

"Recent Folders", also under the same "Go" menu, is greyed out if you change the System Preferences as I described, but not the "Recents"

Why? Many reasons, privacy for one. I don't like anyone being able to see what documents I had open recently.
 

greg0205

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
22,045
Yep, did both

I've tried looking for a "Clear" option, I see it on apps like Preview, under the recents, but not for Finder

Recents are in the Finder sidebar, 'tho you can clear your recent folder list from the taskbar drop-down menu... Go/Recent Folders/Clear Menu
 

vic777

Expert Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,364
Recents are in the Finder sidebar, 'tho you can clear your recent folder list from the taskbar drop-down menu... Go/Recent Folders/Clear Menu

When you change the System Preferences as I described, the "Recents" in the sidebar is gone, and the "Recent Folders" menu item under "Go" is disabled, but not "Recents", fourth from the top on the "Go" menu.
 

greg0205

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
22,045
No, I am talking about going to Finder's "Go" menu, then the fourth menu item, which is "Recents". If you select that, you go to a view listing all recent items.

"Recent Folders", also under the same "Go" menu, is greyed out if you change the System Preferences as I described, but not the "Recents"

Why? Many reasons, privacy for one. I don't like anyone being able to see what documents I had open recently.

I just have Recent Folders with an option to Clear Menu... The rest of the items in my Go drop-down menu open Finder to Documents, Desktop, Downloads and such... Recents are there, but no option to clear the menu.
 

vic777

Expert Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
1,364
I just have Recent Folders with an option to Clear Menu... The rest of the items in my Go drop-down menu open Finder to Documents, Desktop, Downloads and such... Recents are there, but no option to clear the menu.

Thanks for trying to help, I think I am stuck with Recents, haha
 

greg0205

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
22,045
Thanks for trying to help, I think I am stuck with Recents, haha

The only difference we have is that I can clear recent folders. Other than that, the drop-down is the same and it's basically a shortcut to the Finder window for documents, apps and so on...
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
38,909
macOS High Sierra - clearing "Recents"

No, I am talking about going to Finder's "Go" menu, then the fourth menu item, which is "Recents". If you select that, you go to a view listing all recent items.

"Recent Folders", also under the same "Go" menu, is greyed out if you change the System Preferences as I described, but not the "Recents"

Why? Many reasons, privacy for one. I don't like anyone being able to see what documents I had open recently.

Oh the connect menu.

Can’t clear that as I recall, not cleanly.

But it must read it from a cache or preference somewhere.
 

BroadBend

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
2
"Recents" is not the same as Recent Items. It's a Smart Folder that is "powered" by Spotlight.
You need to set Folders / Items / Directories you don't want Indexed in "Recents" as “private” in Spotlight.
NOTE: of course this means that these will not show up in Spotlight Searches either.
How?
- System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy
- Click “+”
- Add items (again, noting that these will NO LONGER show up in Spotlight Searches)

Also consider removing "Recents" from your Sidebar unless you require it.

You might also want to change the Default Folder that opens when you launch a new window in Finder.
Do this from Finder; select Preferences.

Worked for me; answers taken from here:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8137012
 

Attachments

  • Spotlight.jpg
    Spotlight.jpg
    51.6 KB · Views: 10
  • Finder Preferences.jpg
    Finder Preferences.jpg
    47.4 KB · Views: 10
Top