Many times you want to change functions of windows XP but you aren’t experienced or just don’t know how to go about making the changes. Well this is a quick tutorial on how to hide the recently viewed documents section that is in the start menu as a default on Windows XP Home and Professional. Many times you don’t want people to see what your most recent seen documents are and you don’t want people looking through your personal files. So lets hide this function so we don’t have to worry about any problems with the recently viewed documents.
The first step is to move your mouse over the start button in the lower right hand corner of your screen and right click your mouse. This will bring up an option box with several choices. You will want to select the properties option. A new window will open labled “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties”, there will be two tabs and you will want to click the one labeled “Start Menu”. Now click the button “Customize” and this will open another window. In this new window you will want to select the button labeled clear, this will empty all the recently viewed files, this also comes in handy if you just want to clear out the documents and not actually hide the function. Once you have cleared the files then we will work on hiding the Recently Viewed Documents option.
Now the next step is a little tricky and can be dangerous if you don’t follow the steps properly. We will be working in what is called the registry of your computer, mistakes in the registry can often times cause your computer problems, so make sure you either are careful or know what you are doing. So lets continue, click on the Start button in the lower left hand corner of the screen, and scroll up to the option called “RUN”, in the box that opens type regedit and hit enter or click ok.
In this new window you will want to go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER and expand it by clicking the small plus sign. Next scroll down to the Software option and again expand this by clicking the small plus sign. Now scroll to the Microsoft option and again click the small plus to expand the field. Next the option to expand is Windows, same deal hit the plus. Then click the plus next to the option Current Version, and then Policies, and finally explorer. Make sure you click on the folder labeled explorer so that you can see the options in the folder. We will need to make a new option inside this folder, to do this click scroll your mouse over into the white space next to the folder tree, right click and move your mouse over the option NEW and the drop down will fill out. In here you will want to choose DWORD and in the new window you will want to name the file, NoRecentDocsMenu, (this must be spelled properly and is case sensitive). Once you have this completed successfully you will need to right click on this option and click modify. You will want the value to be a 1, this will set the option to off, and the recently viewed documents option will not display as one of the start menu options.
Follow these steps and you should successfully hide your recently viewed documents, or at least remove it from the start options where everyone has access to the documents you most recently viewed. Hope you found this tutorial helpful.