Over the course of my day on the computer I access a lot of files both locally, networked and from OneDrive.
That means I am using the Windows 10 File Explorer all the time and for that reason it has a permanent spot on my Taskbar. In fact, by default Microsoft adds a shortcut to File Explorer on the Taskbar when you set up Windows 10 - I just choose to leave it right there.
There is a customizable feature in File Explorer called Quick Access and it allows you to pin shortcuts to folders from your local system, OneDrive and network directories for quick access in File Explorer.
In addition your system will also add shortcuts to recently used files and folders as you work to make them easily accessible through this feature.
However, if you work with a lot of files like I do then Quick Access can become very cluttered. Since I already opt to pin my most used folders for quick access in this area I find the dynamic addition of folders and files unnecessary.
This feature can be easily turned off though so here is how you do that.
Step One: Open the Folder Options Settings Dialog
You will need to be looking at the View tab in File Explorer and then find the Options settings on the far right of the toolbar. Click on that to open the Folder Properties dialog.
Step Two: Turn Off Display of Recently Used Folders and Files
Once the Folder Options dialog is open just look for the Privacy settings area.
You can now uncheck the Show recently used files in Quick Access and Show frequently used folders in Quick Access. If you want to there is always an option to leave just one of these active if you find it useful over the other option.
As a bonus, if you ever want to clear what is being displayed in Quick Access under these two areas just come to this settings page and select Clear and those files/folders displayed in Quick Access will be removed. As you begin to access new files and folders those listings will be re-built.
Once you are done just select OK to return to File Explorer and you should now see a much cleaner Quick Access area.
Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.