Windows 10 Tip: Clean Up the Home View in File Explorer

Windows 10 Tip: Clean Up the Home View in File Explorer

Spring cleaning in October

One of the weirder—and I have to think unfinished—changes we see in the Windows Technical Preview is the new Home view in File Explorer. This view presents what one has to assume Microsoft believes is useful information—your File Explorer favorites, frequent folders, and recent files—but I find it to be quite cluttered and borderline useless. Fortunately, you can clean it up a bit.

This tip is very much relegated to the Windows Technical Preview version of Windows 10. I expect/hope that Microsoft will provide better controls for managing this view and, better yet, a way to customize which view appears by default when you launch File Explorer. For now, however, we're stuck with the Home view as-is.

On my PC, when I launch File Explorer, I see this mess.

I have several issues with Home, and it's not just the pedantic fact that "frequent" folders and "recent" files both appear to really just list recent folders and files, respectively, and not folders or files I use frequently. Whatever.

I've seen a bizarre tip about cleaning this up using the Registry Editor. But you can do so more easily assuming you know the trick: Just access Taskbar and Start Menu Properties, which I admit isn't exactly intuitive. (Right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties.) On the Start Menu tab—again, not intuitive—there is an option titled "Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar."

Uncheck that and click Apply. Then, refresh File Explorer's Home view. As you can see, it's all cleaned up. (The Favorites group at the top maps to the File Explorer favorites you seen in the navigation bar on the left of the window.)

Much better. No less useless. But much less crowded. 

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