How to Disable Quick Access Menu in Windows 10/11

The Quick Access menu in Windows File Manager is a handy feature that saves shortcuts to recently opened files and folders on your computer. While it can be useful for quickly accessing recent files, some users may want to disable it for privacy and clutter reasons. In this article, we will explore how to disable the Quick Access menu in Windows 10/11 and clear any logged activity.

Why Disable Quick Access Menu in Windows

The Windows File Manager is known for its efficiency and user-friendly interface. The Quick Access menu, represented by a star symbol in the sidebar, acts as a bookmarking feature for frequently accessed files and folders. However, there are two main reasons why users may want to disable it:

  • Privacy: Users may not want their private or sensitive files and folders appearing in the Quick Access menu, especially if someone is watching over their shoulder.
  • Clutter: Having too many folders in the Quick Access menu can make it crowded and difficult to navigate.

How to Disable Quick Access Menu Logging

To disable the Quick Access menu in Windows and prevent File Explorer from logging and displaying recently opened files and folders, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows+E to open the File Explorer window. By default, it opens in the Quick Access folder. Click on the three-dot menu icon and select Options.
  2. In the pop-up menu, under the General tab, uncheck both the Show recently used files in Quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access options.
  3. Click on Apply to save the changes.

Note: The steps mentioned above are specifically for Windows 11. If you are using Windows 10, the steps may slightly differ. You will need to click on File > Change folder and search options to access the Folder Options.

How to Delete Recent Files/Folders from Quick Access Menu

Disabling logging in the Quick Access menu stops new files and folders from being logged, but it does not remove any previously logged activity. To delete recent files and folders from the Quick Access menu, follow these steps:

  1. Open Folder Options as mentioned in the previous section.
  2. Under the General tab, click on the Clear button.

How to Disable Quick Access Completely

If you want to completely remove the Quick Access menu from the File Explorer sidebar, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Search for Registry Editor in the Start menu and click on Run as administrator to open it.
  2. Navigate to the following folder structure: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{679f85cb-0220-4080-b29b-5540cc05aab6}ShellFolder.
  3. Right-click on the ShellFolder and select Permissions.
  4. Click on the Advanced button in the pop-up window.
  5. In the next pop-up, click on Change next to the Owner heading.
  6. Click on the Advanced button.
  7. Click on Find Now.
  8. Select Administrators from the search results and click OK in each pop-up until you are back in the Registry Editor.
  9. Double-click on the Attributes folder inside ShellFolder and change the Value data to a0600000.

Wrap Up: Disable Quick Access Menu

In conclusion, the Quick Access menu in Windows File Explorer provides various options to customize its functionality. Users can clear browsing history, pin/unpin folders, and prevent File Explorer from logging any activity. However, if you prefer an alternative file manager, there are several third-party options available for Windows.