Quick Access for Windows 11 is a handy way to get at your most recent files, but sometimes it breaks. Here’s how to see your recent files again.

fix file explorer quick access not showing recent files windows 11 1

Quick Access in Windows 11 allows you to view the most frequently used folders and recent files at a glance. Unfortunately, for some users, Quick Access no longer shows the recent files in File Explorer.

The recent files section in Quick Access can go missing due to several reasons. Here we show you some quick troubleshooting steps to help you restore Recent Files under Quick Access in Windows 11.

1. Enable Jump List in the Settings Panel

enable show recently opened items start jump list file explorer

Quick Access may stop showing the recent files section if you have disabled the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump List, and File Explorer option in Settings. This is a conflicting situation, as enabling this option will also turn on the recommended section in the Start menu and make it look organized.

To enable Jump List for File Explorer:

  1. Press Win + R to open Run.
  2. Type ms-settings: and click OK to open the Settings app. Do not forget the colon.
  3. In the Settings app, open the Personalization tab.
  4. Next, click on the Start option in the right pane.
  5. Here, toggle the switch for Show recently opened items in Start, Jump List, and File Explorer and set it to On.

That’s it. Now open a document or any other file, and it should immediately appear under the Recent Files section in Quick Access.

Related: How to Customize the Start Menu in Windows 11

As discussed earlier, enabling Jump List means the recent files and apps will appear under the Recommended section of your Start menu. It is an inconvenient solution for some. But unfortunately, there isn’t a workaround yet.


If the Jump List option is already set to On, move to the next step.

2. Enable Recent Files in Quick Access Properties

enable show recently used file quick access

You can enable or disable recent files and other properties for the Quick Access feature. Here is how to enable recent files from the Folder Options.

  1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on Quick Access.
  3. Click on Show more options and then click on Options.
  4. In the Properties window, open the General tab.
  5. Next, in the Privacy section, check Show recently used files in the Quick Access option.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Now open any file to see if it appears under Recent File in Quick Access.

At times, checking the Show recently used files option in Quick Access options doesn’t stick after applying the changes. It happens if you have disabled Jump List as discussed in the first method.

Follow method one in this article and enable the Jump List option in the Start settings to resolve the issue.

3. Clear File Explorer History

clear history quick access

Clearing the File Explorer history may help you fix recent files not showing up in Quick Access.

To clear File Explorer history:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on Quick Access, select Show more options > Options.
  3. Click the Clear button under the Privacy section.
  4. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

4. Restore Folder Options to Default

You can reset the Folder Options for Quick Access to the default configuration to fix this problem. Note that the reset will remove all the customization you may have made to Folder Options and require reconfiguration.

To restore folder options:

  1. Right-click on Quick Access, and then select Show more options > Options.
  2. Click the Restore Defaults button.
  3. Click OK to save the changes.
  4. Open File Explorer and check for any improvements.

5. Create a New Local User Account

create new local user account windows 11

Another way to restore the Recent Files in Quick Access is to create a new local user account. Follow these steps to create a new local user account in Windows 11.

  1. Press the Win + I to open Settings.
  2. In the left pane, click on the Account tab.
  3. In the right pane, click on Family & other users.
  4. Scroll down to the Other users section.
  5. Click the Add account button for Add other users.
  6. To create an account without adding Microsoft account, cick on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  7. Next, click on Add a user without a Microsoft Account.
    create new user account Windows 11 PC
  8. Type a name for the user account and enter a password. You can leave the password field empty, but we would not recommend creating an unguarded administrative account.
  9. Click Next, and a new user account will appear under Other users.
  10. Click on your account name to expand the options. Then, click on Change account type.
    change user account type windows 11
  11. Click the drop-down and select Administrator.
  12. Click OK to apply the changes.

Related: How to Change Your User Account Type in Windows 10

That’s it. Now login with your new user account and Recent Files will show again under Quick Access.

Show Missing Recent Files in File Explorer’s Quick Access

You can solve the curious case of Quick Access not showing Recent Files in File Explorer by enabling the Jump List option in the Start settings. Additionally, ensure the Recent Files option is enabled in the Folder Options. As a last resort, create a new local user account as administrator to restore the functionality.

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