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Windows 7: What Happened to Recent Documents?

Have you ever worked on a document, only to later forget where you saved it, or even what program you used to create it? Believe me, it can happen. maybe you created a pricing spreadsheet in Excel. Or was it a Word document with a table? Or did you do it in PowerPoint? You could check the recent items for each program, but it might be easier if there were a list of all your recently opened items.

Windows XP used to have an item on the Start menu, called My Recent Documents. With Windows 7, that menu item has disappeared. But you can bring it back. Here’s how.
  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. On the Start Menu tab, click the Customize… button.
  4. In the list that appears, scroll down to find Recent Items, and place a check mark next to it.
Once you click OK a couple of times to close the two dialog boxes, the Recent Items menu item will appear on the Start menu. When you move your mouse over Recent Items, another menu will open, listing the fifteen most recent files you have opened.
If you’re really stuck, and you need to see more than the last fifteen items, you can right-click Recent Items on the Start menu, and select Open. This will bring you to your Recent Items folder, where you’ll see shortcuts to hundreds of files and folders you’ve opened recently.
If you know which program you used to open a recent file, it’s more convenient to use that program’s Jump List, but every once in a while, it’s nice to see all your recently used files in one place.

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