Windows OS

How to Remove Files Folders & Shortcuts From Windows 10 Quick Access

Inside the Windows 10 File Explorer, Quick access, as the name suggests, is a fast way to navigate to your recently used files, folders, and pinned items (shortcuts). By default, this is something that’s turned on. However, some users might want the privacy or share a device and do not want other people to know of their browsing behavior. Whatever the case may be, to completely remove files, folders, and shortcuts from Windows 10 quick access, follow along.

How to Remove & Disable Files and Folders History From Windows 10 Quick Access

As you might guess, this is a two-step process. They’re not necessarily tied to each other, but to play it safe, I’d suggest executing on both. Luckily, it’s just a few clicks, and it’s all done from the same place.

Step 1: To get started here, open your File Explorer, or simply, press Windows Key + E. Then, from the “View” tab, go to ‘Options,’ hit the drop-down, and select change folder and search options. (Screenshot below for reference).

change folder and search options in windows 10
As shown, as the first step, head over to the change folder and search options.

Step 2: Next, inside the “privacy” section, un-check the following two check-boxes:
a. Show recently used files in Quick access
b. Show frequently used folders in Quick access
As a safe measure, also clear file explorer history by hitting the “clear” button.
Once you’re done with all 3, click on apply, followed by OK.

Honestly, that is it for removing and disabling files and folders from Windows 10 Quick Access.

How to Get Rid of the Pinned Items (Shortcuts) From the Windows 10 Quick Access

A subsequent step for many, once they get rid of the files and folders, they also want to remove the shortcuts. Technically, they’re nothing but pinned items.

To remove such items, right-click on it to open the context menu, and then select the “Unpin from Quick Access” option. (Image below for reference).

how to unpin a pinned item from quick access
Literally, all of you to do is right-click, and then select Unpin from Quick access.

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A Few FAQs About Quick Access

Where Do Files Go When Removed From Quick Access?

Nowhere. All of your files, folders, and locations will remain intact at the original destination. Quick Access is nothing but a shortcut to get there. When you remove items from here, rest assured, they won’t get deleted.

Where Are Quick Access Shortcuts Stored?

Outside of the Quick access location, nowhere else.

How Do I Restore Quick Access?

To restore items, files, and folders in quick access, you’ have to go back to the change folder and search options, and select the two options under the “Privacy” section.
To pin folders and other locations, right-click on it, and from the context menu, choose, “Pin to Quick access.”

What Is Quick Access?

The Windows 10 Quick access acts as an intermediary between you and commonly accessed items. Primarily, you can pin things here as a permanent fixture, otherwise, as and when you use your Windows 10 device, it will automatically update the list.


As you just learned, in order to remove files, folders, and shortcuts from Windows 10 Quick access, you have to make use of one of the options from the “View” tab — that’s reserved for your File Explorer, and unpin a few of the pinned (shortcut) items.

Typically, the purpose of Quick access is just that; however, if you have privacy concerns with it, you can get rid of it, as discussed in this post.