How To Clear Recent Jumplist Items

Jumplists are one of the new additions to the Windows 7 taskbar. They appear when the user right-clicks an open program or folder in the taskbar and will display various information and quick access possibilities. Program developers can created custom jump list items suited for their applications but most jumplists contain a list of recently opened items with the program. This is comfortable as it makes it easier to open those files again but it can also be a privacy risk especially if the computer is shared with other users.

There is unfortunately no automated way to clear the jumplists or exclude items from being displayed there. There are two options for clearing the recent items in Windows 7 jumplists. The first is to right-click a recent item in the jumplist and select the Remove from this list entry. This will remove that entry from the list. The item can appear again at a later time if the file is executed again.

windows7 jumplists

The second option is tricky as it leads to a folder that is not normally visible in Windows. It is not even visible if the option to display hidden files and hidden operating system files is selected in the Folder Options. The only option to open that folder is to copy and paste its path into the Windows Explorer address bar (or use the command line).


This leads to a directory that contains all recent items that are stored in Windows. Each program uses its own coded file name. One could go the extra mile and test which file in the recent folder links to which program’s jumplist entries to delete only selected jumplists entries. The items can be opened in a text editor and searched for recent item names. Other users might simply want to clear those items regularly to get rid of all of those recent items.


This can be done with the command

del %appdata%microsoftwindowsrecentautomaticdestinations*

You could schedule the task so that it gets executed on Windows shutdown or startup.

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