My Recent Documents History Is Not Adding Recently Opened Items – Start Menu

Windows XP My Recent Documents History located on the Start Menu is not adding recently opened / viewed files. The most likely cause of this is malware utilizing Group Policy Objects which enforces policies for system settings and/or user account’s settings. The Group Policy for Do not keep history of recently opened documents will cause My Recent Documents History not to add any recently opened items when enabled.

Group Policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs, system properties, and user account settings. For Home users, My Recent Documents History not adding recently opened / viewed files can be enforced by these Group Policies but usually malware is the culprit. If you are a home user and the My Recent Documents History not adding recently opened / viewed files then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor

NOTE

The Group Policy Editor requires Administrative privileges and is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition. Windows XP Home users can use the Windows XP Registry method to remove the Group Policy restriction.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

  5. Double-click Do not keep history of recently opened documents.
  6. Select Not Configured.

NOTE

If the My Recent Documents History not adding recently opened / viewed files on a per User account basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Registry Editor to remove the Group Policy.

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  5. Right-click NoRecentDocsHistory to select Modify.
  6. Change the value to 0.
  7. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  8. Right-click NoRecentDocsHistory to select Modify.
  9. Change the value to 0.
  10. Quit the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type:

    REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoRecentDocsHistory
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type:

    REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoRecentDocsHistory
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download RcntDcmntsHstry.Allow.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click RcntDcmntsHstry.Allow.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The RcntDcmntsHstry.Allow.reg file is from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com). You also can view the contents of the RcntDcmntsHstry.Allow.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version: 1.5
Edited: May 10, 2012

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