How to Enable or Disable Clear Recent Document Items History on Exit

information   Information
This will show you how to enable or disable Vista to clear the recently opened documents history for when the current user account logs off. This way the Recent Items menu button on the Start menu is always empty when the user logs on. This is disable by default in Vista.
Note   Note
If you have only one user account on your computer that is shared with other users, then this can be handy to keep each user's recently opened document history private when they log off or shutdown.
warning   Warning
This does not clear the Recent Programs history on exit. This will still need to be manually done.

EXAMPLE: Recent Items Menu Button on the Start Menu
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-recent_items.jpg




OPTION ONE

Through the Local Group Policy Editor

NOTE: This option is only available for the Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions. See OPTION TWOor OPTION THREE below for the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions.
1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.

2. In the left pane, click on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Start Menu and Taskbar. (See screenshot below)
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-group_policy.jpg
3. In the right pane, right click on Clear history of recently opened documents on exit and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)

4. To Enable Clear Recent Items History on Exit
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5A)

B) Go to step 6.
5. To Disable Clear Recent Items History on Exit
A) Select (dot) Enabled and click on OK.
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-properties.jpg
6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window. Your done.





OPTION TWO

Using a REG File Download

NOTE: This option will work for all Vista editions.
1. To Enable Clear Recent Items History on Exit
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Enable_Clear_Recent_Item_On_Exit.reg

download
B) Go to step 3.
2. To Disable Clear Recent Items History on Exit
A) Click on the download button below to download the file velow.
Disable_Clear_Recent_Item_On_Exit.reg
download
3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.

4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.

6. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




OPTION THREE

Manually in Registry Editor

NOTE: This option will work for all Vista editions.
1. Open the Start Menu.

2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.

3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.

4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you do not have Explorer, then right click on Polices and click on New and Key. Type Explorer and press Enter.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-reg1.jpg
5. To Enable Clear Recent Items History on Exit
A) In the right pane, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value. (See screenshot above)

B) Type ClearRecentDocsOnExit and press Enter.

C) Right click on ClearRecentDocsOnExit and click on Modify. (See screenshot below)
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-reg2.jpg
D) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-modify.jpg
E) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)
Recent Items - Clear Document History on Exit-reg3.jpg
F) Go to step 7.
6. To Add Log Off to the Ctrl+Alt+Del Screen
A) In the right pane, right click on ClearRecentDocsOnExit and click on Delete. (See screenshot above)

B) Click on Yes to confirm deletion.
7. Close regedit.
That's it,
Shawn