How to disable Quick Access in Windows 10 File Explorer

Quick Access is a new feature in Windows 10 File Explorer navigation pane. In Windows 8.1 Explorer Navigation Pane, you had Favorites, but now Quick Access seems to have replaced it. This feature is useful, as it helps users quickly navigate to locations which are frequently used by you, as well those, which were recently used by you.

Windows 10 users may have noticed that by default, File Explorer opens to Quick Access. Windows 10 allows power users to fine-tune the operating system to their liking, rather easily. It seems a majority of the user feedback to Microsoft centered around users demanding the choice to enable or disable different UI elements, easily. So if you wish, you can make File Explorer open to This PC instead of Quick Access.

If you wish, in the interest of Privacy, you can also disable Quick Access in the Navigation Pane, in a way. What you can do is stop Explorer from displaying the recently and frequently used files and folders there. Let us see how to do it.

Disable Quick Access – Do not show folders

To disable the Quick Access features, what you can do is disable showing of recently and frequently used files and folders in File Explorer.

To remove frequent folders and recent files list from Quick Access, open File Explorer, click on View tab in Ribbon and then click on Options, and then and then Change folder and search options, to open Folder Options.

Show recently used files in Quick Access

You’ll have to uncheck the following two check-boxes present under the Privacy section:

  1. Show recently used files in Quick Access
  2. Show frequently used folders in Quick Access

Click Apply and Exit. The action will instantly remove these two sections from Quick Access in File Explorer.

Clear Quick Access History

To clear your Quick Access history press the Clear button against Clear File Explorer History.

You can also Unpin the pinned items like Desktop, Downloads, etc. from the left side of the navigation pane.


In this way, you can prevent Windows 10 from displaying the recently and frequently used files and folders, in Quick Access and hence maintain your privacy.

See this post if Quick Access in Windows 10 is not working or broken.

If you need to troubleshoot any issues, feel free to visit our Windows 10 Forums.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.