Quick Access is a new feature in Windows 11/10 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 that are frequently used by you, as well those, which were recently used by you.
Windows users may have noticed that by default, File Explorer opens to Quick Access. Windows 11/10 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 Quick Access in Windows 10 File Explorer:
- Launch Explorer
- Click open Folder Options from the Ribbon
- Locate Privacy under General tab
- Uncheck the two checjboxes that disable this feature.
What you need to 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 the View tab in Ribbon and then click on Options, and then and then Change folder and search options, to open Folder Options.
You’ll have to uncheck the following two check-boxes present under the Privacy section:
- Show recently used files in Quick Access
- 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 is not working or broken.