Pin Recent Documents Menu Shortcut Tile to Windows 8 Start Screen

Along with the removal of Start menu from Windows 8, several other features including ‘Recent’ Documents menu were also removed. If you remember, the shortcut/feature displayed a list of files and documents you most recently used. This  is no longer available in Windows 8, but what may come as relief is that some of its functionality is still being retained in the newest version of Windows, and that you can easily get it with some work.

In Windows 7, you could right-click the Start  button > Properties > Start Menu tab > Customize button > Check the Recent Items check box > Click Apply/OK. You cold then see the “Recent” option in the Windows 7 start menu.

Recent Documents / Items in Windows 8

If you want to find a file you just created but having difficulty in finding it, follow this post to place the Recent documents or items on the Windows 8 Start Screen.

Press Win+R key in combination to display the ‘Run’ dialog box. In it, type recent and click ‘OK’.

File Explorer will open at the following location: C:/Users/<Username>/Recent. Here, you can find all your recent activities such as different files or folders accessed.

Now, since the ‘Recent Places’ folder is visible to you, pin it to the ‘Start Screen’ and access it whenever you want to look for your most recent documents. But to do it, first open the explorer again. Press Ctrl+F1 simultaneously to expand the Ribbon.

Then, choose ‘Options’ from the ‘View’ menu to change the settings for opening items, files and folders.

Once in the ‘Options’ (Folder Options) window, switch to the ‘view’ tab and look for the ‘Hide protected operating system files’ option. Just un-check the box adjacent to this option.

Now, simply open the folder C:/users/in Explorer and right-click on the ‘Recent Documents’ and choose ‘Pin to Start’ from the menu. This will add a ‘Recent’ tile to your Windows 8 Start Screen.

This is how you can pin a shortcut to the Recent documents or items menu in Windows 8 too.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
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.


  1. Dale

    Creating Shortcuts to C:users[username]recent will get you there too.

  2. awiklendt

    >Press Win+R key in combination to display the ‘Run’ dialog box. In it, type recent and click ‘OK’.

    “Windows cannot find ‘recent’. Make sure you’ve typed the name correctly, then try again.”

    What now? FYI: My Win8 is an upgrade install.

  3. Alternatively, you could open the following location: C:UsersRecent. It is the same thing.

  4. awiklendt

    Hi Dale thanks for replying.

    There is no folder called “recent” in my C:users[me] directory. I suspect this is why it could not be found via Win+R.

    However, after some googling I did find “C:Users[me]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindows” has a “recent items” folder – similar in fashion to recent documents (and not at all “recent places”). i now have recent items (and recent places) folder pinned to my start menu but still looking to modify a few things about it:

    a) pin to taskbar (sending to desktop then right-clicking on it only gives option to pin to start screen)

    b) open sorted by modified date, however all the target path parameters i can find ( have much more basic behaviour adjustments.

  5. Amy

    Thanks! This method worked for me. Although I have one more item for your wish list. I would like to see just recent documents, not all items.

  6. notageek

    OMG, I should not have to do any of this!

  7. Patricia

    I tried this and it didn’t work for me,, either. i’m working on Windows 8.1 and there doesn’t seem to be a file called “recent” on my computer. Any suggestions?

  8. Annelize Swart

    I tried this and the instructions in the article above, and I still get this same error. :/

  9. Annelize Swart

    Same problem. I’m also on 8.1

  10. AJ2449

    This is ridiculous — it worked so much better on Win 7.
    Am Glad they fired the guy who created this Inefficient Mess! It’s Crap (on a desktop PC at least)

  11. completely sane idea

    or..or…you could just add the windows button back with ALL options as before…

  12. Bev Norris

    Thank you so much for this easy to follow, detailed description that worked extremely well in Windows 8.1. I wish Microsoft would leave things readily available for PC users. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Or, try asking users what they would like. Life with Windows 8.1 is much easier with The Windows Club team! Thank you!!

  13. Gail Coulson

    What I would like to know is how to see recent software used (e.g. HTMLKit) with a list of recent files used in that app when you pointed to it, like used to be visible on the start screen in Windows 7. Getting rid of this is a step backward for Microsoft.

  14. Billy Bones

    It seems like nobody at MSFT, from Bill Gates to the low level employees use PCs or they would have seen how important it is to make recent documents a default

  15. Yuval

    After opening “Folder Options” and un-checking the “Hide protected operating system files”, I followed the instructions which said to oppen the folder C:/users and right-click on the Recent Documents”. There is no folder by that name!

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