How to See Last Opened Files

Trusting is good, but not trusting is better. Who assures you, in fact, that when you left him alone in your room, your friend didn't poke his nose into the files on your computer? Nobody… or rather, your PC can assure you, but you have to know where to look!

The place you need to look is the history of files opened on your computer: by finding out which files have been opened on your PC - and by checking their opening date - you can, in fact, find out if the computer has been used in your absence and which documents have been the object of the curiosity of nosy friends or relatives. Interesting, right? I would say yes ... but from your face I seem to understand that you do not have the slightest idea where the history with the files is, do you? Well, no problem! I'm here to help and guide you in situations like this!

Come on! Set aside five minutes of free time, dedicate to reading this tutorial and find out how to see last opened files on Windows and macOS thanks to the information I'm about to give you. I assure you that, in no time at all, you will be able to view the list of all recently opened files on your computer and, consequently, to "catch" any nosy friends or relatives, who have used the computer without permission. Happy reading and good luck for your "investigations"!

See Last Opened Files on Windows

Purposes Windows and you would like to know how to see the last opened files on your PC? No problem: you just have to choose one of the solutions listed below and use it according to the directions I am about to give you. You will be amazed at how simple it is!

File Explorer

The easiest way to see the list of recently opened files on Windows is to run theFile Explorer (the yellow folder icon in the system tray), select the item Quick access from the left sidebar and expand the box related to recent files: you will be shown a list with the last 20 files opened on your PC.

If you want to see a more complete list of recently opened files on your PC, you can bring up the panel Esegui ... premendo the combination of tasti Win + R (the Win key is the one with the Windows flag), type shell:recent in the window that appears on the screen and give Submit. A File Explorer window will open with a list of all the files that were most recently opened on your computer.

If you want, you can also create a shortcut on the desktop (or wherever you prefer) to quickly access the folder with the list of the most recently opened files. To create a new shortcut, right click on the desktop or folder where you want to create the shortcut and select the items New> Link give the menu to compare.

In the window that opens, paste the path %AppData%MicrosoftWindowsRecent, or forward, choose the name to assign to the link (eg. Recent items) e pigia sul pulsating end to conclude the procedure.


If the Windows File Explorer seems a little too limited to you, you can resort to RecentFilesView: a completely free program that allows you to see the list of the last files opened on your computer: using it, you can easily find out if, in your absence, someone has used your PC and rummaged through your private documents.

To download RecentFilesView on your PC, connected to the official website of the program and click on the item Download RecentFilesView. On the same web page, download the Italian translation of the software by clicking on the item Italian.

At the end of the download of the two archives, extract them into the same folder and double-click the file RecentFilesView.exe to start the program. The list of the last files opened on your computer is immediately loaded.

To reorder files in order of opening, from the most recently opened to the furthest opened, click on the column title Last access until a down arrow appears next to it.

The most important information of each file (File name) are the date the file was last accessed (Last access), the date of its creation (creation date) and its latest modification (Modified).

The column Missing file indicates whether the file can be viewed (No) or less (Si) because, for example, it was deleted or the drive from which it was opened is no longer accessible. 

The program also shows us the files that have been opened from a USB key, a CD-ROM or more generally from any external drive. Missing files can be identified immediately because they are also marked with a slight pink color.

Clear the List of Open Files on Windows

If you want to clear the list of recently opened files on Windows and thus prevent other people from snooping on the documents you have used in the last few days, open theFile Explorer, pigia sul pulsating Fillet located at the top left and select the item Change folder and search options from the menu that appears. If you are using a version of Windows earlier than 8.x, go to the menu instead Tools> Folder Options.

In the window that opens, select the tab Generalclick on your button Clear which is located at the bottom (in the box Privacy) and that's it: all the elements in the list of recent files will be removed instantly.

Recent Files Opened in Programs

Many programs, such as VLC, allow you to view the list of files that have been recently opened in them: just go to the menu Fillet located at the top left (Media, in the case of VLC) and consult the file list recently opened (or of the recent files) present in the latter.

Very often, within the same menu, or in the program settings, you can also find the option to delete the list of recently opened files.

See Last Opened Files on Mac

If you have one Poppy and you want to find out if any nosy friends or relatives have used your computer in your absence, here's how you can proceed.


To view the list of the most recently opened files on macOS, open the Finder (the smiling face icon located on the Dock bar, bottom left) and select the item Recent from the left sidebar. If the Recent item does not appear in the Finder sidebar, go to the menu vai (top) and select the item Recent from the latter (or press the key combination shift+cmd+f, it's the same thing).

This will open a list with all recently opened files on the Mac. Activating the ad view list (by selecting the appropriate item from the menu Vista or by clicking on the icon with the four horizontal lines present in the Finder toolbar) and clicking on the column Last opening date you can quickly find out which files are most recently opened and the time they were actually used (so the time that, presumably, someone used your Mac without permission).

If you do not want to know what are the latest files that were used on the Mac, but the latest folders that have been opened on the latter went in the menu Go> Recent Folders which is located at the top.

Recent Files Opened in Applications

Almost all applications for MacOS offer convenient menu for displaying recent open files in them: usually, this menu can be called by selecting items File> Open Recent from the bar at the top of the desktop. However, its location can vary.

If you can't find the menu with recent files open in a particular application, select the item Help or the voice ? from the bar at the top of the desktop and search Recent o Recent in the box that appears: in this way, you should be able to find the menu with recent files in a very simple way.

Clear the List of Open Files on MacOS

For privacy reasons, you don't want macOS to show the list of most recently opened files? Then follow the directions I am about to give you and you should be able to solve the problem ... if not completely, at least in large part!

Let's start with the section Recent Finder which, being a Smart folder, cannot be removed completely. The only thing you can do is hide its icon from the Finder sidebar and avoid the latter opens precisely with the display of recent files.

To hide the "Recent" section in the Finder, open the latter and go to the menu Finder> Preferences which is located at the top left. In the window that opens, select the tab Side bar and remove the check mark from the item Recent. Then, in order not to open the Finder in the "Recent" section, select the tab General and select the folder in which you want the Finder to open from the drop-down menu The new Finder windows show.

What, however, you can delete it completely the list of open files in a given application (or a list of open folders in case the Finder). To do this, all you have to do is go to the menu File> Open Recent application in use (Go> Recent Folders for Finder) and click on the option Clear menu present in it.

If you want, you can also make sure that the list with recent items is not recreated within individual applications. To do this, open System preference (the gear icon located on the Dock), select the item General from the window that opens and set the drop-down menu Recent items su 0.

If you change your mind, you can restore the view of recent files within applications by going back to System Preferences> General and selecting the number of recent files to display in the program menu from the drop-down menu Recent items. Più semplice di così ?!