On your Windows 10 or Windows 11 running computer, you might want to see files that were recently opened. Both Windows 10 and 11 offer multiple ways to view recently opened files.
Following are the five methods to view recently opened files in Windows 10/11.
Method 1 of 5
View recently opened files in Windows 10/11
The Quick Access in Windows 10/11 can help you view recently opened files. Here is how to use Quick Access to view recently opened files.
Step 1: Open the Quick Access section of File Explorer. By default, File Explorer opens to Quick Access. If not, you can click on the Quick Access option in the left pane of File Explorer to switch to it.
Step 2: The Recent files section of Quick Access shows the 20 recently opened files. The most recently opened file shows at the top/beginning of the list.
Method 2 of 5
Advanced method to view all types of recently opened files in Windows 10/11
Step 1: Open the Run command box using the Windows logo + R hotkey.
Step 2: Copy and paste the following path into the Run command box and then hit Enter to open the Recent Items folders. The Recent Items folder includes all recently opened files and folders.
Step 3: Click on the Date modified column to sort all files in the folder by the last modified date and time. Alternatively, right-click on an empty spot, click Sort by and then select Date modified by to sort files by modified date.
Method 3 of 5
View recently opened files via the Start menu in Windows 11
NOTE: This method is available in Windows 11 only.
The Recommended section in the Windows 11 Start menu displays a list of recently opened files. Just open the Start menu to view recently opened files.
Method 3 of 5
View recently opened files from the taskbar in Windows 10/11
The taskbar jump list can help you find recently opened files provided you remember you used to open a file. Most of the programs/apps support this feature, although not all.
Step 1: Perform a right-click on the app’s icon on the taskbar to see the jump list, which shows recently opened files with the program/app.
For example, to view files opened recently with the Notepad app, you just need to right-click on it.
Method 5 of 5
Use Nirsoft’s RecentFilesView tool to view recently opened files in Windows 10/11
The advantage of RecentFilesView over the built-in Windows methods is that this third-party tool shows all types of files, including the system files. When troubleshooting, this might help you!
Step 1: Get the RecentFilesView tool from this official download page. Extract the ZIP file and run the RecentFilesView program. It does not require an installation.
Step 2: The list displays all recently opened files. You can right-click on a file’s entry to see options to open and copy it.
Our how to view recently saved files in Windows 10 guide might also interest you.