How can I hide recent files that my Ubuntu Netbook's unity menu shows when I click on the files and folder icon?

Okay ! I watch porn sometimes and right after that it appears in the files and folder menu. And believe me, that is not a good thing. :D

So, please tell me if there is a way to do this :D

  • 4
    Even if you can stop Unity remembering things, each application you use might keep its own history. Most are integrated into the same system (so can be disabled centrally) but some are not. Most notable are browsers but I'm sure there are others.
    – Oli
    Mar 4, 2011 at 15:49

4 Answers 4


I personally don't use Unity but if you're looking for a way to hide traces of certain, erm, "activities", you could create another user account that was dedicated to that activity which would have its own Unity cache and settings, so you could go wild and nobody ever need know.

So let's say you have a passion for painting Warhammer 40,000 characters. Obviously you don't want your friends or family suddenly see a picture of a great, big, filthy Space Marine Terminator Chaplain.


Oh yes, he'd do some pretty bad things to your Tyranids.

So you create an account:

  • Go into System > Administration > Users and Groups (no idea how you get there in Unity)
  • Create a new user tyranidlover
  • Then you want to hide this from the login screen. The options for this have been evaluated on this thread.
  • You can also encrypt your other user's home directory so that nobody else could accidentally find the files hidden within. This is another step for another question, I think. I don't know how to do this for a second user off the top of my head.

Then when you feel the need to do some Warhammer research, you can just switch users, punch in your hidden username and password and there you are, up to your knuckles in lead-based modelling paint and plastic glue.

  • 2
    Pressing Super then typing "Users" should find it in Unity. And the dialog to add a new user has a very handy "Encrypt home folder" checkbox.
    – poolie
    Apr 21, 2011 at 7:34
  • 1
    If you had all your Warhammer 40,000 resources in a single folder or on an external hard drive, you can exclude that location from the recent activity log by going to the application "Privacy", then adding the path to the directory into the blacklist in the "Files" tab. Keep in mind that this wouldn't stop a file search from hypothetically resulting in some huge guns and bad ass armor.
    – Hubro
    Jun 20, 2013 at 15:16
  • 1
    +1 for the sheer hilarity of the answer :D (We need more humour on AskUbuntu ;)
    – Ads20000
    May 15, 2014 at 15:39

Another way is to go to "System Settings" > "Privacy" and clean what you need (you can also turn off the "Record Activity"):

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  • This is what I was looking for.
    – user45315
    Oct 24, 2012 at 8:27

Go to Settings > Privacy. Toggle the Record Activity switch to Off.

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  • This is what I was looking for.
    – user45315
    Oct 24, 2012 at 8:27

Just hide your private folder.

  • To do that rename the folder with a preceding "." and the folder will be hiddden.
  • To view the hidden files and folders press Ctrl+H

Check if hidden files and folders appear in unity menu.

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