I have searched on Google, and I have completed the following steps:

  • Delete "all" activity history from the "Privacy" application.
  • Remove the file "recently-used.xbel" from ~/.local/share
  • $ nautilus -q
  • Remove the file "activity.sqlite" from ~/.local/share/zeitgeist
  • $ zeitgeist-daemon --replace &

I checked my "Recent" folder in between all of the above steps and none of them had any impact. I also tried:

  • Remove all files with "sqlite" in the name from ~/.local/share/zeitgeist (3 files:)
    • activity.sqlite
    • activity.sqlite-shm
    • activity.sqlite-wal
  • $ zeitgeist-daemon --replace &

None of the above had any impact on the contents of the "Recent" folder.

According to everything I've found, removing the file "recently-used.xbel" and restarting Nautilus should clear the "Recent" folder. Why isn't it working?


I don't know why removing recently-used.xbel isn't working. But if you want to do it the clicky way:

  1. Select all files in Recent
  2. Right-click on the selected files
  3. Click on Remove from Recent

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* on ubuntu 18.04


Restarting Nautilus didn't work, logging out and back in (oddly) didn't work, but restarting the computer did the trick. I'm curious to find out whether this was just a fluke or if I have to reboot every time I want to clear the "Recent" folder.

  • 1
    you can also just open Recent, highlight all the files & from the r. click context menu remove them. (my current nautilus has a remove option, if not there then just choose delete instead – doug Dec 14 '13 at 2:15

You can. Just open the recent folder, select all by Ctrl+A and clear by Shift+Delete?


Simply open dconf-editor, navigate to org->gnome->(filemanager e.g. nemo(for me)->privacy and uncheck the remember-recent-files key. That takes care of it, once for all!

Btw I'm using Peppermint 8, it works for me in the File Manager, while for startup menu, you can just open start menu (whisker menu for me) and in Behavior tab input 0 for Amount of items under Recently Used

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