I recently upgraded from Ubuntu 15.10 to 16.04.2 LTS.

This is a sample image of file explorer before upgrade. As you can see there is an icon for recently used files in the sidebar.

File Explorer in Ubuntu 15.10

Now have a look at file explorer after upgrade. As you can see the option for recent files is gone.

File Explorer in Ubuntu 15.10

How can I enable this option in Ubuntu 16.04.02 LTS?

EDIT: @Ravexina. This is what I got after typing recent:/// in nautilus address bar. The recent folder is opening but it is not showing any of the recently opened files.


  • I've got it in my 16.04... did you change anything?
    – Ravexina
    May 12, 2017 at 19:21
  • @Ravexina I did not change anything. I simply used 'sudo do-release-upgrade' command to upgrade to the latest LTS version.
    – RD017
    May 12, 2017 at 19:24
  • Close nautilus, run: mv .config/nautilus/ .config/nautilus-bk, run nautilus see if anything changed.
    – Ravexina
    May 12, 2017 at 19:25
  • It did not work.
    – RD017
    May 12, 2017 at 19:29
  • What is the output of lsattr .local/share/recently-used.xbel
    – Ravexina
    May 12, 2017 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


Go to "System Settings" and choose "Security and Privacy" go to "files & applications" tab and turn "Record file and application usage" on.

enter image description here

As an alternative in nautilus (file manager), press Ctrl+L so you can enter "Addresss/Path", then type in: recent:/// and press enter. It should show the recent files.

Then press Ctrl+D to bookmark this into your nautilus sidebar.

enter image description here

  • Can I move it above Home icon?
    – RD017
    May 12, 2017 at 19:49
  • See my update should work for you ...
    – Ravexina
    May 12, 2017 at 19:51

In Ubuntu LTS 22.04: go to "Parameters", "Privacy", and then "File history and bin" and click to activate the option "File history" (here Ubuntu in French): enter image description here

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