I have recently switched to Kubuntu 17.04 and one of the things I miss most about my previous GNOME-based setup is the ability to search through a long chronology of my recently used files.

From what I understand, GNOME uses the Zeitgeist framework to keep track of recently used files which can record user activities across weeks, months, or even years.

KDE, on the other hand, seems to only be able to track 10 recently used items at a time which are stored as .desktop files under ~/.local/share/RecentDocuments/. There's also .local/share/recently-used.xbel, which is under no such restrictions. But that file only seems to be used by a select few apps, most of them not part of KDE itself.

So I guess my main question is: How do I increase the number of recently used items that KDE keeps track of? - be it by changing that limit of 10 RecentDocuments, forcing KDE to use recently-used.xbel, or any other method you can think of.

Some options I have tried so far:

  • installing Zeitgeist under KDE and linking it up to a Zeitgeist-enabled quick-launcher like Synapse – does not seem to work with KDE apps
  • using Baloo as a replacement for activity-based file tracking – while you can use Baloo to index most of your file system, it's not the same as having the most relevant results drawn from your recently used files. Baloo also seems to have trouble indexing some files, e.g. hidden config files (even with the respective option to track hidden files enabled)

2 Answers 2


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KDE Forums - Feature Request: More Recent Documents : https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=251&t=131544#p353228

by "google01103":

try editing the kdeglobals file (in ~/.kde[4]/share/config or in ~/.config depending on what you're running) the following section

  • KDE4: ~/.kde/share/config/kdeglobals
  • KF5: ~/.config/kdeglobals

Editing the kdeglobals with the kwriteconfig / kwriteconfig5: KDE Forums - Howto: Recently used: https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=119324#p301110

Note ! Use the right tool:

  • kwriteconfig is the KDE4 tool.
  • kwriteconfig5 is the KDE Frameworks5 (KF5) tool.
  • 1
    Thanks, this worked perfectly! To be specific: I used kwriteconfig5 --group RecentDocuments --key MaxEntries 100 and then restarted my session. The recent documents entries were no longer limited to 10 after that. Sep 20, 2017 at 21:44

user26687's answer didn't quite work for me (KDE Plasma 5.18.8). The MaxEntries configuration option seems to set the number of history entries, but not how many of those are shown in the "Recent files" or "Recent locations" folders. Here is how I managed to increase the numbers of items there, thanks to some comments appearing in this bug report:

  • Open a Dolphin window, and make sure that the "Places" panel is open (menu View/Show Panels/Places)
  • In the Places panel there should be a "Recent Files" entry. Right-click on it and select "Edit..."
  • In the window that opens, replace recentlyused:/files with for example recentlyused:/files?limit=200 where instead of 200 you write the number of recent items you want to be shown.
  • Click "OK".

That should do it. Analogous procedure for "Recent Locations", which should also appear in the Places panel.

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