How to Clear Recents on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Are you tired of seeing a long list of recently opened files cluttering up your Mac? Clearing your recents can help you declutter and organize your system. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of clearing recents on your Mac using a few simple steps.

Step 1: Open the Finder

To begin, open the Finder by clicking on the smiling face icon located on your dock or by pressing Command + Spacebar and searching for “Finder” in Spotlight.

Step 2: Access the “Go” Menu

Once the Finder is open, locate the menu bar at the top of your screen. Click on the “Go” tab to reveal a dropdown menu.

Step 3: Select “Recent Items”

In the dropdown menu, you will see an option called “Recent Items”. Move your cursor over it to reveal another dropdown menu that displays your most recently opened files and applications.

Step 4: Clear Recent Items

To clear all of your recent items, click on “Clear Recent Items” at the bottom of the list. A confirmation dialog box will appear asking if you want to clear all recent items. Click on “Clear” to proceed.


If you only want to remove specific items from your recent list, hover over each item and click on the small ‘x’ icon that appears next to it. This will remove only that particular item from your recent list.

Step 5: Verify Recents are Cleared

To make sure that your recents have been successfully cleared, repeat Step 3 and check if the list is now empty.


Clearing your recent items will not delete the actual files from your Mac. It simply removes them from the list of recently opened items.

Final Words

Congratulations! You have successfully cleared your recent items on your Mac. By regularly clearing your recents, you can keep your system clean, organized, and free from unnecessary clutter.

Remember, keeping a tidy system not only improves productivity but also helps you find your important files and applications more easily.

  • TIP: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + P + R during startup to clear the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) on your Mac, which includes resetting certain recent items.
  • IMPORTANT: Before clearing recents or performing any system changes, make sure to back up any important files or data to prevent accidental loss.

We hope this tutorial has helped you learn how to clear recents on your Mac. If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to our support team. Happy organizing!

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