Recent Items not updating

Discussion in 'Windows Vista File Management' started by Pengalo, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Pengalo

    Pengalo Guest

    The Recent Items list in Vista was working fine. I'm not sure what caused
    the problem, but I noticed it stopped updating around the same time I
    compressed a number of folders.
    When I tried "Clear Recent Items List' by right-clicking on "Recent Items"
    in the start menu it would hang and I'd have to restart Windows to get it
    back. I finaly got it cleared by turning off the option altogether and then
    turning it back on. However, it still doesn't work. If I go directly to the
    folder at C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent I do see
    shortcuts showing up when I open files but the shortcut is always to the
    folder of the item; not the item itself. If I manually edit the shortcut and
    point it to the file, it shows up in the Recent Items list and I can click on
    it to open it. However, it replaces the modified shortcut with the shortcut
    to the folder. I'm fairly certain this is a Vista bug. Anyone else see the
    same thing?
    Pengalo, Jun 28, 2007
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  2. Are you using the files!
    James Matthews, Jun 28, 2007
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  3. Pengalo

    Pengalo Guest

    Not sure what you mean. I open the file from Explorer, work with them while
    they are open and then close them from the application. At no point do they
    show up in the Recent Items list. Doesn't work when opening from inside the
    application, either, although they do show up in the application's recent
    documents list (for example, in Word 2007).

    Update: some documents that are in Office 2003 format (for ease of use by
    others) do show up in Vista's Recent Items list. Maybe an Office 2007 issue?

    Pengalo, Jul 1, 2007
  4. Pengalo

    Sharon F Guest

    Properties for start orb. Make sure recent items is enabled on the start
    menu tab.

    Also check "history" settings. If you delete "History" in various places
    within Vista (Start Menu properties, for example) or with a third party
    internet security program, the list is erased. Change history settings so
    that the trail is retained.
    Sharon F, Jul 2, 2007
  5. Pengalo

    Earl R Guest

    I am having the same problem. I have tried the registry mod startmenuinit,
    checked the boxes in the start menu properites to no avail. I am not sure
    where the history items you mentioned are. This problem, for me, started
    after a series of problems due to a recent McAfee upgrade. I noticed that you
    mentioned the internet security programs -- any idea what to look for there?

    Earl R, Aug 31, 2007
  6. Pengalo

    compTMan Guest

    I also have the same problem, however I have noticed that my Admin. use
    account "Recent Items" area does update properly. Only my standard use
    accts. don't update the Recent Items area. I've found that by going t
    the folder identified by Pengalo abov
    (C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent) my Admin
    user ID has a "Recent Items" file while my other user ID's don't hav
    this file. So that's the issue. The question is how do we correct it?
    I could copy the file from Admin. and paste it in one of the user ID'
    to see if that helps but I think there should also be some Registr
    changes required to get it to be used properly
    compTMan, Sep 12, 2007
  7. Pengalo

    Earl R Guest

    I have been troubleshooting this for some time and found that file in the
    location you mentioned, so it is there but not working. It has a special file
    icon associated with it. I tried to simply move a file to that directory but
    it will not let me do that. It simply doesn't respond. I agree that there is
    something in the registry causing the problem but I have no idea what to do.
    Does anyone else have a solution to this problem?
    Earl R, Sep 12, 2007
  8. Pengalo

    dean-dean Guest

    If you've used a 3rd party cleaner, it may have deleted the desktop.ini in
    the Recent Items folder. If you navigate to C:\Users\(Your
    Name)AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows, does the Recent Items folder have a
    special icon? If it doesn't, and only shows the generic manila one, or if the
    folder is just called Recent (without the word Items), right-click on the
    Recent folder and choose Delete. Log Off and then Log On. Open your Start
    Menu and type, in the Start Search box:


    Press Enter. This should restore the folder with the correct desktop.ini,
    which will then restore the right-click context menu item "Clear Recent
    Items List". (Right-click inside the Recent Items folder that pops up to
    test that, after having typed shell:recent).
    dean-dean, Sep 12, 2007
  9. Pengalo

    Earl R Guest

    Thanks for trying but that doesn't work. I have used a third party cleaner
    (Tweak VI) but the folder is the special folder for recent items and right
    clicking on recent items in the start menu has always had the clear recent
    items box. I tried your procedure anyway. The first problem I ran into was
    there was no delete option in the right click dialogue box. I tried moving it
    to another folder and that worked. BAsed on the warnings, there is a
    desktop.ini file in that folder. I then followed your suggested - logged on
    and logged off, the selected Start the Search and typed shell:recent. The
    only response was that it could not fin that item. I tried opening a word
    file, making changes and closing it. Then I checked recent items but it still
    didn't contain the recently opened file.

    I use McAfee for security and I know they had a bad update in August that I
    am still trying to fix. I wonder if that could have caused the problem. I am
    still trying to get McAfee to run after hours of troubleshooting with McAfee.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions. This is a very irritating problem
    for me.

    Earl R, Sep 12, 2007
  10. Pengalo

    dean-dean Guest

    Well, my suggestion to compTMan was for the Recent Items folder that met the criteria of a generic icon and the name Recent, instead
    of Recent Items (which criteria indicates the desktop.ini is missing). Too, if the desktop.ini is missing, Delete will be in the
    context menu when right-clicking on the folder.

    Check this key in the Registry Editor:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

    In the left-hand pane, the default Data for the Name "Recent" (no quotes) should be:


    (Note that in the registry, the folder is called Recent, not Recent Items: the path is exactly as written. The "Recent Items" name
    is a function of the desktop.ini.). And check this key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

    In the left-hand pane, the default Data for the Name "Recent" (no quotes) should be:

    C:\Users\(Your Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent

    Should you need to modify the Data values, log off and back on. Then type shell:recent to see if the folder pops up...

    dean-dean, Sep 12, 2007
  11. Pengalo

    compTMan Guest

    I don't know when my problem started but I too recently loaded a
    anti-virus application (AVG).

    As Earl mentioned, the icon for my Recent Items file is a special ico
    and the file name includes the work "Items." Dean-dean, do you have an
    other suggestions

    I did find one interesting point. If I'm logged on as a standard use
    and attempt to access the Recent Items file (using the shell:recen
    command) I'm told I need permission to access the file. It then ask m
    to enter the Admin. password. When I enter the correct password I'
    "denied access" and told to use the "security tab" to gain access
    compTMan, Sep 12, 2007
  12. Pengalo

    Earl R Guest

    I had already done a search of the registry looking for any items with
    "recent" that did not seem correct. I noted that each time the recent items
    was listed as a directory it was exactly as you wrote.

    When I try to open folder "recent items" or when I type shell:recent
    command, a window pops up and closes before I can see what it is.

    Earl R, Sep 12, 2007
  13. Pengalo

    dean-dean Guest

    Actually, the folder popping up and disappearing occurs when "Store and display a list of recently opened files" is not checked in
    Taskbar and Start Menu Properties. Right-click on the Start Menu button on your Taskbar, and choose Properties. On the Start Menu
    tab of that dialog, make sure, under the Privacy section, that that entry has a checkmark (Apply, OK). Then try the shell:recent
    command again.

    dean-dean, Sep 12, 2007
  14. Pengalo

    dean-dean Guest

    Try this, compTMan, (substitute USERNAME for the actual name of the account):

    1. Right-click Command Prompt, and choose Run as Administrator. Type the
    following command, and then press ENTER:

    takeown /f C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent

    2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER to grant
    administrators full access to the file:

    icacls C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent /grant administrators:F

    3. Then type:

    icacls C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent /grant USERNAME_PC/USERNAME:F

    Press ENTER.
    dean-dean, Sep 13, 2007
  15. Pengalo

    Earl R Guest

    This didn't work either. I got an error message on instruction 3. In any
    case, it had no effect.

    Earl R, Sep 13, 2007
  16. Earl

    Are you using Vista Ultimate or Business?

    If so, right click the Recent Items on the Start Menu and select
    Properties/Previous Versions Tab. Select the oldest file there and click the
    Restore Button.


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Shell/User

    Ronnie Vernon MVP, Sep 13, 2007
  17. Pengalo

    dean-dean Guest

    Earl, you aren't getting an "access denied" as was compTMan, so those
    commands weren't appropriate to your situation. The behavior you are
    describing is more like the the checkmark in "Store and display a list of
    recently opened files", in Taskbar and Start Menu Properties, isn't
    "sticking". Try toggling that entry; that is, turn it off, so that Recent
    Items (on the right-hand side of the Menu) ISN'T listed in your Start Menu,
    and then turn it back on, so that Recent Items IS listed in your Start Menu.
    The sudden disappearance of the window when you type shell:recent acts just
    as you describe, when that entry in Properties is not checked.

    dean-dean, Sep 13, 2007
  18. Pengalo

    compTMan Guest

    I checked the registry and found that for the "Recent" items in the
    first registry entry identified in the attachment below I only have:


    and not the full path defined below.

    And for the second registry defined below I have:

    C:\Users\(Your Name)\Recent

    again not the full path.

    I hate making changes to the registry since this is such an important
    and delicate area but I will look into possibly making the change and
    report my findings back on this thread.
    compTMan, Sep 14, 2007
  19. Pengalo

    compTMan Guest

    Well, I finally solved my problem with the help of some of dean-dean'
    advice. Just to recap my problem, I could log in as the Admin. and th
    "Recent Items" would update whenever a file is opened. However, whe
    I'm logged in under a standard user ID the Recent Items area would no

    By looking at the registry as defined earlier in this thread, m
    "Recent Items" for standard users was pointing to a shortcut located i
    the C:\User\(your name) directory. I could not determine where th
    shortcut was pointing because if I attempted to open it's properties
    was denied access because I "didn't have permission" (even if I wa
    logged in as the Admin.). So taking the advice of dean-dean earlier i
    this thread I deleted the shortcut file and entered the SHELL:RECEN
    command in the "Start Search" area of the START menu to create th
    special file required for the Recent Items area. This apparently worke
    because the Recent Items window opened.

    I then went to the START menu but did not see the "Recent Items" men
    item, so taking another of dean-dean's suggestions I opened th
    "properties" area of the START button and cleared the checks on th

    "Store and display a list of recently opened files..."
    "Store and display a list of recently opened program..."

    I performed a restart, logged back into my standard user ID (not m
    Admin. ID), and opened the properties area of the START button again.
    reselected the two items above (replaced the checks for each item) an
    clicked APPLY. My Recent Items area now works properly, recording an
    files that are opened.

    Thanks dean-dean for all your help and I hope my narative here help
    others to solve their problem as well
    compTMan, Sep 16, 2007
  20. compTman

    Thank you very much for the excellent recap, I wish more people would take
    the time to return and do this.
    Thanks to Dean for providing the solution.
    Ronnie Vernon MVP, Sep 17, 2007
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