Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recent Items in Windows 8

I  just got Windows 8 installed on my work desktop a few days back, and am still trying to find my way around the place.  The jury is still out if this is a great OS for non-touch laptop/desktop users; I really appreciate some of the performance features; some of the UX, not so much.

This morning I was looking for a file I had just closed, and I couldn't remember the filename or the path.  Recent Items to the rescue, I thought. So I hit Windows, typed "Recent" - nothing - continued, "Recent Items" - nothing.  Hmm.  Hit Windows + F to do a file search only - still nada.

Google to the rescue, as always:

From elessarGObonzo: the folder is still located in "C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows" as 'Recent Items'

Unfortunately this folder is a special folder that can't simply be added as a Toolbar - that would have been great.  You can however add it to your Start menu, Desktop, and also to the Taskbar.

To add Recent items to your Start menu, simply right-click and select Pin to Start.  Done. (Tip: Hit Windows to bring up Start and then move the icon to a place you can find it.)

To add Recent Items to the Desktop is also easy, rght-click, select Send To > Desktop (create shortcut).  Done.

To add Recent Items to the Taskbar is more complex - you have to add a shortcut to the Taskbar folder, which like the Recent Items folder itself is hidden.

From Windows 7 Themes: the Taskbar folder is located here: C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

So simply Alt-drag the Recent Items from its folder to the Taskbar folder and you now have a button in the Desktop taskbar.

Not quite the same as Windows 7, but manageable.

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  • Nice post.
    I don't mind the Windows 8 UI, but it appears that they want aesthetics over functionality, which bothers me.
    Love your blog, BTW. :)
    I found your blog from stack-overflow, on a post where you were asking about Safari on iOS and the iframe issue...

    By Anonymous Dumb Search, at Sunday, December 16, 2012 8:48:00 PM  

  • The UI on windows 8 is different but it only takes about an hour of use until you get use to it. I had the same problem with the recent items too and also went to google to save the day. Difficult the first time but once you get use to it, you'll learn to love it. People say laptops with windows 8 is primarily used for touchscreen capabilities. I can see why but the mouse cursor is just as good.

    By Anonymous Nick, at Monday, September 09, 2013 2:28:00 PM  

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