Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Deleting MRU Entries.

Deleting MRU Entries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2020)

2

The MRU refers to "most recently used," which is the list of files you have used recently in Word. This list is displayed in different ways, depending on the version of Word you are using:

  • In Word 2007 click the Office button.
  • In Word 2010 click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Recent at the left side of the screen.

This list is a wonderful aid most of the time, but is also very revealing. Everyone who uses your computer knows the name of the last file (or files) you've been working on. You may not always like this.

If you want to get rid of a single entry in the MRU list, you can only accomplish the task in Word 2010. To remove a file name from the MRU list, just right-click on it. Word displays a Context menu and one of the choices is Remove from List. Choose this option and the file is immediately removed from the MRU list. This does not delete the actual file; it only removes the entry from the MRU list.

You should note that once a file is removed from the MRU list, you can't undo the action. Indeed, if you press Ctrl+Z (which normally is used to undo an editing action), Word does nothing; the file is still missing from the MRU list.

If you are using Word 2007 you can only wipe out the entire MRU list. You do that by following these steps:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Display settings. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The display settings in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Change the first setting ("Show this Number of Recent Documents") to 0.
  6. Click OK.

The entire MRU list is now gone. Repeat the steps, but this time set the number in step 4 back to however many files you want to appear in the MRU list.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10276) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting MRU Entries.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Conditionally Playing an Audio File

You can add audio files to an Excel worksheet, but what if you want a particular audio file to play only when a value in ...

Discover More

Understanding Forms

If you have ever created several documents that contain the same basic information with only a few minor differences, ...

Discover More

Finding Wayward Links

Combining workbooks that have cross-links to each other can offer some special challenges. This tip examines how you can ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Opening a Backup File

If you have Word configured to save backup copies of your document, you may want to actually load one of those copies at ...

Discover More

Renaming a Document

Want to rename a document that is already on your hard drive? You can, of course, do it in Windows, but you can also do ...

Discover More

Searching for a Document

When switching from one version of Word to another it can be confusing to figure out where all the commands and features ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

2016-12-06 13:17:22

Rick

I am using a 2003 version of word and tried this deleting of MRU entries to clear the envelopes address list.
It did not do the trick.
Anyone know how to clear the envelope MRU drop down list?


2015-12-24 06:54:27

Ronald Gussie

Figure 1 does not display the correct menu item.
It should show the Display section under the Advance option, not the Display option.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.