Word 2013 2016 Recent Documents Not Showing in Windows 10/8/7

Jean updated on Sep 18, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


If you have the problem of right-clicking the Word icon in Task Bar/Start Menu no longer shows the recent documents, this post is actually written for you. Please carefully follow the advice on this page to restore the disappeared list of recent files in Word with or without the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Problem: Right-clicking the Word icon no longer shows recent files

"The recent files list was always there when I right-clicking any of the Office application in Task Bar in Windows 10. However, not this time. The Excel, Notepad and PowerPoint display files all fine, whereas the Word 2016 is not showing recent documents anymore. I don't know what happened and need your help to restore the disappeared recent list very badly because I'm so used to this function."

The issue 'Word recent documents not showing' on this page occurs to us in two situations.

  • One. Recent documents not showing in Task Bar/Start in Windows 10/8/7
  • Two. Recent documents not showing in Word application

Even though it is not in one place for us to lose the access to recent Word documents, the workarounds are pretty much the same. Continue reading because we find a couple of fixed solutions for you to make the recent files re-appear in the list.

How to recover recent documents in Word in Windows 10/8/7

To bring the missing recent documents back to its list in the Windows operating system, you must figure out the exact causes in the first place. In the next part, we're going to illustrate the possible reasons and corresponding solutions. So, pick up the most suitable solution for your own case.

Fix #1: Recent files were cleared or disabled

Step 1. Please follow the given path to check if this "show recent files" function were activated:

1_Open Word 2013/2016, click File -> Options -> Advanced
2_Under Display, what's the number in "Show this number of Recent Documents" list?
This is where you can change the number of files that appear in the list of recently used files. If this number is set to zero, undoubtedly, you don't see a single recent document showing in this area.

To fix this issue, change the number "0" to "10" "15" "25" or other numbers as you like.

show this number of recent documents in word

Step 2. Install Office file recovery software to recover recently deleted documents

Microsoft Office allows users to remove an individual file from the recently used file list with the option "Remove from list". In fact, you don't remove the file from your entire system unless you pressed "Delete". 

remove Word recent documents from list

In this case, if you want to make the deleted file appear again in the recent documents list, you have to recover lost or deleted Word document and re-open it.

EaseUS file recovery software is very reliable and economic when you have a small-sized document to recover.

Step 1. Choose the Word file location.

Do you know where you lost Word files? Choose the hard disk drive or a specific folder and click the San button. If it's on a USB flash drive or SD card, take one more step to connect it to your computer.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan all lost data.

The software will start immediately scanning all lost data on the selected drive, and you'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results. After the scan, use the quickest way to the wanted Word documents by choosing "Documents" from the drop-down list in "Filter". 

scan word files

Step 3. Select Word files and recover.

You're allowed to preview a Word file if you have Microsoft Word application installed on your computer. Finally, select the desired documents and click "Recover".

select word documents and recover

Fix #2: The "AutomaticDestinations" folder is corrupted

This is proved to be a useful trick on the Microsoft support page, but you'll be asked to meet the two requirements.

  • First, the Word recent documents are not showing in Task Bar or Start Menu.
  • Second, the recent document list within the Word application is normal and visible.

That's it! There might some corruption in the recent items stored in 'AutomaticDestinations' folder.

To resolve and fix the issue, follow these steps:

1_Browse to the location mentioned: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

Note: the folder "AutomaticDestinations" is hidden by default.
See how to show hidden files in Windows 10/8/7.

2_Delete all the files whose size is 1MB or more.

Note: If you cannot find any file sized 1MB or more then delete all the files. This will eventually remove the Jump Lists' recent items for all the applications. The recent items on the Jump Lists will be re-added as the program is been used. If you delete all the files then ensure that the applications are pinned again to the taskbar.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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