Strange Vista Recent Items problem

By dms96960
Jul 13, 2008
  1. When I click on my Recent Items icon, I only get the first 15 recent files in alphabetical order. For example, I just clicked on it and it showed 15 recent files in order with files beginning with numbers first and then other recent files alphabetically. It stops with files beginning with the letter "f". I have more recent files than those that begin with the letter "m" and further down the alphabet but they are not listed at all. I don't understand this. How can I get this to show my most recent 15 files, no matter what letter they start with?

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I did a search and found this info
    Please let me know if it works, so as to help others with similar issues

    This happens if the desktop.ini file in the Recent folder is deleted.

    Click Start, type "%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows" and press <ENTER>
    Right-click the folder named Recent, and choose Delete. Click Yes when prompted.
    Now, type the command "shell:recent" in Start - Search box, and press <ENTER>.

    Logoff and log back on. You should now see the context menu entry Clear Recent Items List when you right-click on the Recent Items folder in the Start menu.
  3. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    Thanks kimsland. Did it. Now I will hae to wait until I have more than 15 documents that have been opened to see if this works. I will let you know.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    ok, that can be quick too, just by creating 16 text documents ! (they can be blank too, they just need a name like a.txt b.txt.)

    Once you have opened all these documents (one at a time)
    Then create a new document called Z.txt (note you may not see the notepads .txt)

    Then reply back with the answer
    I'll be waiting.
  5. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28


    It did not work. As soon as I opened the 16th document, it bumped off the one beginning with the lowest letter of the alphabet -- not the oldest document. I just don't understand this. Recent items (documents) worked great in XP. This is frustrating because it is an easy way of accessing my most recently drafted documents. Any other ideas?

  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Start-->Run--> shell:recent

    When the folder opens, double click on Desktop.ini file, and paste the info (inside the file) to here.

    Note: If you do not see "Desktop.ini" you may need to turn on view all files, including System files in Folder Options
  7. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    kimsland, I don't have start-run. When I click start I see my recently used programs and all Programs and on the right side a menu with Recent Items, etc.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Click Start

    In the blank area, just above Start. Right click on it, and select Properties
    Select Customize, then select Advanced

    Go through the list, and tick "Run Command"
    Apply OK Ok
  9. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28


    I think this is it

  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    lol :)

    I haven't tried that yet, but I take it that it fixes run ?
  11. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    Maybe I didn't understand what to do. I now have the run command in the panel on the right when I click on Start. I clicked the run command and ran "shell:recent" but when I could not find the Desktop.ini file, I went to search and typed in "Desktop.ini" and it gave me one file -- desktop. I double clicked that file and what I posted above is what was in the notepad that opened up.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Oh !

    Mine doesn't say that (but it's Xp and I haven't a Vista handy)
    But I'll try and search Google if that's the correct line

    You did try deleting it, and restarting didn't you ?
  13. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    kimsland, no. Should I delete the desktop.ini file?
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Actually rename it to Desktop.old then restart

    Geez, I found all these, but not Recent !!

    Desktop.ini contents for various shell folders in Windows Vista




    Sample Pictures.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21805


    Sample Music.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21806


    Sample Videos.lnk=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21807


    Shared By,-32802
    Recent Pictures and,-32806






  15. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    I right-clicked on the file to rename it but it did not give me the option to renameit. What should I try now?
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  17. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    I can't find a way to rename the desktop.ini file from the search function and cannot find it using explorer.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Ok I've been off searching (ideally we just need to confirm with anyone's Vista shell:recent Desktop.ini <- now we're getting technical! )

    I'd say delete it, it goes in the bin anyway
  19. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 253   +28

    The recent items is still having the same problem -- it does not list the 15 most recent items, but the 15 of the most recent ** items in alphabetical order. Is this just a big flaw in Vista which cannot be fixed?
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    All software issues are fixable. But it just so happens that some sofware faults are quicker to fix by backing up and re-installing Windows.

    Post#2 above is the fix that is required in this situation.
    Sadly has not worked for you

    It may be best to backup and install a clean install of Windows, or continue to put up with this issue until somebody (possibly me in the future!) provides an answer to this issue.
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