How to Find the Last Thing Looked at on a Computer

By Adrian Grahams

If you want to find the most recent files or documents opened on a desktop or laptop computer then check the "Recent Items" list from the desktop "Start" menu. Older versions of Microsoft Windows include this feature as standard but on Microsoft Windows 7 you'll need to enable this option and add it to the "Start" menu before you can view the most recently opened items. Setting up "Recent Items" is a simple process that can make finding documents easier.

Step 1

Click "Start" on the desktop toolbar and select "Control Panel."

Step 2

Select "Appearance and Personalization" followed by "Taskbar" and then "Start Menu."

Step 3

Click on the "Start Menu" tab. Under the "Privacy" heading click the check box beside "Store and Display Recently Opened Items in the Start Menu and the Taskbar."

Step 4

Click "Customize." Read through the list of options in the "Customize Start Menu" box until you find the "Recent Items" check box. Click on this box to select it and then press "OK" and then "OK" again.

Step 5

View the most recently-opened filed and documents by clicking "Start" on the desktop screen toolbar and selecting "Recent Items." This will show the last documents or files opened on the computer with the most recent at the top of the list.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove "Recent Items" from the "Start" menu by following the same procedure but in Step 4 clear the "Recent Items" check box to clear it and press "OK" and then "OK" again.