Removing Recent Docs In Word

Branch coated in iceWe use DeepFreeze at my library, which erases all changes a user makes when she logs off. This is great for the patron, because it ensures privacy, neither documents that were downloaded nor sites that were surfed are remembered. This is great for technology librarians because it keeps the PCs from getting too fragged or virused up.

That said, every so oft I have to disable (or thaw in DeepFreeze parlance) to install updates. It’s a centrally managed app, so I don’t have to physically thaw each machine. We also have another app, PDQ Deploy, that pushes out all the aforementioned updates. So I don’t have to physically be there for the updates either…or do I.

Just because something is supposed to work, doesn’t mean it actually does. So I’ve gotten into the habit of thawing, pushing, and then checking. That last one, I do physically do to the machine to double-check everything is kosher. Sometime’s its not and a little finagling with the apps is needed. When that’s done, I re-enable DeepFreeze (Or Freeze See? It’s not just a clever name.), and move onto the next PC. Sometimes I get interrupted and forget to Freeze a PC. When I do, people’s privacy isn’t protected and stuff is remembered. That leads me to the the Recent Doc list in Word. Recent Document List in Word

A patron called me over and was concerned that when he popped in his USB drive and opened
Word he saw the names of his documents in the Recent Documents Menu (File –> Recent). I explained to him that even though other patrons could see the names of his documents, without the USB drive in the computer, they can’t access it. I admitted that that’s not too comforting if the name of said document is sensitive and so promised to look into it. So I did. And here’s how you can turn that off.

1.) Click File

2.) Click Options

Options Menu Item

3.) Click Advanced 

4.) Scroll down to the Display section and set the show this number of recent documents to

5.) OK your way out of everything.

Advanced Word Options 

That’s it. Quick fix for peace of mind not to mention CYA. One more note: this needs to be done in Excel, PowerPoint, and whatever other Office products you use. The menu sequence is the same.


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