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Clear the "Store and display recently opened programs in the Start Menu"

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12

I am setting up a Windows 7 deployment image and I've noticed that the first time a user signs into Windows 7 the start menu is clogged up with a list of software the was "recently opened", even though this is a brand new user profile.  I know that you can clear this list by right-clicking on the start button, removing the check mark beside "Store and display recently opened programs in the Start Menu", and then clicking Ok.  Then all you need to do is go back and put the check mark back to enable the feature again.

What I need to know is can you clear this list programmatically through a runonce login script?

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Question by:dillonconsulting
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36562096
Underneath this registry key.....

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist

There are two GUIDs. Underneath there, the "Count" subkeys contain the recent information in ROT-13 format. I dont know if these GUIDs will be the same across the environment, or if they are unique....But the values under "Count" would need to be deleted....

ALSO....

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

Delete the contents of THAT folder as well.

Doing BOTH should empty the Start Menu recent listing..... Probably the Recent Docs as well....
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Author Comment

by:dillonconsulting
ID: 36562507

johnb6767:  I tried both locations, deleting the key values under that reg key and deleting the CustomDestinations files under the Recent folder as you suggested and none of them had any affect on the recently opened start menu items.

Any other thoughts?
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by:johnb6767
ID: 36562937
Ill confirm again when in front of another win7 pc, but I had good results...

What did you delete I the registry, the values under the Count subkey?

And the entire folder contents, or just 1 for a specific app?
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Author Comment

by:dillonconsulting
ID: 36904696

johnb6767:  Sorry about the delayed response.  I deleted everything that you mentioned.  I logged into Windows, creating a new profile, and before I did anything else I went to those locations and deleted everything you suggested from both locations, restarted, and checked the start menu and nothing happened.  Everything was still there, unaffected by those changes.

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johnb6767 earned 200 total points
ID: 36907725
K, this one I forgot about.. Cleared all my Jump Lists....

C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

After clearing out the UserAssist subkey, the Start Menu was still populated, until I killed and restarted Explorer.exe....
 
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Author Closing Comment

by:dillonconsulting
ID: 37034100
need to close
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Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 37034208
I hope this actually solved the problem, and you are not just closing to close it.....
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