Windows 7 automatically puts “Recent Items” on your Start menu, but omits the equally useful “Recent Places.”
Fortunately, adding Recent Places, which lists recently used folders, drives, etc., is amazingly simple and takes just a few seconds to do — once you know how!
Putting Recent Places and Items together
Reader Reuvain Krasner wants the convenience of one-click access to Windows 7’s Recent Places on his Start menu. He can’t get exactly what he wants, but he can come close.
- “Is there a way to add Recent Places to the Windows 7 Start menu just under Recent Items? I’m trying to get it with the other system folders.”
I’m with you, Reuvain: I find Recent Places just as useful as Recent Items.
Despite the similarity in names, these shortcuts are different. Recent Items (which appears on the right-hand pane of the Win7 Start menu) lets you quickly return to any file or document you’ve recently opened. Recent Places lets you instantly return to recently accessed folders, drives, Control Panel items, and so on. It’s very handy! I have no idea why Microsoft didn’t also put Recent Places on the Start menu by default.
Alas, the right pane of the Start menu is system-managed and not amenable to user modification. Fortunately, the next-best option is both easy and effective: simply pin Recent Places to the top, left-hand area of your Start menu, as shown in Figure 1.
- Open Windows Explorer, but don’t make it full-screen. Instead, put the Explorer window off to the right side of your screen. Recent Places should appear near the top of Explorer’s left-hand navigation pane. Figure 2 shows how it looks on my system.