How to Clear Quick Access in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clearing Quick Access in Windows 11 is a fairly straightforward process. Quick Access is a feature that allows you to easily find and open frequently used folders and files. However, over time, this list can become cluttered and may need to be cleared. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly clear Quick Access and start fresh.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Clearing Quick Access in Windows 11

Before we begin with the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. Clearing Quick Access will remove all the shortcuts to folders and files that you see when you open File Explorer. This can help declutter your workspace and make it easier to find what you need.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

To start, you’ll need to open File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon on your taskbar.

Once you have File Explorer open, you’ll see the Quick Access section on the left-hand side. This is where all your frequently used folders and files are listed.

Step 2: Right-click on Quick Access

Next, you’ll want to right-click on the Quick Access option in the navigation pane.

By right-clicking on Quick Access, a context menu will appear with several options. Look for the option that says "Options" or "Change folder and search options" and click on it.

Step 3: Clear File Explorer history

In the Folder Options window, go to the General tab and find the section labeled "Privacy."

Here, you will see two buttons: "Clear" and "Restore Defaults." Clicking on "Clear" will remove all the items from Quick Access.

After you clear Quick Access, you will notice that all the shortcuts to your frequently used folders and files have been removed. This will give you a clean slate to start with, and Quick Access will begin to repopulate with the folders and files you use most often.

Tips for Clearing Quick Access in Windows 11

  • Make sure you really want to clear Quick Access before you do it. Once it’s cleared, you can’t undo the action.
  • If you only want to remove certain items from Quick Access, you can do so by right-clicking on the item and selecting "Unpin from Quick Access."
  • Consider organizing your files and folders into categories to make it easier to find what you need without relying on Quick Access.
  • Use the "Pin to Quick Access" feature to add frequently used folders and files back to Quick Access after clearing it.
  • Remember that Quick Access is a helpful tool for improving productivity, so don’t clear it too often or you may lose the convenience it provides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Quick Access in Windows 11?

Quick Access is a feature in Windows 11 that allows you to easily access frequently used folders and files from the File Explorer.

Can I undo clearing Quick Access?

No, once you clear Quick Access, the action cannot be undone. The folders and files will be removed from the list.

Will clearing Quick Access delete my files and folders?

No, clearing Quick Access will not delete your files and folders. It only removes the shortcuts from the Quick Access list.

How often should I clear Quick Access?

It’s up to you how often you clear Quick Access. Some people prefer to clear it regularly to keep it organized, while others only clear it when it becomes too cluttered.

Can I customize what appears in Quick Access?

Yes, you can customize Quick Access by pinning folders and files that you want to appear there. You can also unpin items that you no longer want to see in Quick Access.


  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Right-click on Quick Access
  3. Clear File Explorer history


Clearing Quick Access in Windows 11 is a simple process that can help you maintain a more organized and efficient workspace. By removing all the clutter from Quick Access, you’re able to start fresh and only see the folders and files that are most important to you. Whether you’re someone who likes to keep their digital space tidy or you just need a quick reset, knowing how to clear Quick Access is a valuable skill to have.

Remember, while Quick Access is a handy feature, it’s not the only way to keep your files and folders organized. Creating a structured filing system and regularly decluttering your digital space can also go a long way in ensuring that you’re able to find what you need when you need it. However, for those times when Quick Access gets a little too crowded, now you know exactly what to do to clear it out.

Don’t forget that clearing Quick Access doesn’t delete any of your actual files or folders—it just removes the shortcuts to them from the Quick Access view. So, don’t be afraid to use this feature to its fullest, knowing that you can always clear it out and start over if things get too messy. Happy organizing!

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