How to Enable or Disable File History in Ubuntu Linux

This post describes steps you can take to enable or disable displaying recently used file or file history in Ubuntu Linux.

By default, Ubuntu Linux keeps track of recent files and folders you open so you can quickly access them when you need to in the future.

All the files that you open frequently will be displayed at the top of the list. This feature was added to help improve your productivity.

It also makes it easier to find items that you have been working on in the file manager. However, this can also be a privacy nightmare. You can turn it off anytime and turn it back on when you want to use it.

Below we will show you how to enable or disable listing of recently used files in Ubuntu Linux.

How to enable or disable file history in Ubuntu Linux

As described above, Ubuntu Linux keeps track of recent files and folders you open so you can quickly access them when you need to in the future.

If you don’t want to display recently used files, the steps below show you how to disable or enable it.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

ubuntu linux activities overview jpg

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

ubuntu linux system menu top bar settings jpg

In the Settings app, click on Privacy tile to open the panel.

ubuntu privacy in settings app jpg

In the System Settings -> Privacy settings panel, select File History & Trash to open the panel.

In the System Settings -> Privacy -> File History & Trash setting pane, toggle the File History switch to the Off position to disable.

To re-enable this feature, switch the File History switch to On.

ubuntu linux enable disable file history jpg

Under File History Duration, select how long to retain your file history. Choose from options 1 day7 days30 days, or Forever.

ubuntu linux file history duration jpg

Use the Clear History… button to purge the history immediately.

This setting will not affect how your web browser stores information about the web sites you visit.

That should do it! You can now close the Settings app.


This post showed you how to enable or disable File History in Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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