Microsoft Office on macOS: How to deactivate "recently opened documents" entirely? (Solved!)


I am using Microsoft Office (latest version, 16.28) on macOS and was wondering how I can deactivate “recently opened documents” altogether for Word/Excel/PowerPoint?

My Mac is often connected to a projector in meetings and I use the device in a private and professional setting and it would be great to entirely deactivate this feature to not accidentally show the list ever. Not that I would have anything to hide, but it’s nobody’s business to see what I opened/edited at what date.

On Windows it seems to be possible, but I can’t find the equivalent setting for macOS :confused: Does it really not exist?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Maybe this. Better than manually changing plists like this guy did.

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Thanks a lot for taking the time to look into the issue! :+1:

The first link show cases the Windows version and the setting to keep “0” items in the recently opened documents list does sadly not exist.

I also stumbled over the second one. It only helps to remove all current entries at once without going through the whole list by hand and deleting all the entries via their context menu. (Tedious! Microsoft does not provide a “clear all” button.)
The problem is that it will still be logging the opened documents afterwards.

I just got an idea!

I just deleted the generated by Word full with my list of recently opened documents and created a new blank file with the same file name in that very location. The only difference I locked the file via CMD + I in Finder. Word now can’t overwrite the file and the list of recently opened documents stays empty!

This seems to work :smiley:

Thanks a lot for pointing me towards that link again!