How to Clear Recents on Mac – Full Guide (2022)

Do you want to know how to clear recent on Mac? Let this step-by-step guide help!

The purpose of ‘Recents’ is to allow your Mac to keep track of applications and documents that you have recently opened. This helps users in quickly finding things they might have been working on. Too many recents can cause cluttering on your Mac device. Plus, too many applications running in the background may cause your device to slow down.

This is why it is important for Mac users to know how to clear recents on Mac devices. Users may very well relate to the hassle involved when their device gets cluttered with too many recents. That is why we advise clearing recents on your Mac regularly to avoid any such issues from arising.

Before we start

Clearing recents from Mac is not very challenging. One of the ways to clear recents on Mac securely is by using any reputable third-party software. One example would be the MacKeeper. This software deletes junk files and solves other issues that are preventing your Mac from performing optimally.

However, if you prefer clearing the recents by yourself, then take a look at some of the best solutions discussed below. In the article, you will learn how to clear Recents on Mac. You can also learn how to prevent your web browsers from becoming cluttered.

What Is The Recents Folder On Your Mac?

If you’re new to using Mac devices, you’re probably wondering what the Recents folder is. So before we discuss how to clear recents on Mac, let’s learn what it is.

There are numerous ways to access the recent activity on your Mac. One of them is the Recents folder. You can find the Recents folder in the sidebar of the Finder windows. If your Mac is new, this is the place where new Finder windows open.

The Recent Folder in Mac is not the actual location of the folder. Instead, it is a smart folder that consists of your most recently used files. The files that you see in the Recents are actually different files located across your Mac.

Smart folders are not like actual folders in Mac. They do not exist as real folders with contents. Instead, they consist of shortcuts to files based on smart search parameters. In this case, the parameters are the most recently-opened files.

Since the Recents folder is also a smart folder, you can not delete it from Mac. However, you have the option to remove it from the Finder sidebar. This makes it difficult to access the Recents folders. (Keep in mind that you can still access the Recents folder from the Finder’s Go menu or by pressing Command-Shift-F).

Recents Folder On Your Mac

How To Clear Recents On Mac

Recent folders are different from Recent items. You can access recent items from the Apple menu, where you can see the most recently used applications, files, and servers you might have recently been connected to.

This is what you need to do:

  • Navigate to the Apple menu
  • Select Recent Items
  • Move the pointer down to the bottom of the list of Recents and click “Clear Menu.”

Your Recents menu will be entirely wiped out after this. However, the Recent items list can start piling up again if you do not regularly clear them from your Mac.

How To Clear Recents On Mac In Finder

You can do this by:

  • Opening Finder.
  • Clicking GO from your Mac’s toolbar.
  • Going to the Recents Folders using the dropdown menu and pressing Clear Menu.

How To Turn Off Recents In Finder

It is not always wise to delete all the files in your Recents. The good news is that you turn off Recents using the Finder app.

Here’s how can you go about it:

  • Open the Finder app.
  • Go to the Recents tab.
  • Click the Recents tab and the CTRL button simultaneously.
  • Press the option Remove from Sidebar.
  • Immediately, the Recents will be turned off.

How to Delete Recent Searches In A Web Browser

Your Mac browsers become cluttered as time passes, consequently limiting your storage capacity and slowing your device. Apart from offline files, Mac browsers also fill up the storage with unnecessary site addresses and login details.

It does not matter whether you use Google Chrome or Safari; you can easily remove your recent history from your Mac browser.

How To Clear Recents On Mac Searches In Chrome

  • Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner.
  • Click History.
  • Go to the sidebar and click on the option: Clear browsing history and press Clear Data.

If you want to only remove some pages while keeping the rest in History, simply check the boxes of the pages you want deleted in the History tab and press Delete.

How To Clear Recents On Mac Searches In Firefox

  • Launch Firefox and click on the History menu.
  • If you want to clear all the pages from History, then click on Clear Recent History.
  • If you only want to clear some pages, click on Show All History.
  • To select a single page from History, simply right click the page and select Delete page.
  • To remove a specific site and all the content/pages linked to that site, press Forget About This Site.

How To Clear Recents On Mac Searches In Safari

  • Launch Safari and press the History menu.
  • Click on the option of Clear History.
  • To remove individual pages, you can right-click the item and select Delete.

If your Clear History button is greyed, then it could be due to one of the two following reasons:

  • There is no history to show.
  • You should review the Content and Privacy Restrictions in Screen Time.

How to Delete Recent Searches Using MacKeeper

When using Chrome, one of the best ways to delete Google searches is by using a third-party app such as MacKeeper or CleanMyMac X.

How To Remove Recent Searches On Chrome Using MacKeeper

  • Navigate to the Safe Cleanup option on the MacKeeper app.
  • Click Caches and check-mark the Google Chrome caches box.
  • At the bottom, click the Clean Junk Files option.

You also have the option to allow the MacKeeper app to scan your Mac daily. To enable this:

  • Click on the MacKeeper logo from your toolbar.
  • Select Preferences.
  • Check the Scan my Mac daily option.

When using Chrome or Safari, you can manually erase your recent searches and history. However, using any third-party app will prevent you from the hassle. It will be easier to delete recent history and keep the data in your Mac organized.

How To Clear Recent Searches In Safari Using MacKeeper

  • Click the Safe Cleanup option from the MacKeeper app.
  • Press the Clean Junk Files tab.
  • As discussed above, you have the option to let MacKeeper clear your Safari cache through scanning. The step to scan Safari is the same as scanning Chrome.

How to Clear Recent Files The Easy Way

The alternative to MacKeeper is the CleanMyMac X Privacy module. You can download this app and prevent intruders from tracking your activity on your Mac.

Steps to use the CleanMyMacX app:

  • Go to the Privacy module and select Scan.
  • The app might ask you to close the open browsers.
  • Tick the box “Recent Item lists.”
  • To clear browser history, click every browser there is and tick the box next to browsing history.
  • After ticking the box, press Remove.

The CleanMyMacX app also prevents your Mac from connecting to unsecured open hotspots that can harm your device.

Clearing Recents On Your Mac Is Easy

There are numerous benefits of having recents or storing browsing data in your Mac’s history. If your device has recent data, it can provide data according to your specific interests. It saves you time and gives you access to the data you would actually like to see.

With that being said, if you are using a shared device or simply want privacy, then you always have the option to clear history from your devices.

Learning how to clear recents on Mac is not as challenging as it may sound. You have to make sure that any recent items that are stored or logged in various places on your device are cleared. As you finish reading this guide, we hope you are now ready when it comes to how to clear recents on Mac the right way.


By following the steps written in this in-depth how to clear recents on mac guide, you can make your Mac device clutter-free and have fewer problems!

There are various ways of removing recents from your Mac. This guide teaches you to turn off recents using the Finder app and remove recent searches in various web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

You also have the option of automating how to clear recents on Mac using third-party apps like MacKeeper and CleanMyMacX. There are additional benefits of using third-party apps. For example, they improve your device’s performance, reclaim disk space, protect your ID, etc.

Happy clearing!

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