Change the number of the most recently used workbooks

Having your 25 most recently used workbooks on the File menu is handy, but you may find it's not enough. You can increase the number shown up to 50, and you can pin (fasten) particular workbooks to the menu so that they remain there even if you haven't used them recently.

You can customize the number of the most recently used workbooks in two places:

  • The number of the most recently used workbooks in the Recent menu on the File tab, for example:
    File Recent workbooks in Excel 2016
  • The number of the most recently used workbooks on the File tab, for example:
    Recent workbooks in Excel 2016

To customize the number of the most recently used workbooks in the Recent menu on the File tab, do the following:

    1.    On the File tab, click the Options button:

Excel 2016 Options

    2.    In the Excel Options dialog box, on the Advanced tab, scroll down to the Display section:

Advanced Excel 2016 Options

    3.    In the Show this number of Recent Documents box, set the number of workbooks you want to have on the File -> Recent menu. You can choose any number between 0 and 50 (inclusive).

  • In the Show this number of Recent Workbooks box, set the number of workbooks you want to have on the File -> Open menu. You can choose any number between 0 and 50 (inclusive).
  • Select the check box to Quickly access this number of Recent Workbooks and choose how many files you want to see.

Note: Clearing the check box removes the list.

    4.    Click the OK button.

When you increase the number in the Show this number of Recent Workbooks dropdown list, Excel doesn't add the extra files immediately to the list, but rather adds them one by one as you open and close files.

If you reduce the number to 0, someone can't increase that number and immediately see which files you've been working with (but they still may be able to find that information elsewhere in the Windows operating system).

To make Excel keep a particular workbook on the File tab, open the Open menu, and then for the Recent pane, click the pin next to the file's name. Excel pushes in the pin to indicate that the workbook is "pinned" in place, and then keeps the file in that place on the list until you unpin it by clicking the pin again:

Pin the workbook in Excel 2013