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

Removing Quick Access in Windows 11 is a straightforward process. By following a few simple steps, you can disable or customize this feature to suit your preferences. We’ll guide you through each step, ensuring you understand how to remove Quick Access from your Windows 11 experience.

How to Remove Quick Access in Windows 11

Removing Quick Access from File Explorer can help streamline your navigation and protect your privacy. The following steps will guide you through the process of removing Quick Access in Windows 11.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Click on the File Explorer icon on your taskbar or press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer.

In this step, you’re simply accessing the tool where Quick Access resides. File Explorer is your gateway to managing files and folders on your computer.

Step 2: Access Folder Options

In File Explorer, click on the three dots (ellipsis) in the toolbar at the top, then select "Options" from the dropdown menu.

This step allows you to open the Folder Options dialog box, where you can configure how File Explorer behaves and what it displays.

Step 3: Modify Privacy Settings

In the Folder Options window, find the Privacy section at the bottom. Uncheck both "Show recently used files in Quick access" and "Show frequently used folders in Quick access."

By unchecking these options, you prevent File Explorer from displaying your recent and frequently used files and folders in Quick Access.

Step 4: Clear File Explorer History

Still in the Privacy section, click the "Clear" button next to "Clear File Explorer history."

Clearing your File Explorer history removes any previously stored data, ensuring that Quick Access will no longer display any past information.

Step 5: Set File Explorer to Open This PC

In the same Folder Options window, at the top, change the "Open File Explorer to:" dropdown menu from "Quick access" to "This PC." Then, click "OK" to apply the changes.

This step changes the default view when you open File Explorer, so it shows your drives and folders instead of Quick Access.

After completing these steps, Quick Access will be disabled, and File Explorer will no longer show frequently or recently used files and folders. Your privacy will be better protected, and your navigation can be more streamlined.

Tips for Removing Quick Access in Windows 11

  • Backup Settings: Before making changes, consider backing up your settings in case you want to revert them.
  • Customize View: Use the Folder Options to customize File Explorer to better suit your needs beyond just removing Quick Access.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically clear your File Explorer history to keep it running smoothly.
  • Explore Alternatives: If you don’t like Quick Access but want easy navigation, consider using shortcuts or pinned folders.
  • Stay Updated: Keep your Windows 11 updated to ensure you have the latest features and security patches.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Quick Access in Windows 11?

Quick Access is a feature in File Explorer that shows your frequently used folders and recent files to help you navigate quickly.

Why would someone want to remove Quick Access?

Some users prefer to disable Quick Access for privacy reasons or to reduce clutter in File Explorer.

Can I re-enable Quick Access after removing it?

Yes, you can re-enable Quick Access by reversing the steps outlined in this guide.

Does removing Quick Access affect my files?

No, removing Quick Access does not affect your files; it simply changes how they’re displayed in File Explorer.

Are there any alternatives to Quick Access?

Yes, you can use pinned folders or create desktop shortcuts to access frequently used files and folders.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Access Folder Options.
  3. Modify privacy settings.
  4. Clear File Explorer history.
  5. Set File Explorer to open This PC.


Removing Quick Access in Windows 11 is a helpful way to simplify your File Explorer experience and maintain your privacy. By following the steps outlined here, you can customize your settings to better suit your needs. If you ever wish to revert the changes, the process is just as simple. Don’t forget to back up any important settings before making changes and regularly maintain your system for optimal performance.

For further reading, you can explore other customization options in Windows 11, such as adjusting your taskbar settings or configuring your Start menu. These small tweaks can make a big difference in how efficiently you use your computer. Happy customizing!