[Fix] Start Menu Recent Items List and RUN MRU List is Always Empty When User Logs On

If you are a Windows user, you might have noticed the "Recent Items" list in Start menu which contains a list of recently opened documents. RUN dialog box also stores a list of recently entered commands list in its history.

Sometimes a strange problem starts happening. Whenever you log off or restart your system, the "Recent Items" list in Start menu as well as RUN dialog box MRU list get deleted. You find them absolutely empty when you log on.

Its a very common problem and it happens mostly when you use a tweaking software which adds an entry in Windows Registry to clear history of recently opened documents on log off.

If you are facing this problem, then follow these simple steps to fix it:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following keys one by one:


In right-side pane, look for a DWORD value "ClearRecentDocsOnExit". Its value would be set to 1. Either set its value to 0 or completely delete it.


3. That's it. Now restart or log off your system and your problem will be solved.

PS: You can also use this tutorial to intentionally delete recently opened documents list upon log off for security reasons. Simply create the DWORD value "ClearRecentDocsOnExit" in any of the above mentioned registry locations and set its value to 1

UPDATE: If you are facing this problem in Windows 10, check out following article to fix it:

[Bug Fix] RUN MRU / History List is Always Empty in Windows 10

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Couldn't find ClearRecentDocsOnExit anywhere is my registry.

  • Yeah, like Monty, I don't have the ClearRecentDocsOnExit anywhere in the registry... Hate having the MRU clear each time I log on :(

  • VG

    You can also search for following in Registry:


  • yeah - like some other people, nothing fixes this for me- its like MS shipped it broken
    I have gone through all of the registry settings and policies on my machine - Windows 10 - nothing makes the Run command start populating it's MRU - it is amazing... Amazingly bad...
    I have never installed anything weird like clean-up software or any alternate UI or unusual security software - nothing...

  • VG

    ^^ Open Settings -> Personalization -> Start and enable "Show most used apps" option. Now RUN dialog box should remember recent programs. Check following article for details:


  • Hi all
    I encountered the same problem while running Win 8.1 Pro.
    I search the above mentionned regkeys, without success.
    None of them. Did somebody dream about these fantomatic things? Don't know.
    Decided to start from the beginning, instead of digging into as uncertain as unknown regkeys
    Had the idea to perform the following:
    Right clicked on the taskbar.
    Selected Properties.
    Opened the jumplist window.
    Under Privacy, I noticed that "Store recently opened programs" was unchecked.
    I checked it, and now everything is OK.
    The "run" command now remembers programs, as well as urls.

    And the correct regkey is here:

    Hope this will help!

    Kind regards,

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