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How to Clear or Remove the Recent file list in mobile apps

298 Votes

How to Clear or Remove the Recent file list in mobile apps

I want to clear all the Recent file list, there has no clear function please advise how to clear the list.
Thanks & regards

Swe Tin

New Super User

This post is being offered to help any other Dropbox users that find themselves in the same situation I was in regarding cleaning up (not necessarily clearing) the Recent's list in the mobile version of Dropbox.


My situation:

File originated on mobile and put in local Dropbox. Sync occurred so file propagated to desktop, online and mobile installations of Dropbox, as expected.

I deleted the file using my desktop Dropbox. The online version of Dropbox moved it to “Deleted files” section (not Recents). I guess since I didn’t manipulate the file with the online version of Dropbox, it didn’t consider it a recent file. Just speculating.

Although the deleted file was no longer in the file list on mobile, it did remain in its Recents list. I’m calling this a paper-trail. (History of activity but no actual file)

Trying to clear the paper trail on the mobile device by selecting and deleting an item from the Recents list resulted in the following error since the file was no longer present: "Deletion Failed There was a problem deleting “xyz.pdf"


My Solution:
My solution was to uninstall Dropbox from the mobile device and reinstall it. The paper trail for the deleted file was purged and all files that resided in the Recents section of the online version of Dropbox were sync’d with the mobile Recents list. No more broken links to missing files on my mobile device. The Recents list was’t clear but it was cleaned-up and sync’d with online Dropbox.

Although Dropbox hasn’t implemented a way to delete or clear the Recents list on mobile, they should at least add an option to refresh so it accurately reflects what’s in the Recent’s list online without having to uninstall and reinstall the program. It seems the mobile Recents list is the only thing that isn’t directly synchronized with the true state of its files.

Dropbox, if you’re listening, a “Clear Recent Items” option should exist on all platforms and be propagated throughout the account or at the very least, effect the local list of recent files where the option is selected.


Hey @Mike T.20, thank you for taking the time to submit this! Very helpful and very much appreciated!

Level 2

Thanks, I followed the steps exactly but it doesn't work for me

Level 2
I want to further suggest adding an option in each folder to exclude all files within that folder or directory from being added to Recents.
Level 2

What if we have some personal identifiable things that we don't want to show on the "Recent Files"??



Level 2
Flabbergasted! This is going on for 2 years!
I worship Dropbox from almost it's start; improvements have been made and offered capacity increased, but a reset for "Recent Files" has not been added, while many people ask for it. Just reset a register!
There must be a reason behind it that will not be made public. )-:
Still, I love my DB, but this annoys me as well.
Level 2

It's really quite unbelievable they can't (or won't ) add this simple feature.  I'm starting to look at alternative systems because of this.  Clearly they aren't paying attention.

Level 5

There is an existing thread for this issue, I'd recommend adding your comments and up vote it over there...

Level 2

I dunno if this workaround has already been posted for this issue but what I've done is (from the mobile iOS app) created a new folder in my Dropbox, moved all the files being displayed in the recently viewed tab that I did not want to be shown from their original folder to the new folder I just created. Went back to recently viewed and they were all cleared out. I guess it just boils down to how many new folders am I going to create (how frequently am I going to be opening those files?) 

Level 3

It has been two years with no response from Dropbox regarding this critical security issue (save for "we love to hear from our customers").  I am not feeling the love.  Every other professional coding body on the planet seems able to pen a simple clear-recent-items script or select-landing-page option.  


Dropbox knows we want and need one.  Moerover, they know that a default landing page with all recent files displayed (and their confidential filenames showing !!!) is a grave business issue for end users.  


My early adopter loyalty is flagging fast.  This is your last chance Dropbpox.  Your two years of apparent indifference and obvious inaction are up.