Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs System
The setting for 'Number of recent items' in the Appearance System Preferences pane affects some other apps, in addition to the Recent Items in the Apple menu.

It wasn't obvious to me until now, but the number of items shown in the Open Recent menus in AppleScript Editor, Preview, TextEdit (and probably other apps) is controlled by this setting. That is, changing the 'Number of recent items' for Documents in System Preferences doesn't just affect the Apple menu, it also affects some of Apple's apps. (Note that if you increase the limit, your apps won't show any recent Documents -- as you open new documents, the menu will populate to the new limit.)

There's a related hint on overriding this on a per-app basis.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. This setting affects a number of Cocoa applications; personally I consider this to be a bug. It should not be a global setting. I believe this behavior was introduced in 10.6, but I'd be interested to know if anyone sees it in 10.5.x as well.]
  • Currently 2.18 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (11 votes cast)

'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs | 6 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the ''Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs
Authored by: NaOH-Lye on May 19, '10 08:11:12AM
I'm running 10.6.3, and I have had the System Preferences->Appearance settings set to None for all recent items since upgrading to Snow Leopard in November. For me, all of the listed applications in the hint show items in the Open Recent menu, and I've never used the linked workaround hint.

I'm guessing that using Secrets, which has a separate configurable setting for Recent Documents Count which applies to applications rather than the system, is why I'm seeing a discrepancy.

[ Reply to This | # ]
'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs
Authored by: Alrescha on May 19, '10 08:27:10AM

I'm glad it's a global setting. Every time I open an application with files in 'Recents', it goes out and spins up each drive as if to see if that file is still there. A global 'None' is a solution (well, a partial one - Snow Leopard has a tendency to spin up drives for no apparent reason just the same).


[ Reply to This | # ]
'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs
Authored by: fracai on May 19, '10 09:20:15AM

This being global isn't a bug at all. In fact, I suspect that it's merely hierarchical, and this hint is setting the global default. Whatever "defaults write" command corresponds to this setting, I bet there's a corresponding setting for each Apple application which follows the global. Set the global to none and every app loses its history. Set a specific app to 10 and everything else stays at none, but this app starts accumulating history again. There are several other examples of global and per app settings like this and I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that this is the same.

i am jack's amusing sig file

[ Reply to This | # ]
'Open Recent' setting in System Prefs also affects programs
Authored by: the_webmaestro on May 19, '10 02:30:52PM

I think it's a 'bug...' Then again I don't understand why anyone uses MSIE...

This 'bug' didn't affect me in Mac OS X 10.5. As far as

I like seeing recent documents in Preview and other apps, and wondered why I didn't see any lately. I was getting ready to surf through the Apple & MacOSXHints forums to determine the problem. Having recently received a Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, I was surprised and dismayed that Preview didn't retain its own list of 'Recents'.

At the very least, it would be good to have a setting to be able to override the global setting on an App-by-App basis.

Happy Dad

[ Reply to This | # ]
Snow Leopard only
Authored by: MJCube on May 20, '10 12:59:33PM
This hint doesn’t appear to apply to 10.5. Long ago I set my System pref to 0 documents, and my Preview & TextEdit both have the standard 8 recent files in their File menus. I raised my global limit to 16 using this hint and relaunched TextEdit, and its recent files are increasing from 8, as expected.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Snow Leopard only
Authored by: Swordfish on May 28, '10 11:00:46AM

This works in Snow Leopard (10.6.3).

I did what you said and now have 0 recent items in the Apple menu and 20 items in "Open recent" application menus.

[ Reply to This | # ]