How to Turn Off Recents in VLC: A Simple Guide

VLC Media Player, an immensely popular and versatile media player, stores a history of your recently played files by default. While this feature can be useful for quick access to recently viewed content, it might also compromise your privacy. If you are looking to turn off the recents feature in VLC and ensure confidential files don’t show up in your recent activity, follow this simple guide which will walk you through the necessary steps.

Why Turn Off Recents In VLC?

Recents is a feature in VLC that keeps track of the media files you have recently played, making it easier for you to access them again. However, there could be various reasons why you might want to turn off this feature.

Firstly, privacy concerns might arise if you do not want others to see what files you have been playing. For instance, if you share your computer with others and prefer to keep your media habits private, disabling recents can provide you with the desired anonymity.

Moreover, disabling recents can also contribute to a smoother and more organized playback experience. With recents disabled, VLC will not have to load and display the recent media list, potentially improving its overall performance and responsiveness. Additionally, if you frequently switch between different media files within VLC, having the recents feature on can clutter the user interface and make navigation more complicated.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be able to easily turn off the recents feature in VLC and tailor your media playback experience to better suit your needs.

Accessing The Settings Menu In VLC

In order to turn off recents in VLC, you first need to access the settings menu. The settings menu in VLC allows you to customize various aspects of the media player according to your preferences. To access this menu, open VLC on your device and click on the “Tools” tab located at the top of the VLC window. A drop-down menu will appear, and you should select “Preferences” from the list.

Once you click on “Preferences,” a new window will open, presenting you with a plethora of options for customization. This is where you can fine-tune VLC’s features, including the recents section. All the settings are conveniently categorized, making navigation smooth and effortless. From this point, you can proceed to the specific section pertaining to the recents feature, where you can then disable or customize it according to your preference.

By accessing the settings menu, you gain complete control over VLC’s functionalities, allowing you to tailor the media player to suit your needs and preferences.

Navigating To The Recents Section

When using VLC, the recents section keeps a track of all the recently played files. While this can be useful for some users, others may find it unnecessary and want to turn off this feature. Navigating to the recents section in VLC is the first step to disabling it.

To access the recents section, open VLC media player on your device. Once the program launches, you will see the main interface with several menu options at the top. Look for the “View” option and click on it.

A dropdown menu will appear, and from there, select “Playlist” or press “Ctrl” and “L” on your keyboard as a shortcut. This will open up the playlist view, which contains various tabs like “Local Network,” “Internet,” and “Recents.”

Click on the “Recents” tab to view the list of recently played files. This section shows a chronological list of all the media files you have accessed through VLC.

Disabling The Recents Feature In VLC

When it comes to personal privacy and ease of use, disabling the recents feature in VLC can be highly beneficial. By turning off this feature, you can prevent VLC from storing a list of recently played files, ensuring that your viewing history remains private. Additionally, disabling recents can also enhance VLC’s performance by reducing the amount of data it needs to track and manage.

To disable the recents feature in VLC, follow these simple steps. First, open the VLC media player and navigate to the settings menu. This can usually be accessed by clicking on the “Tools” tab at the top of the player’s interface and selecting “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

In the preferences window, locate and click on the “Show All” button at the bottom-left corner. This will expand the preferences menu and reveal additional settings options. From the expanded menu, find and click on the “Interface” category.

Within the Interface settings, look for the “Privacy/Network Interaction” section. Here, you will find the option to disable the recents feature. Simply uncheck the box next to “Save recently played items” to turn off this feature.

After disabling recents, click on the “Save” button to apply the changes. You have now successfully disabled the recents feature in VLC, guaranteeing better privacy and improving the overall performance of the media player.

Clearing The Recents List In VLC

When using VLC media player, you might find it convenient to have a list of your recently played files available for easy access. However, there could be instances where you want to clear this list for privacy reasons or simply to start anew. Fortunately, VLC provides a simple method to clear the recents list.

To start, open VLC and navigate to the “Media” tab in the menu bar. From the drop-down menu, select “Open Recent Media.” A list of your recently played files will appear.

To clear the recents list, hover your mouse over any item on the list. A small “X” button will appear on the right side. Simply click on this button to remove the corresponding item from the recents list. Repeat this process for each item you wish to remove.

After clearing the desired files, you will notice that the recents list becomes empty. This means that VLC will no longer display any recently played files, ensuring your privacy and allowing you to have a fresh start.

Customizing VLC’s Playback Behavior

VLC, being a versatile media player, allows users to customize their playback experience according to their preferences. This subheading explains the various options available in VLC to personalize the playback behavior.

Within VLC’s settings menu, users can find an array of playback-related customization options that can enhance their viewing experience. One such setting is the ability to configure how VLC handles recents. Users can customize VLC to remember their playback history or completely disable this feature.

Apart from recents, VLC offers a range of other playback settings to tailor the media player to individual preferences. Users can adjust the default playback speed, specify audio and subtitle synchronization, and determine how VLC handles broken or incomplete media files.

Additionally, VLC provides options to modify video effects, adjust aspect ratio, and enable or disable automatic audio or subtitle track selection. These options empower users to have a more personalized and immersive media playback experience.

By allowing users to configure its playback behavior, VLC ensures an optimal viewing experience while maintaining its user-friendly nature. Customization options enable users to adapt VLC based on their specific requirements and enhance their enjoyment of media content.

Enabling Or Disabling Other VLC Features

Enabling or disabling other VLC features allows users to customize their VLC media player experience beyond just turning off recents. VLC offers a wide range of additional features that can be tailored to suit individual preferences.

To access these features, navigate to the settings menu in VLC, as explained in the previous subheading. Once you are in the settings menu, look for the “Advanced Preferences” option. Click on it to open a new window with various customization options.

In this window, you will find an extensive list of features that can be enabled or disabled according to your liking. Some of these options include subtitles, audio and video effects, hotkeys, network protocols, and many more.

Enabling or disabling these features allows you to personalize your VLC media player experience, tailoring it to your particular needs and preferences. Whether you want to enhance the audio quality, fine-tune the video playback, or control VLC using keyboard shortcuts, the Advanced Preferences section provides the means to do so.

Take your time to explore and experiment with different features, enabling or disabling them as desired, to create your perfect media player setup with VLC.


1. How do I turn off the Recents feature in VLC?

To disable the Recents feature in VLC, you need to follow a few easy steps. First, open VLC Media Player on your device. Then, click on the “Tools” tab in the menu bar. From the drop-down list, select “Preferences.” In the Preferences window, click on the “Show All” button at the bottom left. Next, scroll down and locate the “Playlist” option. Uncheck the box next to “Save recent played items” and click “Save” to apply the changes. This will turn off the Recents feature in VLC.

2. Will turning off Recents in VLC affect my playback experience?

No, disabling the Recents feature in VLC will not impact your playback experience in any way. It simply removes the history of recently played items from the media player. You will still be able to use VLC as usual, except that it will no longer remember your playback history.

3. Can I turn off Recents on all platforms where I use VLC?

Yes, you can disable the Recents feature in VLC on any platform, as long as you have access to the Preferences settings. Whether you are using VLC on Windows, Mac, or Linux, the steps to turn off Recents are generally the same. Open VLC, go to Tools > Preferences > Show All > Playlist, uncheck the “Save recent played items” box, and save the changes.

4. Can I re-enable Recents in VLC after turning it off?

Certainly! If you decide to re-enable the Recents feature in VLC, you can easily do so by following the same steps mentioned earlier. Open VLC, go to Tools > Preferences > Show All > Playlist, and check the “Save recent played items” box. Click “Save” to apply the changes, and VLC will start keeping track of your recently played items again.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, turning off the “Recents” feature in VLC is a simple process that can help enhance privacy and prevent the playback history from being accessible. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, users can easily disable the Recents feature and have more control over their media playback experience in VLC. Enjoy a hassle-free and more private media browsing experience with VLC by disabling the Recents feature.

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