A better ‘Recent Places’ folder

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Making Windows Explorer’s Recent Places feature a whole lot better.

Recent Places shows the folders you can recently visited in Windows Explorer. By default it’s in the Favorites section.

Unfortunately the standard Recent Places view isn’t a lot of help:

Recent Places image from A better

The Type and Size columns are irrelevant because they will always be ‘Shortcut’ and a very small size. That’s because Recent Places is created from a list of small shortcut files maintained by Windows.


The Date Modified column is very useful. Click on the column heading to sort the Recent Places list by date. A second click with reverse the sort order. Sort the Date column so the most recent places are at the top.


The Name column is OK but lacks context. It’s just the folder name, not the full path. Look at the above list and you’ll see duplicates for ‘Music’ ‘Pictures’ and ‘Downloads’. In each case they are different folders but with no indication of where they are. It could be c:UsersFredDaggMusic c:UsersPublicDocumentsThingsfromBruceMusic or d:ProjectMarketDayMusic or some other path that ends with a folder called ‘Music’.

You can hover your mouse over the Name and a tooltip with the folder should appear:

Recent Places image from A better

The better option is to add the folder path as a column. Then you can see it without hovering and also sort on that column.

To change the columns,

  1. Right-click on any column heading
  2. Choose ‘More …’ to see the full list of possible columns.
  3. UNcheck the options for Type and Size (near the top)
  4. Scroll down the list until you find ‘Link Target’, check the box
  5. Click OK.

The column you want is ‘Link Target’ – not Path or any other tempting choice.

Now your Recent Places looks a bit like this:

Recent Places image from A better

Drag the column heading edges to change the column widths to suit.

You can sort by Date Modified or Link Target columns to find the folder you want. Sorting by Link Target ill group folders from the same or nearby locations together.

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