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I recently got a macbook air and am getting used to the mac os interface... Liking it so far but still relearning how to do some basic stuff.

For example, right clicking on VLC, and all the pr0n I've been watching comes up! Don't want to risk that popping up if someone else is using my computer for a few moments.

I've tried setting the Number of recent items under system preferences to none, but vlc still remembers all my filthy video titles! What gives?

In windows I could clear my recent documents easily enough, or use a tool like ccleaner to clear system cache, browser histories, recent documents etc with one click.

Can you recommend something similar for mac?

(I know the best solution for this is separate user accounts - but would like to be confident that I could pass my laptop quickly to someone at a moments notice without all my recent activity being 2 clicks away!

Thanks for any help.

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1  
Up vote because you're being honest about why you want the history to disappear! –  Ian C. Dec 11 '11 at 17:19
2  
Nevertheless the better way would be to enable the guest account and switch to the login screen whenever somebody wants to use your computer. –  patrix Dec 11 '11 at 17:35
    
+1 to Patrix who provided a quick, workable answer. Don't know why Patrix didn't put that as an answer. –  Global nomad Dec 11 '11 at 18:10
    
I did acknowledge user accounts in the question however this is about quickly handing my laptop to someone, not for an extended period of time. Closing all my apps is overkill for this use case. –  Mark Dec 11 '11 at 19:32

4 Answers 4

There's always the Clear Menu items:


This would remove most of the property lists that store recent documents:

rm ~/Library/Preferences/*LSSharedFileList.plist

(Applications keep the old list of recent items until they're reopened though.)

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I can not find that clear menu. Could you please tell me where it is? –  rohan-patel Mar 20 '13 at 8:19
    
Ok. Apple--> Recent--> Clear. But that does not remove files as asker wants. :-( –  rohan-patel Mar 20 '13 at 8:21

There is an easy fix to this...

1. Go to System Preferences
2. General
3. On Recent Items, Select None
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This only gets rid of things under the Apple Logo > Recent Items list. It wouldn't, for example, clear your Safari history or the VLC recent items history. Those histories are maintained per-application. –  Ian C. Sep 9 at 3:25
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Ian C, it does in fact clear VLC recent items history. You're correct that "recently opened files" has nothing to do with Safari history, but that wasn't the question. –  redux Sep 10 at 9:36

In addition to using the Clear Menu items in Finder and various applications, you can delete the global list of Recent Places that show in all open & save dialogs.

defaults delete NSGlobalDomain NSNavRecentPlaces

You do not need to be root for this. It deletes the NSNavRecentPlaces key from ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist.

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As per the article Clear and manage recent places in OS X on CNET, this command in terminal

defaults write -g NSNavRecentPlacesLimit -int 0

will eliminate this from your machine.

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