Natively: iPad OS and iOS does not allow you to remove/hide files from the “Recents” section in the native file app.
1st work around (any file)
For when you are trying to prevent files from showing up in the recents section.
- Create a folder in the “On my [device here]“ tab
- Move all the files that you want to remove from “Recents” into the folder you’ve created.
- Long press the folder, and select compress.
This will create a duplicate of the original folder with all the files that you’ve placed inside as a .zip file.
- Delete the original folder that was not compressed
This will not immediately delete the folder and will instead be moved into “Recently Deleted” in case you want to recover your file. (This also removes the folder and its contents from the recents section, so technically you could view the files from “recently deleted” without anything appearing into Recents even after you restore it after viewing the contents).
- Tap on the compressed file and it will export a duplicate of the original compressed folder. None of the files inside the exported folder will be listed in the “Recents” section until viewed again.
- After viewing the contents, assuming no files were added or modified (if files were added, start from step 1), delete the uncompressed folder, and uncompress the zip file. Rinse and repeat as needed.
2nd work around (images, GIF’s, videos only):
This work around is for images, GIF’s, and videos specifically.
- Separate all the files into a folder as you would in work around 1.
- Select all the sorted images
- Tap “share” and press “Save Image(s)”
- Delete the folder containing all the images/videos
Again this will not immediately delete the files/folder and you can recover them if you so please.
- Open the native Photos app
- Select all the images that you would like to hide
- Press Share, and tap the “Hide” option
- Go into the “Albums” section and go into the “Hidden” album.
This will remove all the images from being viewable in the photos app or any other application. Unless unhidden, all images will be restricted to just the “Hidden” album.