Classic Shell, an open-source program, became very popular when Windows 8 was first released. The reason was Microsoft’s decision to remove Start Menu in Windows 8 and people soon found out about Classic Shell that offered classic Windows 7 style Start Menu for Windows 8. Even though Microsoft reciprocated its steps quickly with the release of Windows 8.1 and re-introduced Start Menu which was later improved and enlarged in Windows 10, many of the Windows users (including myself) kept on using Classic Start Menu because of its simplicity.
Since Classic Shell has its own settings, you may not be able to clean or turn off some of the features offered by Classic Start Menu from within Windows Control Panel or the registry. For example, it displays recently used programs in Start Menu along with the recently opened files for each of these programs. And the only way to turn off this feature is through the Classic Start Menu settings itself. Here is how:
- Right-click on the Start Menu icon and choose Settings from the context-menu that appears.
- In the settings window for the Classic Start Menu, type recent in the search box to find all the related settings.
- Select Don’t show in the options for Show recent or frequent programs and then click on the OK button.
- Now you will no longer see any of the recent programs or documents opened by these programs in the Classic Start Menu.
The Classic Start Menu works independently from Windows’ own settings, so you may have to also modify Windows’ Start Menu related settings if you want to completely turn off all the recent documents or recent programs in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. As far as Windows 8.0 is concerned, it does not have any Start Menu of its own, so following the above steps is enough for disabling recent programs.