The Recent Items entry in the Apple menu tracks recently-used applications, documents, and servers. At the bottom of the menu is an entry to clear all of your recent activity. But what if you want a more fine-grained control over removing entries from these lists? For example, say you want to remove one or more individual entries. Christopher Breen explains how to do just that by editing a plist file (with the help of a free tool).
Between the two extremes of clearing all and clearing individual items, though, lies a simple method of clearing one or more categories (Applications, Documents, or Servers) without affecting the others. Simply open the Appearance System Preferences panel, and change the Number of Recent Items pop-up menu to zero for the category you wish to clear. Then set it back to whatever your preferred count is, and check the Apple menu’s Recent Items entry. The category you zeroed out will be blank, while the other two will still show your recent activity.
Note that if you’ve enabled the Recent Items Dock Stack, and you clear the category that that Stack, the Stack will vanish, but leave an invisible space behind in its wake. If you click the empty space, your Dock may restart, but this won’t do any harm (other than changing your Desktop picture, if you’ve got it set to rotate).
Thanks to Mac OS X Hints contributor Philip Rink Jr. for this easy-to-use tip.