Recently used programs list stays empty on Windows 7 (SOLVED)


I recently used bleachbit 0.8.8 on my Windows 7 (x64 Ultimate) laptop with the option to remove recently used items selected. After the run, my recently used programs list in the "Start" menu was blank as expected. But as I used my computer over the next several days the list continued to either remain empty or only show one program.

I did extensive web searches about this kind of problem and tried all of them without any success (disable then enable, change number of items to save, remove NoRecentDocsMenu key in regedit, reboot, reboot again, etc.)

Then I finally found a solution that worked based on this web page:

Part 1 is essentially what bleachbit does, so I skipped right to Part 2 which involves creating a new account and copying the UserAssist key in regedit from the new account to your real account. This recreates the UserAssist key with the defaults from the new account. After this I rebooted (they say logging off is enough) and the problem was solved. Now my recently used programs list works again.

I haven't looked in detail what exactly is needed, but apparently there is something in the UserAssist key that Windows 7 is unable to regenerate automatically. Using this procedure will get your recently used programs list working again if you encounter this problem.

Thanks for doing the research. I've filed this as 828475 so it doesn't get lost.

Andrew, lead developer

I have had this issue several times. I have a program called Windows 7 Manager and under the customization tab (I think) there is a section that lets you turn on or off recently used programs. I simply toggle this and apply, off then on. Always fixes it for me. I think the program has a free trial, for anyone that doesn't feel like messing with UserAssist keys

Please test the fix released in BleachBit 1.7.7 beta

Andrew, lead developer