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dontcallmedeb
Frequent Visitor

PowerBI Home Desktop - How to clear list of recent files?

Now that PowerBI Home Desktop is generally available, I cannot get to the "Getting started" page where I could've cleared the list of of unpinned files that showed in my "recent files" list. I have a recent list that is showing files that have long been deleted.  Is there another way for me to clean this list? Is this a bug that is being addressed?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
foodd
Super User
Super User

How to edit or clear Recent Files (Quick Access List) from Power BI Desktop Home Screen:   ;tldr

 

**** Disclaimer:  This will also remove any stored credentials. ****

 

Condensed version for the average reader:    

Using File Explorer, when Power BI Desktop is closed, change to the local profile path

and rename a certain file named 'user.zip', then restart Power BI Desktop.   

 

File path you are interested in is 
----> C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\user.zip

 

Read below for an indepth discription.

 

Preface: 

It's crucial to understand that the following suggestions are personal
recollections of an
individual contributor to the Community Forum,  and not
assume the advice is endorsed in any way by 
Microsoft or its subsidiaries.

However, as a Power BI Desktop user with intermediate technical skills,

you have the power and responsibility to test these methods and

evaluate the positive and negative outcomes before proceeding.  

 

Software used:

- Notepad++ with XML Tools Plugin installed

- 7zip

- Power BI Desktop April 2024 x-64 Release

 

Learn.microsoft Documentation:  

Use Home in Power BI Desktop , latest update at the time of this post 02/20/2024.

 

Related Community Forum Post(s):

Re: Share your thoughts on the new Power BI Home i... - Microsoft Fabric Community, refers to Preview

 

File Path Example:

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\lMicrosoftPower BI Desktop\user.zip

 

Note: Successfully tested with the April 2024 release and on the 64-bit platform.

Changes on the 32-bit platform may be different. This information should help

you feel informed and prepared for the process.

 

Overview, including questions for the reader:

Question:  Is this not just a Power BI Desktop Setting found in Options and Settings?

Answer:  No.

 

Comment:  From looking at Power BI Desktop > Settings and Options, there

does not appear to be a setting that allows one to alter the listing of recent files.   

 

Question:  Is this a setting stored in the Windows Registry?

Answer:  No (though some bright individuals may know of one).

 

Comment:  The proposition is that a file in the User Profile exists that can be

modified or deleted, and Power BI will create a fresh copy. The purpose of

these recommendations is to enable you to manage your recent file listings

in Power BI Home now that it has been released to the general public.

 

Power BI Desktop stores the list of recent files in an XML file within a zip file in

the User Profile. Making file changes in this path depends on the reader's permission

and may be limited by organization policy and practice. It is the reader's responsibility

to confirm this before proceeding.

 

Method 1: Backup user.zip, delete user.zip:

  1. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and make notes or
    take screenshots of current settings.
  2. Close any Power BI Desktop
  3. In File Explorer, change to the path of your local profile:

Example: C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\

     4. Highlight the file user.zip, and rename to user.zip.old

     5. Highlight any files in the same folder (if found) named temp.user.zip,

         and rename to temp.user.zip.old.  

     5. Restart Power BI Desktop  

     6. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and ensure   

         they match or are changed to match those recorded in Step 1.  

     7. Create a new file, save it, and close Power BI Desktop.   

     8. Open Power BI Desktop and verify that only the file name just created is

         listed in recent files.

 

Method 2: Edit text contained in settings.xml stored in user.zip:

 

Note:  Follow the steps to locate user.zip and the recommendations presented above.  

  1. Make a copy of user.zip.
  2. Open user.zip, and change the folder path to User.zip\UserInterface\ containing
    settings.xml, extract, edit, and replace.
  3. Extract settings.xml to a working folder.

    foodd_1-1718325666316.png

  4. You can edit settings.xml using your favorite text editor. However, an editor
    with XML support makes it easier to read.  
    Notepad++ with the XML Tool Plugin
    was used to format the file for readability.
  5. Within settings.xml, the text of interest appears in one location. Here's a sample of how the file should look when opened for editing: 

    foodd_0-1718325418003.png

     

  6. Browse for the following XML container tag, and edit the text following "<Entries> <Entry type="File History Value=. "    

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<UISettingsConfig xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

<Entries>

<Entry Type="FileHistory" Value="

    7. When finished, save settings.xml and overwrite the copy in user.zip.   

    8. Copy the updated user.zip back to the path where you found it. 

    9. Launch Power BI Desktop and confirm that the recent files removed

        do not appear on the Power BI Desktop Home Screen.

    10. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and ensure

        that the settings remain as intended.


Constructive feedback is always welcome.  This was provided by an individual contributor who also relies on the good nature and advice and experience from other members of this and other related Community Forums.  This as a living document, and as such may be subject to editing for correction of content, grammer, and spelling.  If for some reason, the content provided does not translate to your native language, please reply with that as a note and add @foodd in the body to notify so that clarification or translation may be made.   
Please Kudo, and consider accepting as a Solution so that others may find this when searching.

 

Version: 

202406132138:  Added ;TLDR and condensed version to the top of the post.

202406140800:  Added Software used section, link to learn.microsoft article on "Use Home in Power BI Desktop", other small changes.


####

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6
v-jianpeng-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Your solutions is great @foodd 

Hi, @dontcallmedeb 

Have you currently cleared your recent list? The solution provided by foodd was fantastic. If you've already solved the problem at hand, you can mark a helpful reply as a solution so that other members of the community can quickly find a solution if they have the same need.
In addition, you can uninstall and reinstall your Power BI, which will also clear the list.

 

Best Regards

Jianpeng Li

foodd
Super User
Super User

How to edit or clear Recent Files (Quick Access List) from Power BI Desktop Home Screen:   ;tldr

 

**** Disclaimer:  This will also remove any stored credentials. ****

 

Condensed version for the average reader:    

Using File Explorer, when Power BI Desktop is closed, change to the local profile path

and rename a certain file named 'user.zip', then restart Power BI Desktop.   

 

File path you are interested in is 
----> C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\user.zip

 

Read below for an indepth discription.

 

Preface: 

It's crucial to understand that the following suggestions are personal
recollections of an
individual contributor to the Community Forum,  and not
assume the advice is endorsed in any way by 
Microsoft or its subsidiaries.

However, as a Power BI Desktop user with intermediate technical skills,

you have the power and responsibility to test these methods and

evaluate the positive and negative outcomes before proceeding.  

 

Software used:

- Notepad++ with XML Tools Plugin installed

- 7zip

- Power BI Desktop April 2024 x-64 Release

 

Learn.microsoft Documentation:  

Use Home in Power BI Desktop , latest update at the time of this post 02/20/2024.

 

Related Community Forum Post(s):

Re: Share your thoughts on the new Power BI Home i... - Microsoft Fabric Community, refers to Preview

 

File Path Example:

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\lMicrosoftPower BI Desktop\user.zip

 

Note: Successfully tested with the April 2024 release and on the 64-bit platform.

Changes on the 32-bit platform may be different. This information should help

you feel informed and prepared for the process.

 

Overview, including questions for the reader:

Question:  Is this not just a Power BI Desktop Setting found in Options and Settings?

Answer:  No.

 

Comment:  From looking at Power BI Desktop > Settings and Options, there

does not appear to be a setting that allows one to alter the listing of recent files.   

 

Question:  Is this a setting stored in the Windows Registry?

Answer:  No (though some bright individuals may know of one).

 

Comment:  The proposition is that a file in the User Profile exists that can be

modified or deleted, and Power BI will create a fresh copy. The purpose of

these recommendations is to enable you to manage your recent file listings

in Power BI Home now that it has been released to the general public.

 

Power BI Desktop stores the list of recent files in an XML file within a zip file in

the User Profile. Making file changes in this path depends on the reader's permission

and may be limited by organization policy and practice. It is the reader's responsibility

to confirm this before proceeding.

 

Method 1: Backup user.zip, delete user.zip:

  1. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and make notes or
    take screenshots of current settings.
  2. Close any Power BI Desktop
  3. In File Explorer, change to the path of your local profile:

Example: C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\

     4. Highlight the file user.zip, and rename to user.zip.old

     5. Highlight any files in the same folder (if found) named temp.user.zip,

         and rename to temp.user.zip.old.  

     5. Restart Power BI Desktop  

     6. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and ensure   

         they match or are changed to match those recorded in Step 1.  

     7. Create a new file, save it, and close Power BI Desktop.   

     8. Open Power BI Desktop and verify that only the file name just created is

         listed in recent files.

 

Method 2: Edit text contained in settings.xml stored in user.zip:

 

Note:  Follow the steps to locate user.zip and the recommendations presented above.  

  1. Make a copy of user.zip.
  2. Open user.zip, and change the folder path to User.zip\UserInterface\ containing
    settings.xml, extract, edit, and replace.
  3. Extract settings.xml to a working folder.

    foodd_1-1718325666316.png

  4. You can edit settings.xml using your favorite text editor. However, an editor
    with XML support makes it easier to read.  
    Notepad++ with the XML Tool Plugin
    was used to format the file for readability.
  5. Within settings.xml, the text of interest appears in one location. Here's a sample of how the file should look when opened for editing: 

    foodd_0-1718325418003.png

     

  6. Browse for the following XML container tag, and edit the text following "<Entries> <Entry type="File History Value=. "    

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<UISettingsConfig xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

<Entries>

<Entry Type="FileHistory" Value="

    7. When finished, save settings.xml and overwrite the copy in user.zip.   

    8. Copy the updated user.zip back to the path where you found it. 

    9. Launch Power BI Desktop and confirm that the recent files removed

        do not appear on the Power BI Desktop Home Screen.

    10. Visit Power BI Desktop Options and Settings>Options, and ensure

        that the settings remain as intended.


Constructive feedback is always welcome.  This was provided by an individual contributor who also relies on the good nature and advice and experience from other members of this and other related Community Forums.  This as a living document, and as such may be subject to editing for correction of content, grammer, and spelling.  If for some reason, the content provided does not translate to your native language, please reply with that as a note and add @foodd in the body to notify so that clarification or translation may be made.   
Please Kudo, and consider accepting as a Solution so that others may find this when searching.

 

Version: 

202406132138:  Added ;TLDR and condensed version to the top of the post.

202406140800:  Added Software used section, link to learn.microsoft article on "Use Home in Power BI Desktop", other small changes.


####

Riny_vE
Frequent Visitor

Sure there should be an easier way than to go messing around with zip files or editing XML and clear the entire Recents list.  What's really needed is that Unpinned reports should be removed from the Recents list. It shouldn't even be called "Recents". Call it "Pinned" or "Favorites". Whatever, but not "Recents". Recent reports are already listed in the useless Home screen. I responded to the "Share your thoughts" blog post when the feature was still in preview. Mostly negative feedback was given by users, but it seems the OP has chosen to ignore those. I guess I just have to learn to live with that and hope that this Home Screen 'feature' is short-lived or will be improved considerably in the very near future.

aduguid
Solution Sage
Solution Sage

To remove recent files from Power BI Desktop, follow these steps:
  1. Open Power BI Desktop: Launch Power BI Desktop on your computer.

  2. Go to the File Menu: Click on the "File" tab located in the top left corner of the window.

  3. Select Open Report: In the File menu, select "Open report". This will show you a list of recently opened reports.

  4. Clear Recent Sources:

    • Click on "Recent Sources" on the left panel.
    • Click on "Clear recent sources" at the bottom of the list. This will remove all entries from the recent sources list.
  5. Manually Remove Specific Entries:

    • If you want to remove specific recent files instead of clearing all, hover over the file you want to remove.
    • You’ll see a pin icon appear next to the file name. Click on the pin icon to unpin it from the recent list.
  6. Clear All Recent Files:

    • Navigate to “Options and settings” under the File menu.
    • Select “Options”.
    • In the Options window, under the “Global” section, select “Privacy”.
    • Click on “Clear recent sources” to clear the list.

I don't see any option to "clear recent sources" when I go to the "open report" 

Screenshot_06_13_24_09_56.jpg

 

Nor do I see anything when I hover over a fiile to remove from the list. I can pin and unpin, but I cannot remove from the list.

 

And i don't find any such option in the Options & Settings in Global -> Privacy

dontcallmedeb_0-1718287173382.png

 

 

Hello @dontcallmedeb , the advice @aduguid provided is out of date and would have been successful when applied to versions prior to the PowerBI Home screen.    I will reply with an updated method that is successful in a couple of hours.

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