The ‘Recent’ item under places in nautilus sidebar can be handy for accessing recent files on the system. However it can also be a privacy breach. There seems no easy setting to hide the ‘recent’ entry under places. Hiding the sidebar option will hide it completely. Here is a way to hide the ‘recent’ places under the file manager. Actually this does not hide the recent places, but does not allows any files to be listed there in the first place. After doing the following, you’ll see the ‘recent’ under places but there won’t be files listed in there.
The items shown under the recent are stored in a file which is dynamically modified as the user access the files over the system. Simply delete the file containing the recent items history using the following command.
$rm -rf ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
Now you’ll need to logout & relogin for changes to take effect. However this is only a one time solution. You’ll need to manually run this command from time to time to clear the recent items.
If you want to save this hassle, you can do the following changes to clear the recent items from not showing up at all. A permanent fix would be to first delete the above file. Now immediately before you open any of your documents(audio, video, text or any file), open a terminal & do the following.
#chattr +i recently-used.xbel
That’s it & you’re done. Now ‘recent’ items under the sidebar will always be empty. To know more about the chattr command, read this post.