Depending upon your version of Excel, the Recent list on the File menu can streamline access to both files and folders. If you work on numerous spreadsheets, this list offers marginal value in Excel 2003 and earlier. The list gained some new functionality in Excel 2007, reached its zenith in Excel 2010, and fell back somewhat in Excel 2013. This list provides one-click access to between 4 and 25 files (and sometimes folders). As you'll see in this article, each version of Excel offers markedly different functionality with regard to accessing recent spreadsheets.
- In the General section, disable Show the Start Screen When This Application Starts.
- In the Save section, enable Don't Show the Backstage When Opening or Saving Files.
- In the Advanced section: (1) change Show This Number of Recent Workbooks to 50 instead of 25; (2) enable Quickly Access This Number of Recent Workbooks; and (3) be cautious about changing the Show This Number of Unpinned Recent Folders much beyond 8, because incrementing this too high means you'll always have to scroll down to access the Browse button, which will impede access to your spreadsheets.