Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding MRU Files.

Understanding MRU Files

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 28, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


MRU is an acronym for most recently used. It describes a feature of Word that allows you to quickly open your most recently used documents. These file names are displayed by Word at the bottom of the File menu.

When you first install Word, it displays the four most recently used documents in the MRU list. If you want to change the number of documents remembered by Word for the MRU list, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the General tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Recently Used File List check box is selected. (If it is not selected, then no MRU files are maintained by Word.)
  5. For the Entries value, specify a value between 1 and 9. This signifies how many MRU files should be remembered by Word.
  6. Click on the OK button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (131) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding MRU Files.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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