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: Deleting MRU Entries.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 2, 2015)
The MRU refers to "most recently used," which is the list of files you have used recently, as noted at the bottom of the File menu. This list is a wonderful aid most of the time, but is also very revealing. Everyone who uses your computer knows the name of the last file (or files) you've been working on. You may not always like this.
To remove a file name from the MRU list, press Alt+Ctrl+- (that last part is a dash, right next to the 0 key, not the minus key on the keypad). The mouse pointer changes into a thick bar. Use the bar pointer to click on the File menu, then click on the MRU entry you wish to remove from the list. The entry is removed, and the mouse pointer changes back to normal. This does not delete the actual file; it only removes the entry from the MRU list.
You should note that this tip is very powerful. Be careful that you don't select any other menu item except one of the MRU entries. If you do, the menu item is removed from the menu.
If you decide, after pressing Alt+Ctrl+-, that you don't want to delete anything, then press Esc once. The deletion mode is exited, and the mouse pointer returns to normal.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1044) 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: Deleting MRU Entries.
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Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.