Recent Menu

Recent Menu

Recent Menu is a shiny little menu item, sitting around in you menu bar and showing files and folders recently accessed on your computer. Define which types of recently accessed items to show by creating custom filters for file types or filenames. Click on a menu entry to open an item, press the command key and click to show it in Finder.

OS X 10.9 required.
Version 1.2.3. For free.
Learn More


File Access Monitoring

The Recent Menu menu bar menu shows your recently accessed files and folders, grouped by filter categories and sorted by access time with the most recently accessed items at the top. Decide where to search and for many past hours Recent Menu should monitor recently accessed files.


Click on any item in the menu to open it with its default application. Press the command key and click on any item in the menu to show it in Finder.


Group recently accessed files and folders by using one of the built-in filters (for documents, source code, PDF files, movie files, images, folders and applications), or create your own filters by filtering for filenames (e.g. “*.pdf”) or file types (UTI types) and use multiple filter criteria.

For Your Convenience

Use the built-in system-wide hotkey to activate Recent Menu, no matter where you are.


Recent Menu Menu Bar Window
Recent Menu Filter Editor

Release Notes

Recent Menu 1.2.3 (February 2014)

Fixed: Recent Menu bug when running on OS X 10.9.

Recent Menu 1.2.2 (November 2012)

Changed: The recent items list now shows in the main menu of Recent Menu.

Recent Menu 1.2.1 (August 2012)

Changed: Recent Menu now runs sandboxed.

Recent Menu 1.2 (May 2012)

New: The negation operator ! can now be used in filter arguments.

Recent Menu 1.1 (August 2011)

New: Custom filters can consist of several comma-separated filter arguments; Pre-defined filters can be restored; Hotkey is configurable; Recent Menu now shows the subject line of e-mails instead of the file name for email files; Enhanced help book.

Fixed: Fixes for several small bugs.

Recent Menu 1.0 (March 2011)

Initial release.


How can I define a custom filter with more than one UTI or file name string in it?

This is possible by entering several comma-separated search terms.

What are Uniform Type Identifiers (UTI)?

An UTI is a text string designed for identifying a specific data type on OS X (see the Wikipedia entry for a general discussion). In principle, every file and folder is  identified by a number of UTIs contained in the file’s/folder’s metadata. There doesn’t seem to be an exhausting list of UTIs used in OS  X, but some common UTIs are ‘public.content’, ‘com.adobe.pdf’,  ‘public.image’, ‘public.folder’ and so on. However, there is a list of system provided UTIs.

Why does Recent Menu sometimes fail to monitor a file change?

Due to technical limitations, Recent Menu cannot monitor files which are low-level accessed by applications, which are stored inside databases and it also cannot monitor applications running from the Menu Bar. There may be issues with custom filters for certain file types. Moreover, Recent Menu doesn’t monitor files stored in network or cloud locations.

Source Code

Recent Menu is open source software. Get the source code on GitHub.