Looking for a way to quickly see and open your recently used files? Check out Recent Files Indicator.

Recent Files Indicator, created by Jacob Vjim, is a small applet that sits in the Unity top panel. It offers quick, one-click access a list of your most recently accessed files.

That’s it.

Not groundbreaking, I agree. But ideal for those moments when you remember that you worked on something yesterday, but you can’t remember precisely where you saved it or what you named it.

The simple click interface couldn’t be any easier to use: click the tray icon and a list of recently used files appears. Click on a document in  the list of have it open in whichever app you have set to handle that filetype.

You can even choose exactly how many files appear in this list, e.g., 5, 10, 14, 26, etc.

Install Recent Files Indicator

The ‘downside’ to this useful indicator is that it’s not an easy applet to install — or rather, not one that seems easy at first glance.

An Ask Ubuntu answer has full details, but a tl;dr is:

  1. Download this file and save it your home folder
  2. Download this icon to your home folder and rename it ‘recent.png’

Run the script from the Terminal to get the Indicator to appear:

python3 ~/recused.py

Alternatively, you can add the script to Startup Applications by entering the following in the ‘command’ field:

/bin/bash -c "sleep 15 && python3 ~/recused.py"

Other Solutions

There are other ways to access recently opened files. The Unity Dash (when Zeitgeist is enabled) will display some recent folders and files, while Ubuntu RecentQuicklists offers a Windows-like approach, adding application-specific files to the Unity quicklist of application launchers.

Thanks Robert

Apps filesystem indicator-applets