How can I keep recent files from appearing in Unity?

I sometimes browse erotic media files but I would like to avoid having them appear in files & folders / recent. How can I do that?

The old "making .recently-used.xbel a folder" trick from 10.10 and older doesn't work any more.

Plus I'd prefer to turn off tracking only temporarily.

I also prefer not to use a separate user for this, as switching users sometimes isn't fast enough.

Answers 11

  • Method 1: Using Activity Log Manager

    Ubuntu Precise 12.04

    In Ubuntu Precise Activity Log Manager 0.9 is included by default. It can be accessed from System Settings or just by looking for Privacy.

    Finding Activity Log Manager in Dash enter image description here

    Or you can simply type Privacy in Dash

    enter image description here

    Now you can start blacklisting applications. Screenshots

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    Activity Log Manager in Oneiric and first release

    You can install Activity Log Manager from the Stable PPA.

    For more details about Activity Log Manager you should check out the article on OMG! Ubuntu! and article on Webupd8

    A new version of Activity Log Manager is in development which looks better and is simpler to use. A screenshot of the unreleased Activity Log Manager

    Unreleased Activity Log Manager screenshot

    Method 2: Using Gnome Activity Journal

    You can do it, provided that there is some pattern in the files. For example you have kept all your explicit content in folder /home/mrpig/erotica/ folder.

    Then open Activity Journal which is a GUI frontend to Zeitgeist which acts as a Dashboard showing your recent activities. On top right Zeitgeist Icon, click it and Preferences. Check "Blacklist Manager" plugin

    Then goto "BlackList Manager" tab. Click on New button, and then edit the new entry which comes as file:///home/mrpig/erotica/*

    Linked Question:

    1. Hidden files are shown in Dash

  • There is a way to do it, but it will clear all the other recent files as well.

    All you have to do is run the following commands:

    rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite
    zeitgeist-daemon --replace

    Edit zeitgiest/activity.sqlite no longer exists on my system:

    rm ~/.local/share/zeitgeist
    zeitgeist-daemon --replace

    It takes a moment, but it repopulates as the daemon starts.

    Update: Activity Log Manager has been released. This is a GUI tool that allows you to tweak the Zeitgeist history: you can delete part of the Zeitgeist history, blacklist some applications or prevent logging certain types of files as well as blacklist folders.

    Install it using the commands below:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:zeitgeist/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    zeitgeist-daemon --replace
    sudo apt-get install activity-log-manager

    I've recorded a video demoing Activity Log Manager here:

  • Just rename the folder after browsing. After you renamed it, the files in there won't show up in unity recent files. Pretty easy solution, just make sure you don't forget it every time you use that folder :)

    (Sry for my english)

  • The old "making .recently-used.xbel a folder" trick does work, but now the file is in ~/.local/share so:

    $ rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
    $ mkdir ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel
 for me :)

  • Zeitgeist's developers are working on Zeitgeist Global Privacy. It will allow to remove part of Zeitgeist history (last hour, week, etc), blacklist an application or file type from the history and exclusion of a folder from the history. A few screenshots are provided in the linked blog post.

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