Recently Changed Folder

Dear Computer Lady,

I am running vista on my laptop. Every time i save a document in my documents it goes into a folder called Recently Changed. If i delete the contents of this folder i lose my document. Or when i save a document , then go to my documents folder, the document is not there. So i have no idea where they are going. Is there a way to correct this?

Thank you for your kindness in helping others, I love receiving your newsletter. Martha


Dear Martha,

When Microsoft created Windows Vista (and they have continued this in Windows 7) they wanted to introduce a new way of organizing files based on “virtual folders” and not on physical directories. Directory is the original name for what you and I today call folders.

When you look in your “My Documents” folder, you are looking in a physical directory. It is a folder that has an actual location on your hard drive.

The folder, “Recently Changed” is not an actual directory. It is a virtual folder.

When you are using Vista, and open a window for, “Documents”, or even “Computer” you will see on the left side of the window a column with the heading, “Favorite Links” The first three folders under “Favorite Links” will take you to your actual “Documents”, “Pictures” or “Music” folders.

The next two favorite links are called, “Recently Changed”, and “Searches”.

When you click on “Recently Changed”, Vista does a quick search of your hard drive and brings up all files that have been changed or added in the last few weeks. They are not actually in the same folder. If you right click on one of the documents you just saved, then click on “Properties” you will see the actual location of the file listed next to, “Location”.

Since the “Recently Changed” folder is really a search, when you delete a file from there, you are really deleting the file from the folder that it is located in.

Under the “Recently Changed” favorite link is another link called, “Searches” When you click on Searches, you will see a selection of pre-defined searches that people might commonly search for. Some of the selections include, recent documents, recent photos, and recent e-mails.

I hope this helps you understand the different between folders and saved searches a little better.


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