What is the “In the Works” menu and its “Frequent”, “Recent” and “Current Windows” menus?

Video demo

The In the Works menu is built automatically by Quick Access Popup to give you an easy access to the contents you most probably need because you use them…

  • frequently (Frequent Folders and Frequent Files);
  • recently (Recent Folders and Recent Files);
  • or currently (Current Windows).

Chances are high that the content you need to work NOW is already in one of these submenus.

Privacy Statement
The data in the Quick Access Popup database is collected and stored locally, solely to build dynamic menus and increase performance. This data resides ONLY on your system and NO information is transmitted to a remote server.

To build the Frequent Items menus, QAP is maintaining a local and private database that remembers the folders and files you used in the last days. Before going further, for those concerned with privacy, see my statement in the box beside.

If you prefer not having QAP collect this data, you can go to the Database options to turn this feature off, flush its content or control its behavior.

Frequent Folders and Frequent Files

The Frequent Folders and Frequent Files menus contain by order of frequency the ten folders or ten documents you opened most frequently in the last days. In your first hours or days of usage of QAP, these menus may not be full or may not reflect your most often used content. But, they will improve quickly as you use QAP. 




Frequent Files – Click to enlarge

You can change the number of items in these menus in Options, Menu Appearance tab. Set the Number of items in menus under Frequent Items and Recent Items Menus. You can also see how QAP discovers your most frequently used folders and file and set various parameters here: How can I control how the Frequent Items Database works?

Recent Folders and Recent Files

The Recent folders and Recent files menus list the recent places or documents memorized by Windows. You can find more information here: From where comes the content of the Recent folders and Recent files menus?

Recent Files – Click to enlarge

Recent Folders – Click to enlarge

Current Windows

The last item of the In the Works menu shows all the folders and windows open on your system. You can can find more information here: How is built the Current Windows menu?

Edit the In the Works menu

The In the works menu was added automatically at the top of your main menu when you launched QAP. Using the Customize window, you will be able, if you wish, to rename this menu, move it or break up its content in other submenus. See how to open the Customize window and how to use it to customize your menu.

Excluding folders or files from the Frequent and Recent menus

You can select folders or files to exclude from these menus. See: Can I filter out items in Current Windows, Recent or Frequent menus?

How can I delete the content of the Frequent and Recent items menus?

The Frequent folders, Frequent filesRecent folders and Recent Files menus under the In the works menu are populated by scanning periodically the Recent items Windows system folder. Since QAP v9.2, these items are collected in the QAP database allowing to calculate the frequency and determine the order of items in the Frequent items menus. This also improves performance when refreshing Recent items and Frequent items menus.

If, for privacy or any other reason, you want to remove the content of the Recent and Frequent items menus, you need to delete this content from the database:

  1. In the Options window, under the More tab, click the Quick Access Popup Database button.
  2. At the bottom of the Quick Access Popup Database dialog box, click the Flush Frequent Items from database button. This will delete all items from the database.

After you restart QAP, the Frequent and Recent items menus will be empty. If you keep the database enabled, these menus will be repopulated as new contents from the Windows recent items will be added, starting at the time of the last collection.

If you disable the Quick Access Popup Database (by unchecking the first check box in this dialog box), the QAP Recent folders and Recent files menus are populated by reading directly the Windows Recent items menus. To remove these items from the QAP menus, you need to reset the Windows special folder by following these instructions:

  1. Open this folder:
    or use this shortcut:
  2. Select all items in this folder and delete them.
  3. The Recent Folders and Recent Files menus in Quick Access Popup are now empty.

More info:

How can I control how the Frequent Items database works?

Setting up the Frequent Items database

The first time QAP is launched, it installs the SQLite files required to collect data about your Windows and QAP usage. These files are saved in the same folder where is installed the Quick Access Popup executable file.

A database named QAP_Frequent.DB is then created in the QAP settings folder. Periodically (by default every minute), QAP stores in this database the Recent Items collected from Windows since the last update. This very light background process is unnoticeable from a performance point of view.

QAP also logs in this database your QAP menu usage. It allows to track recent folders open in QAP that would not be added to the Windows Recent Items. With QAP v11 (or more recent), the database is also used to suggest items in the Add Multiple Favorite command.

For more curious and technical users wishing to browse this database, I recommend the use of the free app SQLite Browser (this tool is not required for normal users).

Configuring the Frequent Items database

You can set the parameters of the Frequent Items database in Options. Under the Database tab, you can enable or disable the database. If is is disabled, the Frequent Folders and Frequent Files menus will be empty (you can remove them in the Customize window).


When enabled, the database is refreshed by default every 60 seconds. You can change this under Collection and refresh interval (seconds).

You can also set the period considered when building the Frequent menus. For example, if you would like to see your most used items in the last week, set the Number of days to take into account in Frequent Items menus to 7. By default, the period is of 30 days. You can also increase it if you prefer to see your long term most used items.

By default the database size is limited to 3 MB. This should be enough for 30 days of normal use of QAP. But if you are an intensive user or if you wish to keep a longer period, increase this size. There is no limit to the number of days or size of the database. When the size limit is exceeded, oldest items are removed until the maximal size is respected.

If you would like to see the ranking of items in the Frequent menus, enable the Show frequency index in “Customize” window and menus. This will show that value for each item in the menus and also in the Customize window for item found in the database.

Finally, if, for privacy or any other reason, you want to delete the database content, click the Flush Frequent Items from database button. This will delete all items from the database. After you restart QAP, the Frequent and Recent items menus will be empty. If you keep the database enabled, these menus will be repopulated as new contents from the Windows Recent Items will be added, starting at the time of the last collection.

If files in the database goes offline

If you sometimes have offline network files in your Recent Items Windows folder (for example, if your portable computer is attached to network drives at work but not when you are outside office), see the recommendations about network drives.

What if the Recent menus remains empty?

The Recent Folders and Recent Files menus are populated from the Windows Recent Items folder. Check if you have recent folders and files in this system folder:

(replace “Username” with your own user name)
or enter
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items

If this folder is empty (or outdated), enable it in Window Settings. See instructions on one of these pages: for Windows 10 or Windows 7.