It seems that the most recent Evince release don't allow you to clear all the "recent documents" list by GUI.

That list shows up when you open Evince without giving it a document to open.

What I tried:

  1. Find a "Settings" button, but there's nothing let aside a "Open..." button and the usual windows buttons.
  2. Right click everywhere on the GUI, nothing shows up.
  3. Removing the listed document one by one by right-clicking every documents. Nothing.
  4. Trying to use Firefox's way of showing up the menu bar. Still nothing.

I don't remember Evince being so limited few years ago, finding images of past versions do show a menu bar and more options. What happened since then with Gnome dveloppers making every GUI works like the Windows 8/Mac OS/Tablet way ?

So the question is: How do I clear Evince's (flatpaked) document list?

2 Answers 2


evince, an other gnome applications will save the list of recent files in this XML file:


If you remove it you will no longer see the recent documents. evince, or the next gnome application, say gedit, will recreate it.

$ rm ~/.local/share/recently-used.xbel

You could also edit it and remove just the evince recent files.

  • Is it also possible to disable history without GUI, instead of clearing?
    – baptx
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 17:33

Evince uses the shared GNOME recent document list. To clear that, open the privacy settings:

GNOME privacy settings

Click on “Usage & History”:

GNOME usage & history

The “Clear Recent History” button will clear the document list. You can also disable history entirely, or specify how long history entries should be kept.

If you’d rather not use the UI, or are not able to, the following Python script will clear the list for you:


import gi, sys
gi.require_version('Gtk', '3.0')
from gi.repository import Gtk, GLib

rec_mgr = Gtk.RecentManager.get_default()



It has fewer dependencies than gnome-control-center.

To run this against your Flatpak installation of Evince, save the Python script in a file named clear-recent somewhere, make it executable, and run

flatpak run --command=/path/to/clear-recent org.gnome.Evince

This will clear the recent documents list in Evince in Flatpak.

  • Lua version: lgi = require "lgi"; gtk = lgi.require "Gtk"; rec_mgr = gtk.RecentManager.get_default(); rec_mgr:purge_items(); glib = lgi.require "GLib"; glib.idle_add(0, gtk.main_quit); gtk.main()
    – Hisham H M
    Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 21:01

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