How "Recent Items" Works

I have been asked several times lately about why Final Cut Pro X’s “Open Library” menu no longer lists the last several Libraries that were opened. That comes with the problem also of FCPX launching and asking what Library you want to open every single time. It is a simple issue to fix, and one all users should be aware of.

If this happens to you, go to the Apple menu (top left corner of screen, Apple icon), to Recent Items. You’ll probably notice that sub-menu is empty.

That is because the Recently Opened Projects, or Items, or whatever you wish to call it, is the same
system wide function. It is not specific to any single app. The applications are simply asking the Operating System to perform a job it has a routine coded to do.

So, to fix this, or ADJUST it:
- Go to the Apple menu.
- Go to the “System Preferences” option.
- Go to the “General” section.
- At the very bottom is a menu for “Recent Items” that lets to set it to “None”. A setting of None is zero, and then nothing shows up, and FCPX asks you what Library to open every single time you launch it.

You can also set it to a number. Either
5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 50. I leave mine set to either 20 or 30 on the various Macs I work with daily. That’s just personal preference.

Yes, if you set it to 50, the FCPX “Open Libraries” sub-menu will eventually list 50 different Libraries as recently opened, IF you have that many to open over time.

Be careful making changes because it can effect the number of items that do, or suddenly don’t show up in app recent items lists. Although I have noticed this is more significant in El Capitan than in Sierra. Some slight behavioral changes there.

Likewise, if I set it to None, NOTHING will show up in the Apple menu’s Recent Items sub-menu. Nor will anything show up in FCPX’s “Open Library” sub-menu. Switching it back to a number means the list is still blank until I start opening up Libraries again, and the list will build back up again.

Just remember, this setting will effect most any “Recent Items” list in any app, including the Finder. So if you notice an issue with that function, you now know where to go check it, and fix it.

Side Note: Deleting FCPX’s preference files (hold option+Command while launching Final Cut) will also clear your list of recently opened Libraries, but will not effect anything outside of FCPX.