Display recent photos, downloads, apps and installations on Android

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 16, 2014
Updated • Mar 16, 2014
Apps, Google Android

If you know your way around on your Android phone or tablet you probably never come into a situation where you are looking for an app that you have recently installed, a photo that you have taken, or a download that just finished.

Sometimes I have difficulties finding specific files or apps on my Android phone, for instance when I have downloaded an app a couple of days ago but cannot really remember its name anymore, or when I want to check downloads again from the past couple of days.

Sure, there are means to find out about that without apps. Browse all possible download folders for instance, or the apps listing, but depending on how many items you have in there, it can take a while before you find what you are looking for.

Display recent items on Android

recent items android

The idea of the Android application Recent is simple: display recent items to you so that you do not have to go through that process.

You can run the Recent app for that directly to browse the lists of recent items, or use the on-screen widget that it adds to your phone instead to do so without running the app first.

The application itself displays four lists to you on start:

  • Recent installations -- Lists all apps that have been installed or updated recently.
  • Recent downloads -- Lists the most recent downloads.
  • Recent photos -- Displays the most recent photos and videos made using the phone.
  • Recent apps -- Lists apps that have been used recently by you.

Depending on which list you open, you may either see a list of file or application names along with date and size information (recent installations and downloads), photo thumbnails sorted by time (recent photos) or a list of apps sorted by use (recent apps).

The bottom bar displays actions that you can run on select items. If you take the recent installations as an example: you can select one app here to run it or display details about it, or multiple apps to remove them all in one go from the device again.

Similar options are available in other categories. Downloads for example can be opened or deleted, or located on the device.

The floating icon on the other hand is displayed on the right side of the screen. When you tap on it, a circular menu is displayed in the center that highlights the most recent items in the four available groups. You can rotate around in the circle to display the various items, or tap on an item to open it right away.

recent apps photos downloads android

You can disable the floating icon in the program settings. Just open Recent on your system and click on the preferences icon in the top right corner. Tap on "Open the floating icon" here to disable the feature.


Recent for Android provides you with quick access to recent apps, photos and downloads on your device. This can be quite useful if you have troubles to locate these items sometimes on the device.

You can also use the app to verify the most recent downloads or installations on your phone, to make sure that they are all legit.

software image
Author Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Software Name
Operating System
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.