There is a confirmed bug with Windows 7 / group policy around this setting. The scenario is as follows:
- Windows 7 disables Recent Items in the Start Menu by default
- You want to enable Recent Items via group policy
- You configure ‘User configuration\Policies\Administrative templates\Start menu and taskbar\Remove recent items menu from start menu’ and set this to ‘disabled’
- Even though you have implemented the above setting, Recent Items still doesn’t show up
This is a bug and the workaround is to add a registry entry HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Start_ShowRecentDocs and set this REG_DWORD value to 1.
I choose to use Group Policy Preference to replace this registry value on our Windows 7 machines: