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Microsoft 365 Insiders can try out new Recent Files widgets for Office apps on iOS

microsoft ios recent files widgets

Microsoft is testing out a new feature for people who access some of its productivity apps on the iPhone or iPad. It should make it easier to find the files they want to access that they have recently interacted with on their iOS device.

In a post on the Microsoft 365 Insider blog, the company described the new feature for members of the Insider program:

You can add Recent Files widgets for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint directly to your iPhone or iPad home screen. The widgets allow you to both view and open your most recently accessed files in that app from the home screen on your device.

Members of the Insider program with an iPhone and/or an iPad can go to the home screen and press down on an empty part of the display. They should see a + icon in the top left corner. They can then tap on the icon and a list of the device's widgets should appear on screen.

They can then search or scroll through the list, and then tap on the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint icon. The Recents screen should appear, and then the users can scroll through the different size options for the widget they want to put on the screen. For the iPhone, there will be small, medium, and large widget size choices, and the iPad has the additional extra-large widget size option.

Once they find the size icon they want, all they have to do is tap the Add Widget option and it should show up on the screen. They can then tap on that widget, and then select the recent file they want to access. Tapping on it should launch the app so they can use the file,

Microsoft notes that if you just want to launch the app with the widget, you can just tap anywhere on the widget that's not a recent file.

If you are a member of the Microsoft 365 Insiders program, you can check out the Recent Files widget feature if you are running iOS Version 2.85 (Build 24042818) or later.

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