How to remove (delete) Eclipse workspace from the dropdown list.

Eclipse is my favorite Java IDE. To manage projects Eclipse uses ‘Workspaces’. Workspace is basically a folder on your disk where your project files are stored. To work on a project you load its workspace in Eclipse. Eclipse remembers the workspaces you worked on previously. A drop down list of all (configurable) previous workspaces is displayed when you want to switch workspace. This is pretty good except for one little annoyance. Eclipse presents all previous workspaces even if you have deleted the project folder from the disk. All those deleted workspaces only clutter the list. But there is a very easy way to clean up the list. All you have to do is to edit org.eclipse.ui.ide.prefs file.

This file is located under configuration/.setting directory under your eclipse installation directory. For e.g. if you have Eclipse installed under C:\ides\eclipse the file will be under C:\ides\eclipse\configuration\.settings.

Open the file in your favorite text editor (like PNP).
You will see a line for RECENT_WORKSPACES. Edit this line and delete the entries for the workspaces you no longer need.

For instance I have following line in my file.

All these projects are included in the drop-down list. To remove GoogleApps workspace all I need is to delete it form this line. So the line will become


Save the file and exit the editor. Next time you will start Eclipse you will not see the deleted workspace(s).

In this file there is another line for MAX_RECENT_WORKSPACES. By default it is to set to 5. You can change this value to be a lower/greater number if you so desire.

Comments 10

  • Its possible to remove the workspace in eclipse without much complications. The options are available under Preferences->General->Startup and Shutdown->Workspaces.

  • The comment above (about performing this change inside Eclipse) appears to be in error. I visited Window > Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown > Workspaces but there is no option to remove entries from the cached list of recently-opened workspaces. There are options to prompt for a workspace on startup, and to refresh the workspace on startup, but I don’t see any place to manipulate the list of already-recorded recently-visited workspaces.

    Separately from that, under Window > Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown > Workspace there are a few other options related to workspaces but again, these do NOT include an option to remove entries from the cached list of recently-opened workspaces.

    I used the ‘surgical’ approach described in the original post (edit the file directly) and it appears to work fine. Just one very minor correction: the directory appears to be configuration.settings (with an ‘s’ on the end of ‘.settings’), not ‘.setting’ (with no ‘s’).

  • Maybe it depends on the version you’re using. In Eclipse 3.5.2 there is a “recent workspaces” list where you can remove obsolete workspaces under Window > Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown > Workspaces. I just did that a minute ago and the entry is now gone on startup.

  • Thanks mate .. helped a lot.. The only thing to be noted is the file name may not be the same in every eclipse.. we need to just check that

  • I want to acknowledge that this article solved my problem for the missing configuration of the Android SDK location. Thanks.

  • Sorry, I posted my thanks to the incorrect article. This article helped me to delete unused straggling entries in my Eclipse workspace drop-down list. Thanks.

  • Go for this : Window > Preferences, then go to
    General > Startup and Shutdown > Workspaces.

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  • Note that this does not actually delete the files from the system, it simply removes it from the list of suggested workspaces.

  • I’ve found out that in Eclipse Oxygen you can go to Window->Preferences->General->Startup and Shutdown-> Workspaces and delete it from there.

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