Was working on a project recently, and learned a creative way to accomplish a common ask in SharePoint 2013 – how to remove the recent items from the quick launch navigation (pictured below).
Step 1: Create a Recent Items SharePoint Group
Go into your site settings and click the Site Permissions link within the Users and Permissions group of links. Create a new SharePoint Group called Recent Items – do not add any users in the group.
Step 2: Modify the Quick Launch Navigation Settings
To hide the Recent links, go into your site settings and click on the navigation link within the Look and Feel section.
Scroll down to the Structural Navigation: Editing and Sorting section. Click on the Recent folder and select the Edit link.
Within the Audience targeting option, enter your new Recent Items SharePoint group and click OK.
When you navigate back to your site home page, the recent items will no longer appear.