When you’re trying to get back into a document, application or server that you’ve worked on recently, one quick way to do so in macOS is to click the Apple () menu and select Recent Items. Doing so displays a list of three headings — Applications, Documents, and Servers — with a number of entries listed under each heading (see image below):
You might find that the list is a bit too long (or short) for your liking, in which case there is a way that to edit just how many items are shown under Applications (for reasons known only to Apple, the number won’t change for Documents or Servers).
To do so, launch System Preferences from the Dock or select Apple () Menu > System Preferences. When System Preferences is opened, click on General and then click on the number listed next to Recent Items (see screenshot below):
For example, an earlier screenshot shows that my Mac displayed ten items under Recent Items for Applications and Documents. Changing that number to five makes the list much more useful for finding recently used apps, while changing the number to 20 or larger would be more helpful for a person who works with a large number of apps or docs each day.
When increasing the number of Recent Items listed, the lists won’t become longer right away. As you open more items, the lists will grow in length.