Does anyone know (because on Microsoft forums nobody answered me), how I can find what application has which automaticDestinations-ms file in %appdata%\microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations?

That's the folder where Windows 7 stores its jump lists, and I want to know how to automatically/programmatically find the relation between each file and an application.

At least, even manually, I didn't find any pattern, just by looking at the extensions of the files, because some programs open files with the same extension (like images), so this method it's not OK for all programs.

Do you have any other idea? Maybe knowing the format of those files?


6 Answers 6


Clear and Manage Windows 7 Jump Lists

To find application associations, open the *.automaticdestinations-ms files in Notepad. You can find file paths to items in the application jump list and figure out which app/jump list the *.automaticdestinations-ms file is associated with.

Note that opening the files in Notepad, that there are (something like) spaces between characters. For example, foo.exe is "f o o . e x e"

Windows 7 Jump Lists are stored in the paths listed in the following short list of filenames that are associated with specific applications:

PATH: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

28c8b86deab549a1.automaticDestinations-ms = IE8 Pinned and Recent a7bd71699cd38d1c.automaticDestinations-ms = Word 2010 Pinned and Recent adecfb853d77462a.automaticDestinations-ms = Word 2007 Pinned and Recent a8c43ef36da523b1.automaticDestinations-ms = Word 2003 Pinned and Recent 1b4dd67f29cb1962.automaticDestinations-ms = Windows Explorer Pinned and Recent 918e0ecb43d17e23.automaticDestinations-ms = Notepad Pinned and Recent d7528034b5bd6f28.automaticDestinations-ms = Windows Live Mail Pinned and Recent c7a4093872176c74.automaticDestinations-ms = Paint Shop Pro Pinned and Recent b91050d8b077a4e8.automaticDestinations-ms = Media Center f5ac5390b9115fdb.automaticDestinations-ms = PowerPoint 2007 23646679aaccfae0.automaticDestinations-ms = Adobe Reader 9 aff2ffdd0862ff5c.automaticDestinations-ms = Visual Studio 2012

PATH: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

28c8b86deab549a1.customDestinations-ms = IE8 Frequent & Tasks

The post where I found this list was here.

(Most of that discussion is not very helpful. It was started in June 2009. I pulled this list out from Microsoft MVP, Ronnie Vernon's replies later in the thread – Scroll down to March 10, 2010.)

faef7def55a1d4b.automaticDestinations-ms = VLC Media Player

You can prevent Windows from keeping it's "Recent" file list by deleting the "automaticDestinations-ms" file for the application then creating a directory with that same name. To do this from the Command Line: mkdir faef7def55a1d4b.automaticDestinations-ms

Apps will generally recreate a settings or configuration file that's been manually deleted. Most will also delete and recreate a settings/config file that's been corrupted. Using "mkdir" generally prevents this. The function used to delete a directory is different than the function used to delete a file. Windows won't allow the app to open, write or delete the directory as if it was a file. I have yet to see an app that will figure out that there is a directory with the same name as it's config file then delete the dir and recreate the config file.

This same trick works in a lot of other situations.


here are a few more files and their association with Office applications: fb3b0dbfee58fac8.automaticDestinations-ms = Word 2013 (and Office 365) Pinned and Recent 9839aec31243a928.automaticDestinations-ms = Excel 2013 (and Office 365) Pinned and Recent 9839aec31243a928.automaticDestinations-ms = Excel 2013 Pinned and Recent d00655d2aa12ff6d.automaticDestinations-ms = Powerpoint 2013Office 365 Pinned and Recent 9c7cc110ff56d1bd.automaticDestinations-ms = Powerpoint 2010 Pinned and Recent

This is rather useful when after an upgrade to a new Office version you want to restore the old pinned and recent items: you only need to rename the old version's file to the new file name.


Old question and I know Windows 7 is no longer supported, but another way to find out what app relates to which jump file is to open the AutomaticDestinations folder, make a change to one of the lists (pin something for example), and look for the jump file that changes its timestamp.


I lost my Excel recent/pinned list. To find AutomaticDestinations, I searched %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows for “AutomaticDestinations-ms”. This got me to a list and I right clicked, Open File Location Then found the file for Excel (9839aec31243a928.automaticDestinations-ms), right clicked, Previous versions, picked one and did Restore. It worked.


You can read more info about it at https://forensics.wiki/jump_lists/ and the Full List at https://forensics.wiki/list_of_jump_list_ids/

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    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 11:32

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