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Windows 7: Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?

22 Mar 2016   #1
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?

I hope I'm putting this in the right forum...

I remember in prior Windows versions, there were programs you could use that would find and remove/edit MRU lists *for specific programs.*

In other words (pick any program here), if I wanted to clear the MRU list for VLC, or Word, I could do so without affecting any other MRU list.

I've Googled this and not only can I find a program to do this, I can't even find where Windows keeps the lists so I can groom them manually.

Any idea on how I can do this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Mar 2016   #2
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Well I'm not sure about an MRU List cleaner that only deals with MRU Lists.

Personally I use Ccleaner with CCEnhancer add on and manually edit the winapp2.ini file to make MRU List entries appear as an option that can be cleaned.

See examples from winapp2.ini:

Code:
[EmEditor*]
LangSecRef=3024
Detect=HKCU\Software\EmSoft\EmEditor v3
Default=False
RegKey1=HKCU\Software\EmSoft\EmEditor v3\Recent File List
RegKey2=HKCU\Software\EmSoft\EmEditor v3\Recent Folder List
RegKey3=HKCU\Software\EmSoft\EmEditor v3\Recent Font List
Unfortunately even the winapp2.ini file doesn't include all MRU locations for all software and sometimes isn't up to date and needs to be modified manually.

Example:

Default entry for Nitro PDF recent docs list:

Code:
[Nitro PDF Reader*]

LangSecRef=3024

Detect=HKCU\Software\Nitro PDF\Reader

RegKey1=HKCU\Software\Nitro PDF\Reader\1.0\Recent File List

RegKey2=HKCU\Software\Nitro PDF\Reader\2.0\Recent File List
Well it doesn't include detections for Nitro PDF 3.0 and would need to be modified in order to work as follows:

Code:
[Nitro PDF Reader*]
LangSecRef=3024
Detect=HKCU\Software\Nitro\Reader
Default=False
RegKey1=HKCU\Software\Nitro\Reader\3.0\Recent File List
See this post for a little more info:

Latest CCleaner Version Released

I would recommend using CCEnhancer to trim winapp2.ini automatically.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-ccenhancer.jpg
It is possible to just trim winapp2.ini on demand via "Advanced Settings"

Now the problem is that for some lesser known programs you need to hunt down the MRU list and manually add the location to the winapp2.ini file but once you've done that it works okay.

Once you've added the entries they appear as "added applications" to clean in Ccleaner's list. The ones follwed by an asterisk (*) are not default in Ccleaner and have been added.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-piriform-ccleaner.jpg
Other interesting utilities to deal with Windows MRU Lists:

RecentFilesView - View the list of recently opened files

CleanAfterMe - Clean Registry entries and files in your system

EDIT: To answer your question more speciffically - to clean an individual lists check or uncheck the checkboxes in Ccleaner before running.

For those entries with an asterisk (added entries) you can't clean individual entries.

You can right click and choose to clean individual items.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-clean-entry.jpg
EDIT: Just tested and you can clean individual lists but for me Ccleaner shows no results and reports 0 bytes cleaned in the results window but it still cleans individual lists.

Example:

EMeditor before cleaning:
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-emeditor-mru.jpg
After:
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-emeditor-mru-2.jpg
It's confusing because Ccleaner shows no results when EMeditor is selected for either analysis or cleaning but indeed it does remove the MRU list.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-emeditor-ccleaner.jpg

Actually there are no results displayed as only registry entries are being deleted rather than files!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2016   #3
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Hi Callender. I installed CCEnhancer after updating CCleaner and 'played' with it some, even looking into the .ini file. I used your 'trim' trick, too. Editing it as in your examples I think is over my head. And scary for me, actually.

Using your example, I searched the registry for HKCU\Software, and combinations, and didn't find anything. And that's after using CCleaner/CCEhance.

I did spend a lot of time, today and in the past, trying to find MRU info and locations in the registry, but no luck, not even close.

I also looked into your link for RecentFilesView and even searched the registry for the location they say the lists should be, but no luck again.

Don't get me wrong, I do like most MRU lists. Like when I took another look at the winapp2.ini file, I just right clicked and picked it from the list. The annoying part of the lists is like VLC video player where I'm just going thru and organizing hundreds of my home video files that are scattered all over, and then move the files. And things like photo editor lists where I edit for friends and don't need their stuff mixed in with my lists, and often no longer on my computer.

What I have been doing is simply right clicking and clicking on 'remove from this list' for each item I want to remove. It's just a pain but not overbearing.


Nothing simpler I assume
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Mar 2016   #4
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Okay I see what you mean. I thought you needed a way to clean the entire MRU file list of specific programs rather than edit the contents of specific MRU lists for various programs.

Well the problem with that approach is that they are stored in different ways depending upon the program.

Examples include:

Stored in lists in the registry
Stored in .ini files
Stored in .xml files
Stored in .dpl files

Then probably a lot more that I don't know about!

If anyone has created a program that can index the default locations for all recently used file lists and read and edit individual entries then would anyone reading this thread please post details.

As you described the way to clear individual entries is from within the program itself but that is really time consuming.

I actually stopped using VLC some time ago and swithched to PotPlayer so I don't even have VLC installed.

For VLC there is a program that I used previously that can index all your videos and create and manage playlists. I still use it with PotPlayer but it only has full functionality when used with VLC installed so I can't help much with instructions or screenshots.

If you move videos around you can just include paths and rescan.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-video-manager.jpg
File Safety Check:
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-videomanager_sigcheckgui.jpg
You might want to try it so here's the link if you want to test it.

Saleen Video Manager (WMV, MPEG, FLV...)

EDIT: Avoid downloading codec packs as VLC should contain everything that is needed for the software to work.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2016   #5
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Hi Callender. Sorry I wasn't more clear on what I was after. Sure seems like not much is simple anymore... Oh well.


I checked into Saleen Video Manager as you suggested. It's nice but has the same problem my current 'video manager' has (and why I don't use it!): You can't rename and move files around in it. Yes, you can build/rebuild libraries, playlists, etc, but I don't really need that. Here's a link to a forum page on it:

Saleen Software - Topic Messages

While I use Windows Explorer a lot in my photo shuffling, I'm also use to my photo editors having built-in functions to rename and move photos, and create folders/sub-folders and the like. So that's pretty much what I expect in a 'video manager.'


So I guess I have to stick with my current method until something better comes along: go thru all the multiple folders all over my HDDs, view each video (most with the cryptic camera file name like 12345678.mov or the like), rename it appropriately, then move it to the folder/drive the general category is located in.

Yes, I've been terribly disorganized over the year in my both my photos and videos, but I'm working on it, LOL.

VLC works fine for me, but I'll still check out PotPlayer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2016   #6
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I never noticed that files couldn't be moved around using Saleen Video Manager. It is possible to rename them though!

Regarding Windows Explorer for photo shuffling - or moving any types of files in groups - I pretty much never use Explorer. Instead I'll use Q-Dir (Portable so no install) with four windows open and move files around by selecting them and dragging them either one at a time or in groups.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-q-dir-5.82.jpg
For large video files I tend to use TeraCopy. You can drop multiple files into it from multiple locations but you can only move them to a single selected folder.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-teracopy.jpg
For moving all files of a particular type (or types) I use File Mover.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-file-mover-v1.0.jpg
I guess we all have our own methods but I find these programs work well!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2016   #7
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Manually edit VLC's recent file list

Okay so here's what I found:

(Installed VLC as non default media player to get Saleen Video Manager to display thumbnails but still use PotPlayer as default player)

VLC stores it's recent file list here:

Start> Run then type

%AppData%\vlc

Press Enter.

In that folder there should be a file named vlc-qt-interface.ini
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-vlc-recent-files-2.jpg
Make sure that VLC is not running then open vlc-qt-interface.ini using your text editor and scroll down to:

[RecentsMRL]

You can delete entries at will and save the file.
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-vlc-recent-files-3.jpg
The removed entries will no longer appear in VLC's recent file list.


Before editing vlc-qt-interface.ini
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-vlc-recent-files.jpg
After editing vlc-qt-interface.ini
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-vlc-recent-files-4.jpg
There is a mistake in the screenshot I posted:
Where are the Most Recently Used Lists?-vlc-recent-files-3.jpg

For the first file in the list - deleting the entry involves deleting everything in the path shown in the red box but also should have included the trailing file:/// or in other words everything up to the second drive letter. Sorry if that's not clear!

For anything other than the first entry in the list just delete everything between the space and the following comma.

Don't forget to save the file!

Hopefully that helps.

EDIT: I should state that I used the 64bit version of VLC when looking for the recent files list. I guess it's the same in the 32bit version but am not entirely sure.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2016   #8
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
I never noticed that files couldn't be moved around using Saleen Video Manager. It is possible to rename them though!

Regarding Windows Explorer for photo shuffling - or moving any types of files in groups - I pretty much never use Explorer. Instead I'll use Q-Dir (Portable so no install) with four windows open and move files around by selecting them and dragging them either one at a time or in groups.
Attachment 384072
For large video files I tend to use TeraCopy. You can drop multiple files into it from multiple locations but you can only move them to a single selected folder.
Attachment 384074
For moving all files of a particular type (or types) I use File Mover.
Attachment 384073
I guess we all have our own methods but I find these programs work well!
Hi Callender. Thanks for mentioning you can rename files in Saleen Video Manager. That alone will save a lot of hassle and time. Currently, I view the files in VLC, then I have to exit VLC so I can rename the file, then on to the next file, rinse and repeat. That's one of the reasons I'm so far behind in organizing; I don't have 'all day' to sit around and rename files, so I just do a few at a time.

I've downloaded Saleen Video Manager and will be giving it a try

I checked out Q-Dir and it, too, seems real handy. I've downloaded the 64 bit portable version and will be giving it a try too.

I'll hold off on the file movers for a bit. I want to give the above a try first, and see how things work.

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2016   #9
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
Okay so here's what I found:

(Installed VLC as non default media player to get Saleen Video Manager to display thumbnails but still use PotPlayer as default player)

VLC stores it's recent file list here:

Start> Run then type

%AppData%\vlc

Press Enter.

In that folder there should be a file named vlc-qt-interface.ini
Attachment 384077
Make sure that VLC is not running then open vlc-qt-interface.ini using your text editor and scroll down to:

[RecentsMRL]

You can delete entries at will and save the file.
Attachment 384078
The removed entries will no longer appear in VLC's recent file list.


Before editing vlc-qt-interface.ini
Attachment 384076
After editing vlc-qt-interface.ini
Attachment 384079
There is a mistake in the screenshot I posted:
Attachment 384078

For the first file in the list - deleting the entry involves deleting everything in the path shown in the red box but also should have included the trailing file:/// or in other words everything up to the second drive letter. Sorry if that's not clear!

For anything other than the first entry in the list just delete everything between the space and the following comma.

Don't forget to save the file!

Hopefully that helps.

EDIT: I should state that I used the 64bit version of VLC when looking for the recent files list. I guess it's the same in the 32bit version but am not entirely sure.
Hi Callender. Good detective work! I found the .ini file, but I don't have the [RecentMRL] section. I think that's because, in trying to figure it out, I turned off the 'Save recently played items' option under Preferences, Interface tab.

However, Windows still saves the list of files played: if I click on the Start button and then hover over VLC the list still accumulates and shows.

I don't know... I think I'll give up on this as there's no easy fix. I'll just keep deleted the unwanted entries manually.

I do appreciate all your time and effort!!

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2016   #10
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TDKMate View Post
I found the .ini file, but I don't have the [RecentMRL] section. I think that's because, in trying to figure it out, I turned off the 'Save recently played items' option under Preferences, Interface tab.
If you turn that off it clears the entire list.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TDKMate View Post
However, Windows still saves the list of files played: if I click on the Start button and then hover over VLC the list still accumulates and shows.
Okay that's totally different. You wanted to clear individual items from a program's list of recently used files. That's not the same as Windows recent files list.

The only easy option for Windows recent files is to clear the lists entirely. If you delete individual items the list just gets repopulated showing older items.

See the tutorial here:

How to Clear Recent Items List in Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TDKMate View Post
if I click on the Start button and then hover over VLC the list still accumulates and shows.
That sounds like a jumplist. Try unpinning VLC fom the Start Menu.

Of clear jumplists:

Jump Lists - Reset and Clear All Items

Again - it's a clear all or clear nothing approach.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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