Explaining the Bags/BagMRU registry tree (trying)

Published by Jeroen Tielen on

Here’s a little blog post about the Bags and BagMru registry tree.

Windows XP:

When you configure this setting in Windows XP:

Windows will remember each and every folder settings. It stores the settings in the registry on four locations:

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\BagMRU

The BagMRU is the database of folders which are currently stored. It has the location of the folder and which ID (NodeSlot) it has in the Bags tree.

What does which tree stores?

The position of icons in the folder (only for icons on the desktop):

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BAGMRU
    Folder View Settings, Size of the Windows, Position of the Windows:
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\BagMru
    For administrators who want to create a policy to control this settings. This is the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    DWORD ClassicViewState 1/0 (1 = Disabled, 0 = Enabled)

    Windows 7

    In Windows 7 it’s a little bit different. There is no option in the settings menu for configuring this. In the help there is this explanation:

image

Windows 7 will only remember each folder views settings, and off course the position of icons on the desktop.

This is stored in the following locations:

  • HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags
  • HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

The BagMRU is the database of folders which are currently stored. It has the location of the folder and which ID (NodeSlot) it has in the Bags tree. 

Utility

Nirsoft has a little utility called: Shell Bags View. Use it to read which folder is currently stored in your Bags.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shell_bags_view.html


Jeroen Tielen

Experienced Consultant/Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, Ivanti, etc.

2 Comments

Kistra · December 10, 2013 at 02:42

THANKS VERY MUCH. Windows is really a crapsystem xD, saving seriously so much data and its all so hidden away o.o

My Privacy · January 14, 2014 at 12:48

The trouble with microsoft is they have sold user down the road and store every bit of data they can gleam from the users action and hide it deep within the registry

Tell me why they need to store cookies in three places at a time or why they record every .exe you every ran all over the registry and do spare the performance aspect because a registry with 450,000 folders alone is not something that performs fast at all.

Index.dat files hidden is super hidden folders is another example and was microsoft to make half the effort to keep windows bug free as they do to please the NSA then everyone would be better off

My scroll finger fell off after looking at the bags folders but thanks for letting me know what they are for

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