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Posted 8 Feb 2001

Remembering the last folder used by Open/Save Common dialogs

, 8 Feb 2001
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How applications determine the last visited folders for Open/Save Common Dialogs in Win2K.

Sample Image - tipoftheday.gif


This article content only applies to Microsoft Windows 2000.

One day when I had nothing to do (usual for me), I found the strange behavior of Common Dialogs. Every time I open Notepad and try to open a file, it brings up the last visited folder (see above picture). Like all other people, I know applications keep track of most recently opened files, while they are running; that's not the case if they started from beginning. Simple, they might store this information in registry or any binary file. First I started searching registry entries specific to those applications, with no success.

Suddenly an idea sparkled in my mind, why wouldn't I search the name of last visited folder in registry. This didn't work for me. So I gave up.

One day, accidentally, I found the following registry key:


This key has a string value MRUList that contains alphabets (abcdefg). Including this string value, there are as many binary values as number of alphabets in MRUList.

These binary values contain path of last visited folder followed by name of that application. If you change the path, you will get the desired results.

Try it at your own risk :)

Revision history

  • 20 Jun 2002 - Fixed image


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About the Author

Mumtaz Zaheer
Web Developer
Pakistan Pakistan
Mumtaz Zaheer is working as Senior System Analyst with Information Architects, Pakistan (

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNice Article Mumtaz.d Pin
Dharmendra Gaur28-Oct-10 22:17
memberDharmendra Gaur28-Oct-10 22:17 

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