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Jump lists

Jump Lists are a feature found in Windows 7.

Jump Lists

Jump Lists are a new Windows 7 Taskbar feature that gives the user quick access to recently accessed application files and actions.

Jump Lists come in multiple flavors:

  • automatic (autodest, or *.automaticDestinations-ms) files
  • custom (custdest, or *.customDestinations-ms) files
  • Explorer StartPage2 ProgramsCache Registry values


The AutomaticDestinations Jump List files are located in the user profile path:

Path: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations

Files: *.automaticDestinations-ms


The AutomaticDestinations Jump List files are OLE Compound Files containing multiple streams of which:

  • hexadecimal numbered, e.g. "1a"
  • DestList

Each of the hexadecimal numbered streams contains data similar of that of a Windows Shortcut (lnk). One could extract all the streams and analyze them individually with a LNK parser.

The "DestList" stream acts as a most recently/frequently used (MRU/MFU) list. This stream consists of a 32-byte header, followed by the various structures that correspond to each of the individual numbered streams. Each of these structures is 114 bytes in size, followed by a variable length Unicode string. The first 114 bytes of the structure contains the following information at the corresponding offsets:

Offset Size Description
0x48 16 bytes NetBIOS name of the system; padded with zeros to 16 bytes
0x58 8 bytes Stream number; corresponds to the numbered stream within the jump list
0x64 8 bytes Last modification time, contains a FILETIME structure
0x70 2 bytes Path string size, the number of characters (UTF-16 words) of the path string
0x72 ... Path string


The CustomDestinations Jump List files are located in the user profile path:

Path: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations

Files: *.customDestinations-ms


CustomDestinations Jump List files reportedly follow a structure of sequential MS-SHLLINK binary format segments.

See also


  • Belkasoft Evidence Center. One of functions of this tool is search (including carving) and analysis of jumplists. A wide list of applications is supported (Jump list IDs).
  • TZWorks LLC: Windows Jump List Parser (jmp). Also has a tool that can parse both the custom and automatic Destinations type files. For automaticDestinations it associates the MRU/MFU metadata with that of the SHLLINK metadata. There are versions of the tool that can run in Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X.
  • Woanware: JumpLister. Tool to view the information within the numbered streams of each autodest file.
  • plaso
  • JLECmd. Command line tool using the JumpList, a parser written in C# with support thru Windows 10 jump lists.