Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How can I remove irritating file path lists in MS Paint

  1. #11


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by painshill View Post
    More info:

    Over the course of today I’ve had 3 or 4 internet sessions (Explorer 9 correction: Explorer 10) and probably downloaded a few dozen jpg files and a bunch of pdf files. Everything went into subfolders in “Documents”. All of those files are now archived on an external drive and have been deleted from my hard disc. None of the files were opened in “Paint”. When I now run “Paint”, the effect on the stored file paths in the “save as/jpg” option is as follows:

    - The number of stored file paths is 25 (as it was beforetoday’s internet sessions)... so I guess 25 is the limit
    - Only 15 of the file paths relate to today’s internetsessions
    - Of those 15 paths, not all are from the most recent internet session… there’s a mixture
    - The remaining 10 paths are from a random mix of earlierfiles, including some from last year

    What gives? I can’t figure out where Paint is getting theselists from and what criteria determine which paths are added to the list andwhich are not!
    Could you please produce a screenshot showing the list of stored paths bothering you.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Kari see post #6.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by painshill View Post
    Hi folks
    I’m not a fan of “Paint” within Windows 8.1, so hadn’t really used it until yesterday.

    I noted that when I loaded a file and clicked the “save as” option, each of the file format options (png, jpg, bmp etc) produces a filename box with a drop-down arrow that then displays a short list of complete file paths…. So for example, paths like:

    C:\Users\MyName\Documents\Holiday2013\sunset.jpg

    The folders and files these paths relate to no longer exist. The odd thing is that these paths seem to have been chosen completely at random. They have no commonality of date or origin or destination folder. Some are very recent, some are almost a year old. The number of paths shown is different for each file type – 25 paths for jpg files, 20 for gif files, 4 for bmp and so on.

    None of the listed files have ever been opened in the Paint program. They don’t represent “recent pictures” which are listed separately in the “file” menu. That short list only has file names but not paths and they are not present in the file path lists I’m talking about.

    Just where exactly is Paint randomly picking up these lists from (out of the thousands of possible image file paths that have been present on my PC at one time or another)? Can I stop it from doing so? Can I clear those lists somehow?

    Anyone else see what I see?
    Hello Painshill,

    The tutorial below can help show you how to remove specific or all listed "Recent pictures" in Paint.

    How to Delete Paint "Recent Pictures" from List in Windows 7 and Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1 (OEM)


    Thanks for suggestions thus far. I don’t seem to have corrupted files (apart from those .inf files mentioned above, which appear to be inconsequential).

    I don’t think the problem is related to Paint as such…. More that somehow the file/save dialogue box within Paint is picking up unwanted information from somewhere. The problem is NOT with the “Recent pictures” list. I know how to delete that from the registry… but don’t need to because it’s working normally.

    I have done a little experiment to demonstrate the issue. I loaded a bitmap file into Paint and then saved it as a jpg file under 30 different names, starting with “Neolithic Arrowhead 01” through to “Neolithic Arrowhead 30”.

    The “Recent Images” list stores a maximum of 9 filenames and so Paint has stored the last 9 of the files I saved. Within the Paint program, only the file names are shown. The registry stores the complete path to those files, but there are still only 9 lines in the registry (I checked). Everything normal. No issues.

    BUT… when I am doing the “save as” operation within Paint,if I click on the drop-down arrow (marked below), I get different information. After the experiment, 25 lines of complete file paths displayed (that seems to be the maximum).

    Click image for larger version

    Now, here’s the weird part…


    One would expect that the 30 new files I saved would overwrite the 25 lines displayed in that drop-down box. But they don’t. The 25 lines of file paths alternate between my new files and some apparently randomly selected files from the past which have been deleted. There’s no rhyme or reason to which ones have been selected. NONE OF THOSE RANDOMLY SELECTED FILES HAVE EVER BEEN LOADED IN PAINT. The only apparent pattern is the alternation. One new file followed by an old one, then another new one followed by an old one… and so on. So what I get is a list that goes something like this:

    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\Neolithic Arrowhead 30.jpg
    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\2014\someoldfile-xyz.jpg
    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\Neolithic Arrowhead 29.jpg
    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\Holiday2013\sunset.jpg
    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\Neolithic Arrowhead 28.jpg
    C:\Users\Roger\Documents\CoolPictures\Website\wheredidthiscomefrom.jpg
    … and so on


    I just cannot figure out where the anomalous paths in this list are being picked up from, where they are being stored or how to get rid of them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1 (OEM)


    Thanks everyone. Don't feel compelled to respond to this unless you have a particular interest, since a little experimentation has shed a bit more light on what is happening and it is nothing more than an irritation rather than a problem.

    The “Recent images” list in the Paint applet has a maximum nine entries. Only the file name is displayed (although the full path is in the registry). Only files that have been loaded in the program are listed. They’re listed by the date they were accessed (most recent first) and it doesn’t matter what type of file they represent. Loading a tenth file displaces the first file listed and number nine drops off the list. All of that is normal and exactly what you would expect.


    The list of files displayed when you click on the “file/save as” option in Paint and open the drop-down list doesn’t work in the same way. It works like this:

    The maximum number of entries varies by file type. It’s 25maximum for jpg files and 20 maximum for other file types. Those lists are all separate (by file type) and independent. The full path where the file was originally stored is listed.

    Those path lists are a combination of files downloaded via Internet Explorer (but never accessed via Paint) and files which were not downloaded via Internet Explorer (but have been accessed via Paint). Fair enough... that also happens with say Word documents downloaded from the net. They appear as file paths in the “save as” lists for Word because it’s the Word program that’s doing the saving. But why does it happen with the “save as” lists in Paint, when the Paint applet isn’t even being used?

    Files from internet download (the paths to where you saved them) are not necessarily the most recently-obtained files… or even from the same internet session. I don’t know what determines which ones are listed via Paint or where that information is stored. If I look at file paths listed in Paint and search across the entire registry for the filenames, the only registry entries are for files which have actually been opened in Paint (nine of them) but none of the others.

    In the case of jpg files, the order in which the paths are listed is NOT arranged by date. It seems to be arranged by a combination of date, the origin of the file (whether it’s a download or not), perhaps also the folder it was downloaded to, and what the file extension was. That is, a recent file path does not necessarily over-write an older one in the list.

    I couldn’t figure out exactly what rules are being applied ,but by a series of test downloads/saves/loading into Paint (or not) I found that the list apparently doesn’t get overwritten in a logical date progression unless all other things are equal.

    For example files with a jpg extension are listed by date order independently of files with a jpeg extension. By multiple saving of files via Paint, I reached a point where the list alternated between paths to jpg and jpeg files despite the fact that all the saved jpg files were more recent than the jpeg files. I then tried saving a file with a jpe extension and it appeared as number three on the list. That is, it didn’t displace the first jpg path or the first jpeg path. It displaced the second jpg from position three to position four in the list. You’re confused? So am I! So, after I had achieved this kind of (alternating) list:

    [Path to]: SaturdayTest1.jpg
    [Path to]: SundayTest1.jpeg
    [Path to]: SaturdayTest2.jpg
    [Path to]: SundayTest2.jpeg
    [Path to]: SaturdayTest3.jpg……………..

    ………..When I then saved a file with a jpe extension (as an experiment) it went to:

    [Path to]: SaturdayTest1.jpg
    [Path to]: SundayTest1.jpeg
    [Path to]: Sunday-a-little-later-Test1.jpe
    [Path to]: SaturdayTest2.jpg
    [Path to]: SundayTest2.jpeg
    [Path to]: SaturdayTest3.jpg……………..

    So, the “pecking order” seems to be jpg then jpeg then jpe (irrespective of date) and that sequence starts again with the next most recent jpg at position four, jpeg at position five and jpe at position six. Unless the sequence is interrupted by unequal number of file extensions. When I saved another jpe file, it slotted in at position three and forced the existing jpe path to drop to position six!

    Effectively, that must mean that the .jpg, .jpeg and .jpe file extensions/association (which are usually aggregated into one JPEG-handling group) are not being handled in the same way when the path list is assembled. Presumably because it is being assembled from a combination of sources… although I know not where, but it doesn’t reside in the Paint registry. So, as far as I can tell, an obsolete file path could be stored in that list for a very long time without being over-written until another file with exactly the same type and extension is downloaded or accessed in the same way.

    Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to comment. I don’t think I’m going to solve this irritation, which now looks more like some kind of hidden settings anomaly/glitch rather than a corrupted file or a particular problem that has to be solved… but if anyone knows where the path list is stored (or how to disable/constrain/reset it) then that would be appreciated. It’s NOT in the PAINT registry and a complete registry search didn’t show it up anywhere else.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    When you start typing a name in the Save as "File name" field, you usually see suggestions in the drop down based on what you are typing compared to file names in the current folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1 (OEM)


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    When you start typing a name in the Save as "File name" field, you usually see suggestions in the drop down based on what you are typing compared to file names in the current folder.
    Yes... but what is being stored/displayed is a list with a finite number of entries, which includes paths to folders that no longer exist and which have no logical date sequence.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 22,577
    64-bit Windows 10


    As a test, close Paint, and turn off recent items to see if that does the trick.

    Recent Items and Frequent Places - Turn On or Off in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1 (OEM)


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    As a test, close Paint, and turn off recent items to see if that does the trick.

    Recent Items and Frequent Places - Turn On or Off in Windows 8

    I turned off recent items on the taskbar and also ran the registry merger to switch off recent items. The hidden folder cleared completely after a reboot and nothing is being added to it when I download or view/save files in any program.

    However, when I open Paint, I still have the 9 recent files list and I also still have the 25 entries for jpg file paths. Both lists are added to if I open a file in Paint. The 25 file path entries are still added to if I download a picture from the net without Paint ever being open.

    I also checked MS Word. Same there. The file lists and paths are still there and being added to. I know MS Word stores these lists in a different place (in AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Office) but I still can't see where the information that MS Paint uses is being stored. I searched the AppData folder for the filename of the most recent jpg added to those lists within Paint... but it's not there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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How can I remove irritating file path lists in MS Paint
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