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Investigating MUICache

10/11/2021 Wednesday

MUI stands for Multilingual User Interface. It is a technology that allows Windows systems to have a single application localized for multiple languages. Developers create an .MUI file for each language supported by the application and these files enable the user to switch the language. The MUI files generate the MUICache key in the registry. MUICache key contains information about the files that are executed on the system which the operating system extracts when a new application is used.

Digital Forensics Value of MUICache Artifact

MUICache artifact can provide useful information regarding applications and tools installed and run via a user account. This artifact may also provide an indication of malicious activities on the system; as the information within the MUICache key is maintained even if the malicious actor has deleted the applications from the device. In addition, if the values for an app were deleted from the key, they will reappear again the next time the user runs that application.

Location of MUICache Artifact

The path to the MuiCache key differs between Windows operating systems. On Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, the key is located within the NTUSER.dat hive at:


Starting from Windows Vista, the key is located in the USRCLASS.dat hive in the following location:

Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache

Structure of MUICache Artifact

As demonstrated in the screenshot below, MuiCache key contains multiple values. For each value, the Name field contains the path to the file executed and the Data field contains information about the executed file such as the name of the application.

Analyzing MUICache Artifact with ArtiFast Windows

This section discusses how to use ArtiFast Windows to analyze MUICache artifact from Windows machines and what kind of digital forensics insight we can gain from the artifact.

After you have created your case and added evidence for the investigation, at the Artifacts Selection phase, you can select MUICache artifact:

Once ArtiFast parser plugins complete processing artifacts for analysis, it can be reviewed via “Artifact View” or “Timeline View”, with indexing, filtering, and searching capabilities. Below is a detailed description of MUICache artifact in ArtiFast Windows.

MUICache Artifact

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