I forgot about some of the things I stored in a container and now they are gone.

The reason I am still asking is because I have tracked the specific item (Krosis) I am looking for in my saves. I lost track of it within a 45 minute save interval: In one save it is in the barrel in the next save 45 minutes (about 3-5 game days) later it is not in the barrel.

So here's the catch: There were a lot of other items (like 50) in the barrel and most of them were gone except for:

  • 4 potatoes,
  • Gallus's journal,
  • The Right Eye of the Falmer,
  • The Essence Extractor,
  • Ancintars Lab Journal.

Some people say that NPCs can take things from barrels, but thats a lot of stuff to take. Some people say barrels reset, but why were these specific items left in the barrel?

Does anyone have any alternative explanations besides "you misplaced them"? (I want to make sure thats the only possibility before i continue searching every container in Skyrim).

  • most containers that aren't player owned (not inside a player's house) are NOT permanent storage, and will periodically reset. While I find it odd that some items did not vanish while others did - stuff disappearing from a random barrel is to be expected. May 22, 2015 at 4:47
  • 1
    How did you put those quest items in the barrel? You can't normally remove quest items from your inventory.
    – shanodin
    May 22, 2015 at 4:48
  • See also, this question. May 22, 2015 at 4:49
  • 2
    Pay attention to the answer: Containers will only reset after X days of not being in an area that is loaded by the player. If you frequently return to Whiterun between adventuring, it lowers the risk of resetting. And if you stand in town and wait, the area hasn't been unloaded. May 22, 2015 at 4:59
  • 1
    In Fallout (and I assume Skyrim because they're the same engine), each 'resettable' cell (area) in-game will reset every 5 in-game days. Which is why when adding/removing mods they recommend you 'wait' inside for 5 in-game days, to force a purge of all surrounding cells
    – Robotnik
    May 22, 2015 at 4:59

2 Answers 2


Why did some of my items disappear from a barrel?

This is because you stored the items in a container that isn't safe.

WARNING: Don't put items on a container you don't own. They might not be there later.

It seems that that except for the potatoes, quest items won't be removed from the container.

Where do I store all of my stuff?

There are different containers of storage. Here are ways of some.

  1. Own a house where in any container, you can store stuff without resetting. You must become Thane of a hold to buy a house. You can also store items in Anises Cabin after you kill Anise, but don't store items in the barrel. Bets in the basement. You can also store items in your spouses after marriage.

  2. Companions. Ask them to trade and give them the items you want to "store". They will still have it. An easiest way to get one is to complete a Love Triange quest starting in Riverwood by talking to Sven or Faendal. Whoever you trust becomes your follower.

  3. Some random containers are safe storage, such as:

    • The drawers in Helgen. After completing Unbound you can go revisit Helgen and there are some bandits to kill. Inside the inn if a drawer for safe storage.

    • In the Riverwood Inn the chest in the Blades room is safe. You must help Delphine in the main questline first [not all the quests, which mean you don't need to kill that Paathurnaax!].

What about storing things in the Guilds' Hall?

I found out that the bedroom you get when you join the College in Winterhold is not safe! Instead, complete the questline to become Arch Mage allowing you to have your own quarters where storage of items are allowed.

In the Thieves' Guild the only containers that aren't safe are the Tribute Chest and the locked containers in the training room. Instead, store them in the drawers or in the other chests.

The containers in the Companion's mead hall is not safe either! Even if you complete the questline and become Harbinger, there's no safe storage!

Source that these reset.

So that's why your items disappear. You need a container that don't reset! And I showed you some! So that's my answer to the question! Good dragon hunting and gaming!

  • Back when I was playing Skyrim, I found a list of specific container types that never reset, regardless of where they are. I think it might have included wardrobes... I don't recall. Something to look into, though.
    – DCShannon
    Jan 23, 2016 at 0:51

I have had this issue before, i set things in containers so i can run to do something real quick and when i come back some things are gone. You will never get them back, I don't know if someone steals them or if the container partially resets. A good tip is to never put things you absolutely do not want any chance of going missing in a container that's not yours, and if you do, don't leave them for more than a skyrim 24 hours.

  • It's because of the fact of it's ownership and the if the cell it's in resets.
    – Jim Jones
    Jan 23, 2016 at 0:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .