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Containers are interactive objects that can contain items, or be used to store items in Skyrim. There are a variety of different containers in the game, most of which initially hold loot appropriate to the container's style and location. Some containers may contain valuable treasure or gold, while others may only contain food or non-valuable clutter. Any container that contains nothing has "(empty)" after its name, letting you know that you do not need to bother searching it.

When you activate a container, you are presented with an inventory list displaying the container's current contents. You can move individual items from the container to your personal inventory, or you can "Select All" to take everything in the container. Alternatively, you can scroll down to your personal inventory and move any items from there into the container if you wish to store items and/or get rid of extra items.

However, most containers in the game are not safe for long-term storage, as stated in a loading screen:

Items can be stored safely in any containers in your own home. But items kept in any other containers may not be there later when you go to retrieve them...

Most containers will respawn if you leave the area for multiple days (in most cases, ten days, but the exact number depends upon where the container is located). Any contents left in a container when it respawns will disappear and be permanently lost. The Safe Containers section of this article provides details on which containers can safely be used for long-term storage, without risk of losing your stored items.

Respawning ContainersEdit

Note that these types of containers customarily respawn, however there may be exceptions to the rule.

Apothecary's SatchelEdit

Apothecary's satchels are small leather containers, often found near Alchemy Labs, that contain alchemy Ingredients and/or Potions. There are actually three different types of satchel (all identically named), each with different quality and number of ingredients:

  • Common: contains one common ingredient, and a 25% chance of containing one restoration potion (potion is random and leveled, with equal chance of being restore Health, Magicka, or Stamina)
  • Uncommon: contains one common ingredient, one uncommon ingredient, and a 25% chance of containing one restoration potion
  • Rare: contains one common ingredient, one uncommon ingredient, one rare ingredient, and a 25% chance of containing one restoration potion


Barrels are one of the most common types of containers, found in homes, shops, towns, and many dungeons. In addition to barrels that act as containers, there are also static barrels that are purely decorative; the latter type of barrel is slightly darker in color and cannot be activated. There are several different types of standard barrels, which contain different items (although they are all identically named).

Variants: These look identical to standard barrels, but have different names, allowing their contents to be more easily identified.


Chests are the standard container for treasure and other types of valuable loot. There are actually more than two hundred different types of containers that are identified as "Chest". The majority of these are visually identical, but have different contents. Different types of chests are located in each different type of dungeon (e.g., Draugr chests, Forsworn chests, and Vampire chests each have slightly different contents). More than half of the different types of chests are actually Merchant Chests that are hidden and not intended for player use.

Chests may be locked or trapped.

Common Loot: Treasure

Egg SacEdit

This article is about frostbite spider egg sacs. For chaurus egg sacs, see Egg Sacs.

Egg Sacs contain the eggs of Frostbite Spiders, and can be found in some dungeons.

Common Loot: Spider Eggs
Variant: Web Sac


Knapsacks are less common and are usually found near adventurers and hunters (dead or alive), near skeletal remains, as well as in bandit campsites. There are two types of knapsacks in the game, and the Dawnguard add-on adds in a third.

Large SackEdit

Large Sacks are common containers used in homes, shops, and dungeons to store food.


While most Large Sacks in the game are actually non-respawning, visually distinguishing them from those that respawn is impractical (the models are nearly identical).


Pods are common containers that can be found throughout Apocrypha. Loot found in pods include:

  • 25% chance of 2 random leveled potion of Restore Health, Magicka, or Stamina.
  • 15% chance of 1 random leveled spell tome (up to Apprentice in difficulty).
  • 25% chance of 2 random leveled soul gems (25% chance for each to be filled).
  • 15% chance of 1 random leveled gem (up to Flawless Diamond in quality).
  • 20-29 gold.
  • 15% chance of 1 random leveled potion or poison.
  • 15% chance of 1 random leveled robes of any school of magic (up to Master in quality).
  • 10% chance of 1 random leveled weapon or piece of armor (33% chance to be enchanted).
  • 75% chance of 4 random books.


Satchels are a less common type of container, and are in the form of a small leather pouch. Loot found in satchels include:

The Dawnguard add-on adds three more types of satchels into the game. They contain similar loot as listed above, but with slight differences.

Small SackEdit

Small Sacks are used in homes, shops, and dungeons to store food, similar to Large Sacks but less common.



Urns, including Burial Urns, are found throughout Nordic Ruins. Some urns are always empty. All other varieties of urns contain each of the following:

  • 20% chance of one random leveled restoration potion
  • 30% chance of containing minor treasure (1-9 gold, low-value gem, or low-value unenchanted ring)
  • Guaranteed 2-10 additional gold if you have the Imperial Luck ability or Golden Touch perk
  • Guaranteed 1-4 additional gems if you have the Prowler's Profit ability

Dragonborn adds three visually identical types of urns, which are placed throughout Raven Rock:


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Vessels are equivalent to boss chests and can be found in Apocrypha. Loot found in vessels include:

Corpse ContainersEdit

There are many corpses in the game which are considered to be containers in game data. Unless otherwise noted, all of the containers listed here do respawn with the cell in which they're located. Dead NPCs are not found here and are listed at their category instead.

Burnt CorpseEdit

Burnt corpses are charred bodies which are commonly found in dungeons, sometimes lying over fire pits or inside hanging cages.

  • Second type (all five models): Five versions found commonly throughout Skyrim. Each one has a 60% chance to carry the following contents:

Desecrated CorpseEdit

Desecrated corpses are bodies of unfortunate soldiers of the civil war, found in only two locations in the game. They do not respawn.

  • First type: Unique to Kilkreath Ruins, these are the corpses of Imperial Legion soldiers which appear during the quest The Break of Dawn. There are seven in the Temple, four in the Ruins, and eleven in the Catacombs. They each carry 25-125 gold.
  • Second type: These are the corpses of Stormcloak soldiers which appear in two locations: Kilkreath Ruins (six in the Temple, five in the Ruins, and ten in the Catacombs) and the Throat of the World (ten, during Alduin's Bane). The ones at the Throat of the World cannot be looted, as they only appear during the cutscene in which you learn Dragonrend. They each carry 20-100 gold.

Dessicated CorpseEdit

Dessicated corpses are the bodies of unfortunate victims to frostbite spiders, found wrapped in spiderwebs in various dungeons throughout Skyrim. They have a 75% chance of the following contents:


In addition to living draugr, many dungeons throughout Skyrim also contain the corpses of draugr which can be looted. There are ten versions, all of which carry the following contents:

  • 90% chance of 1-9 gold
  • Guaranteed 2-10 additional gold if you have the Golden Touch perk
  • Guaranteed 2-10 additional gold if you have the Imperial Luck ability
  • Guaranteed 1-4 gems if you have the Prowler's Profit ability
  • 25% chance of 1 piece of armor (boots, cuirass, gauntlets, helmet, or shield)
  • 25% chance of 1 weapon or 12 arrows


Various inanimate Skeletons are found across Skyrim and Solstheim, usually the long-dead victims of bandits, animals, Ash Spawn, or natural disasters. They will usually have a small amount of Gold, with a chance of Bone Meal. Only some intact skeletons can be looted, and half-buried or disarticulated ones cannot be interacted with. A few skeletons of deceased NPCs will carry the journals or other special inventory items they had in life, such as Drokt or Gratian Caerellius.

Safe ContainersEdit

Containers may be safe for one of two reasons. Some container types are set to be non-respawning—containers of that type will never respawn, no matter where the container is found. Other containers are safe because of their location—some locations, in particular the player's houses, are identified as non-respawning locations. All containers in these safe locations (even common Barrels and Sacks) can safely be used for storage.

Child's ChestEdit

Child's Chest is a part of child's bedroom. It will be empty if you haven't adopted any children. Your children may collect various things and store them in their chest. Their older weapons, clothes and dolls will be kept in it too, if you give them a new one. Your children will restock it every few days. However, the original contents in it won't disappear.


Coffins are found in Halls of the Dead and Vampire Dungeons. Most coffins are always empty. However, one variety of coffin has a 75% chance of containing one of the following:

Whenever a citizen of a hold dies, the items that they were carrying, such as keys, clothes, and weapons, will appear in a coffin in the Hall of the Dead of the hold capital. These items will then be free to take without consequence.


Cupboards are common furniture in houses. Different types of cupboards appear in common houses, upper-class houses, and noble houses. Some models have shelves on which additional items may be placed. The interior contents of cupboards are:

  • Common variety: 75% chance of containing random clutter or cheap clothing. Most valuable possible item is 10 Leather Strips.
  • Upper-class variety: 50% chance of 1-9 gold, plus up to three random clutter items or random books (75% chance for each of three items).
  • Noble variety: 50% chance of 1-27 gold, plus up to two random clutter items or random books (75% chance for each of two items)


Common Loot: Clothing, Clutter

End TableEdit

Most frequently seen in houses.

Common Loot: Clutter


In addition to being a safe container, the Pot can be picked up and moved (although not between zones or fast traveling). This can permit you to place a safe container at any outdoor location, or move weight beyond their carry limit. Places where a Pot can be found include:

Ironback Hideout
Pale Imperial Camp
Winterhold Imperial Camp
Eastmarch Imperial Camp
At a horker hunting camp at the bottom of a gully north of Snow Veil Sanctum and south of Bleakcoast Cave
At a dead woodcutter's camp on a hilltop between Honeystrand Cave and Geirmund's Hall
Lake Ilinalta on a fisherman's island in the south center of the lake (owned).
Common Loot: Random ingredients

Hollowed StumpCCEdit

Hollowed Stump

Found in the Solitude Sewers.

Contents:needs more details

Riekling HutDBEdit

Common Loot: Treasure, Gold, Miscellaneous Items, Riekling Spears


Not to be confused with Large Sack or Small Sack.

Sacks are very common containers used in homes, shops, and dungeons to store food.



Common Loot: Gemstones, Jewelry, Gold
Variants: Strong Box, Safe, East Empire Company Strongbox
  The Unofficial Skyrim Patch changes some containers strictly named Strong Box to be respawning; see Bugs for details.


Common Loot: Apparel

Safe LocationsEdit

Safe locations are places that never respawn. Therefore, every container in such a place (even a common barrel or sack) is safe for storage. The primary example of a safe location (a place that never respawns) is a player-owned house, but there are a large number of other non-respawning places. Only the interior areas of these non-respawning locations are safe (i.e., only regions that are entered through a door that triggers a loading screen, and have their own map, separate from the exterior map.) The individual place pages will note any rare exceptions where an exterior container is also safe.

In a few instances, there may be quest-related changes to the location (as noted on the individual place page), but otherwise the game does not modify the contents of a safe location.

All safe locations are listed in the Safe Locations category.

Merchant ChestsEdit

All merchants in the game (with the exception of Hunters, Peddlers, and skooma dealers) have a merchant chest containing the merchant's gold and the goods they have available for sale. The chest does not contain the merchant's entire inventory—merchants will also sell some items sitting out in the store and unequipped items in their personal inventory—and also is not the only source of merchant gold—any personal gold will be added to the merchant's available gold. Nevertheless, the merchant chest contains the standard list of items sold by the merchant. If multiple merchants work in the same store, they share the same merchant chest. A merchant must be in the same area as the chest in order for its contents to be made available for sale. It respawns every two days, independent of whether the rest of the cell contents respawn. Merchant chests also level with you, so the higher your level, the greater the quality of the contents. 3 merchant chests belong to the Khajiit Caravans (1 merchant chest per Khajiit caravan). Several merchant chests require you to clip through walls to get to them.

The merchant chest is a standard container, but it is intentionally hidden to prevent players from accessing the chest. On the PC, using the tcl Console command generally allows the merchant chest to be found, most commonly under the floor of the merchant's store. The existence of this chest is not a bug, an easter egg, or in any way noteworthy—it is a standard part of game mechanics that is not visible as part of standard game play.


Several Merchant Chests can be found, most notably these:

Inventory ListEdit

A container's inventory list is sorted in this order:

  • All armors and weapons, sorted by their damage or armor.
  • All food, potions, ingredients, books, notes, and misc items, sorted by name.
  • All heavy boots, sorted by armor value.
  • All rings, necklaces, amulets, hats, hoods, cowls, caps, circlets, and ebony boots, sorted by value.
  • All unhooded clothing, sorted by value.
  • All hooded clothing, sorted by value.
  • Some gauntlets, boots, and bracers, sorted by armor.
  • Imperial bracers, steel cuffed boots, and all boots of light armor, sorted by armor.
  • Iron gauntlets and boots, scaled gauntlets and boots, sorted by armor.
  • All remaining light gauntlets and bracers, sorted by armor.
  • All non-armor shoes, boots and footwraps, sorted by value.

Other ContainersEdit

  • Book Shelves in the player's houses can be activated to access a limited capacity book inventory, and automatically place books on the shelves. Other types of items may be moved onto the shelves manually. Bookshelves are also known to be used with the reusable Oghma Infinium glitch.
  • Display Cases have a glass top that will open and close through activation, and a weapon may be placed in them while they are open by activating them.
  • Mannequins can be activated to store and display armor, and clothing. They have a weight limit (around 305). Their BaseID is 89a85.
  • NPCs can be used as containers either via pickpocketing or trading with followers, but have a weight limit as to how much they can carry.
  • Shield / Weapon Plaques are decorative wall mounted containers that will remove and display equipped items when activated.
  • Static Containers such as baskets, boxes, etc may contain loot, or be used to display items, but the latter requires manual placement of items.
  • Weapon Racks can be activated to automatically remove equipped weapons from the player for storage and display.

Portable ContainersEdit

As many corpses can be picked up and carried around, they can effectively become portable containers, allowing you to potentially carry an unlimited number of items around and remain unencumbered. The speed at which you can carry the corpse appears to be related to its size, so small corpses like hawks work well in this capacity. It is worth noting, however, these portable containers should not be considered safe, as their contents may be deleted if left for a long period of time. A "Pot" is a portable Safe Container. Followers work as a portable container as you can place all non-useful items into a chest or container and ask them to take everything in it--using this method your follower has no weight limit and isn't slowed down. (Warning: using this method may cause all such items to become flagged as 'Stolen' when you try to reclaim them.)


  • Certain merchant chests are accessible without the use of console commands, some with and some without clipping issues.
  • Containers in houses sometimes reverse the stolen flag on items—non-stolen items get marked as stolen, and stolen items become clean.
  • Occasionally, continuing from a saved game inside a home you own loads the cell without furniture, and all your books end up in a pile on the floor.
  • Bookshelves can often glitch, causing you to lose any books that are stored on the shelf you are using. If you try to overload the shelf with too many books, you may permanently lose all the books on it, as well as making the shelf unable to be activated. Occasionally these books are still visible but unable to be activated. Also, the "take all" button will sometimes only take some of the books, permanently deleting others.
  • Some containers strictly named Strong Box are supposed to potentially contain generic loot but are always empty.
    Mod Notes: This bug applies to 'StrongBox'.
  • The same Strong Boxes mentioned above are supposed to respawn but do not.
    Mod Notes: This bug applies to 'StrongBox'.
  • Most containers strictly named Strong Box are unaffected by Imperial Luck, Prowler's Profit, and Golden Touch.
    Mod Notes: This bug applies to 'DLC2TreasStrongBox', 'StrongBox', and 'TreasStrongBox'. These containers are missing conditional loot lists LootImperialLuck, TGLootProwlersProfit, and LootPerkGoldenTouchChange.
  • East Empire Company StrongboxesDB were intended to respawn but do not.
    Mod Notes: A comment in the script fragment for stage 10 of quest DLC2RRFavor05 asserts that East Empire Pendants can respawn, but this requires their containers (these strongboxes) to be respawning.
  • Locked Falmer chests may not open automatically like other containers after being unlocked.