Sometimes when you have a shared folder on your local network, you may want to keep an eye on it, in order to know which content is moving in and out. If the folder is shared among trusted people, then it might not seem to create a lot of problems, but the nuisance arise when you’re working under an environment where new staff keeps turning in and out. Sadly, there is no Windows native utility that provides real-time folder monitoring facility, but on the brighter side, various third party applications suffice the job. One such that hit my path is Folder Monitor. The application is portable and helps you to monitor activity within a selected directory. It tracks files and folders when someone creates, deletes, modifies or renames a file. You can monitor local folders as well as remote locations and also choose which events to monitor, such as, creation, deletion, modification. The application sends notification with sound alerts whenever a monitored event occurs in your selected folders. The minimum time interval before the program notifies you about modifications within the same file can also be changed.
After launching the application, click inside the window and select Add Folder option to add the folders that you want to monitor.
When a folder is added to the list, Folder Monitor will start its monitoring process for the parent directory as well as any subfolders contained within. However, you can stop the program from monitoring subfolders by unchecking the Recursive option from right-click menu.
From Options (accessible from system tray menu), you can select which events to monitor. The visual and audio notifications can be turned on/off, and sound alerts can be replaced with custom sounds. The application also allows you to execute commands based on the changes in your files and folders.
Once configured, it immediately sends on-screen notifications when a change is made to specified folders. It will display the Time, File path, Name, New name (if the file is renamed) and Action performed on the file in Notification dialog.
Folder Monitor is an awesome tool to track your selected directories if you have any doubt about malicious content. The only downside of the application is that you cannot set individual preferences for folders about which events to monitor. Folder Monitor requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4 to work and runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.