If one of your drives (or a particular folder) is being shared over your network, then you must have had some sort of need to keep an eye on it – tracking which files are moving in and out, being renamed, copied, or simply deleted. Windows 7 (or any of its predecessors) don’t offer monitoring feature on a particular drive or folder on your PC. This, however, can be easily achieved via third-party tools, such as the recently covered TheFolderSpy for Windows, Integra System Monitor (full review), and another tool labeled DaemonFS (click here for review). What such tools do is monitor any specified directory on the computer, and let you know of the changes being made within. FolderChangeView, developed by NirSoft, aims to provide the same facility. If you aren’t already familiar with NirSoft, the developer is known for creating ultra light yet highly efficient and reliable tools for Windows operating system, and that’s the reason we have covered several of their tools in the past. This new portable application facilitates you in monitoring a folder or disk drive, and enlists the files and their details that are being modified by the user or the OS itself, in real-time. You may use it to monitor both local or network drives, and as is the norm with Nirsoft, the interface is very minimalistic and simple. Details to follow shortly.
When you fire it up, the application automatically asks you to specify the directory path. It’s worth mentioning that you need to manually copy and paste the directory path into the application, as there is no Browse button – surprising, we know, but that’s how it is. Furthermore, you can mark “Monitor all subfolders under the specified folder” to monitor the subdirectories as well. Click OK to start the monitoring process.
The application starts listing down all the modified files and tells you their Filename, Modified Count, Created Count, Deleted Count, Full Path, Extension, First Event Time and Last Event Time. You can even halt the process any time by clicking the Stop button on the toolbar. Although the application lets you monitor a single path, you can monitor more than one by starting multiple instances of the application and defining a separate path for each.
Should you need to find a particular file in the list, you can do that as well. Simply click Find button and type in the file name in the console that pops up.
Akin to NirSoft’s other tools, you may generate HTML reports of the selected item. All you have to do is select your desired files and click the Save button on the toolbar. Other formats you can save the list in include TXT, CSV and XML.
To sum it up, FolderChangeView is a perfect tool for network administrators who may need to continuously keep an eye on a certain drive. The application is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. We tested the software on Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit.