In order to save system resources in Vista, Microsoft disabled the Last Access Time Stamp. With Windows 7, the time stamp remains disabled however being that most people have better hardware and Windows 7 isn’t the system hog Vista was I think it’s time we turn last access time back on especially since most of you probably never knew it was disabled in the first place!
So, read on and we will review how to enable the Date and Time accessed details for all files and folders in Windows 7. This can be a useful trick if you think someone or something (spyware?) other than you might be using your computer or… perhaps your a forensics corp IT guy? Anyway… A few things to keep in mind before we get started with the How-To Tutorial:
1) Enabling or Disabling this won’t make your Accessed date vanish or reappear, rather it will only change if Windows updates the time stamp or not.
2) If a last accessed time stamp already exists for your file, it will remain persistent unless this feature is enabled. Once enabled however, all of your apps will become aware of when they are being used / accessed.
Let’s get started!
How To Add Access Time Stamps To All Of Your Files In Windows 7
1. Click the Start Menu Orb and then Search for cmd. Once that comes up Right-Click cmd.exe and Select Run as administrator.
2. The UAC prompt will appear… Click Yes!
3. Now in the cmd prompt, Type in “ fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 0 “ and Press Enter.
4. Restart your PC for changes to take affect.
Bingo! Now Time stamps are enabled and you’ll be able to see when files are accessed from now on. Take note on really OLD PC’s this might cause performance issues but even that isn’t too common.
Okay, now we’ll look at the other side. Maybe you have Time Stamps enabled but you are ready to give them the boot.
How To Disable Last Access Time Stamps In Windows 7
Open the cmd prompt from administrator mode like before, but this time Type in “ fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1 “
How To Use Last Access Time Stamps In Windows Search Results
Manually looking through the properties of every file on your system could take years. This is were Windows Search comes in to use, using Search + Timestamps you’ll be able to sort by access date and see exactly what went down on your PC, exactly when it all happened, and sometimes even what order.
1. In the Start Menu search area, Type * and Press Enter.
Searching for a * sign signifies that Windows Search should pull up every single file on your computer. The See more results button is another great way to get into the search mood.
2. Switch the Window view to Details.
3. Right-Click category bar and Click More…
4. On the next window Scroll down and Check the box for Date Accessed and then Press OK.
That’s it! Now when you do Windows Searches it will pull up and show the Date accessed category and you can organize it better than this picture by just Clicking the Category name.
Groovy Comment or Suggestion? Post it below or join the discussion in the groovyPost community forum!