To save system resources in Vista, Microsoft disabled the Last Access Time Stamp. With Windows 7, this timestamp remains disabled. Windows 7 isn’t the system hog than Vista is. So I think it’s time we turn the ‘last access time stamp’ back on. Especially since most of you probably never knew it was disabled in the first place.
This trick can be useful if you think someone or something (malware) other than you might be using your computer. Or perhaps you’re a forensics corp IT guy? Anyway, a few things to keep in mind before we get started:
1) Enabling or Disabling this won’t make your Accessed date vanish or reappear, rather it will only change if Windows updates the timestamp or not.
2) If a last accessed timestamp 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.
How to Add Access Time Stamps to All Files on Windows 7
1. Click Start and then search for cmd. Once that comes up right-click cmd.exe and select Run as administrator.
2. When the UAC prompt appears 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 effect.
Now timestamps are enabled, and you’ll be able to see when files are accessed from now on. Take note on really old PCs 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 scenario is where Windows Search comes into 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 in 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 searching mood.
2. Switch the Window view to Details.
3. Right-click the category bar and click More.
4. On the next window scroll down and check the box for Date Accessed and then hit OK.
Now when you do Windows searches, it will display the “Date accessed” category and you can organize it better than this picture by just clicking the Category name.
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