Mar 122013
 

LastActivityView is a free utility to display a log of the most recent actions and events that occurred on a computer. This can be useful to check up on what another user got up to in your absence – or see what did the repair shop techs did whilst supposedly fixing your computer 😉

By collating such information in one place it also makes it easier to track crashes or see if/when new software was installed – useful for troubleshooting problems.

LastActivityView – yet another quality NirSoft utility and, as usual, it is portable so there is no need to install it. Just download the zip file from the official site here and unzip it then run the program file. The program works on Windows 2000 through to Windows 8 – it is compatible with both 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows.

On opening, the program lists the most recent actions and events – the type of information provided includes: Running a program, Opening a file or folder, Installing a program, Shutdown/Start times, Crashes and much more.

Tech note: the tool gathers this information from various sources, including the Windows Registry and event logs, Prefetch and the MiniDump folder. Such sources are typically not cleared by running privacy/temp file cleaners like Ccleaner so it is difficult or impossible for anyone to remove such revealing historical traces.

lastactivityview

You can sort the information in column order by clicking on a column heading e.g. ‘Description’ if you want to see all events of a particular type grouped together.

You can also select one of more actions/events and save them into xml/html/csv/tab-delimited file format via the File menu (or the Ctrl+S hotkey) or copy them to the clipboard via the Edit menu (or Ctrl+C), and then paste the data into Excel, Word or other software e.g. for printing or emailing to a helper/tech support rep.

Conclusion

LastActivityView is a simple and tiny free utility that reports on historical actions and events affecting your computer.

Whilst not intended as a tool to spy on the actions of users, it is nevertheless a helpful way to track what important changes might have been made, with minimum overhead. This is often useful in working out what change may have caused a problem later on.