How To Monitor Folder Changes In Real Time

FolderChangesView is a simple free tool that monitors the folder or disk drive that you choose and lists every filename that is being modified, created, or deleted while the folder is being monitored i.e. in real time.

It’s a new utility from popular developer Nir Sofer – I have reviewed several NirSoft utilities before and a new one is always well worth a look.

FolderChangeView – A free, tiny and portable program (doesn’t need to be installed). It works on all versions of Windows from W2000 up to and including Windows 8 – both 32bit and 64bit systems are supported.

From the developer’s website – you can use FolderChangesView with any local disk drive or with a remote network share, as long as you have read permission to the selected folder. The program reports in real time:

  • Filename
  • Modified Count
  • Created Count
  • Deleted Count
  • Full Path (location of the file)
  • Extension (type of file)
  • First Event Time
  • Last Event Time

Download the program in a zip file from Nirsoft at the bottom of the page here.

Unzip (extract) the zip file and run the FolderChangesView.exe program file to open the program.

It will ask you to choose the folder you wish to monitor. Type in your required folder (the default is the system drive, usually the Windows C drive) then press OK to start monitoring. The ‘monitor all subfolders’ option is ticked by default as shown below:

folder changes view 1
Choosing folder to monitor

If you chose the C: drive and ‘monitor all subfolders’, FolderChangesView will monitor the changes of the entire drive.

Obviously you must leave the program running for it to work but you can minimize it and just leave it running in the background.

folder change view 2
Monitoring folder changes

Press the Red square button to stop monitoring or the Green triangle to start monitoring again (all previous data will be lost).

To monitor a different folder – either close and reopen the program to start again or open a second instance of the program – you can have multiple copies of the program monitoring different folders at the same time.

Anyone used to NirSoft utilities will be familiar with the layout and find their way around easily – as is common, you can select one or more log items and then save them into text/xml/csv/html file by using the File \ ‘Save Selected Items’ option from the menu bar (or the floppy disk icon).


I am generally a huge fan of NirSoft utilities and this one may be equally useful for some purposes.

The program works well but would benefit from being able to choose the folder to monitor via a standard ‘browse for folder’ dialog box rather than having to type in the folder location manually – although it is perhaps likely that many users will just accept the default i.e. monitor the whole system drive.

FolderChangesView can certainly be educational, fun (and even a little scary) to watch just how many files are created/modified – even when you are not doing anything.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes in Windows – which is why users often notice hard drive activity even whilst they are not using the computer.