Notify file monitor

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 10, 2006
Updated • May 3, 2013

Notify is a small freeware application for the Windows operating system that monitors files and directories that you specify, to  notify you when the monitored files or folders are changed. The small size of 15 Kb makes it an ideal background task, it uses almost no cpu time and little memory.

Can be used, for example, to detect incoming information over a network or to detect tampering of files

Update: Notify is a command line tool, and as such needs to be started from the Windows cmd prompt or a batch file. While this sounds difficulty at first, it is actually pretty easy and straightforwards.

Open the run box with Windows-r, type in cmd and hit enter on the keyboard. Navigate to the folder Notify.exe is located in, and use the following syntax to monitor a folder in Windows.

notify.exe directory

To monitor your users directory, you would use notify.exe c:\users\username\ for instance. The program will notify you when the following events happen:

  • renaming file/directory
  • creating file/directory
  • deleting file/directory
  • changing file/directory attributes
  • modifying a file

A small popup notification is displayed in this case, informing of the action that has taken place in the folder. Please note that it will not list the files or folders that have been modified or deleted, only that this happened. It also needs to be noted that Notify cannot be used to block those operations from happening, it is merely  a reporting tool.

Security: If you have a directory or drive containing sensitive data,
you may want to monitor it. You will receive a notification whenever
anything in that directory is changed.

Servers: If your machine is a network server, you may want to monitor
a directory that receives files or which is otherwise modifiable.

Debugging: If mysterious files are appearing in a certain directory,
running Notify on that directory may help you isolate the application
which is responsible.

You need to kill the Notify process in the Windows Task Manager, or a comparable program, to stop the monitoring.


Tutorials & Tips

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