Remove Ntfs Timestamps to speed up Vista

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 6, 2007
Updated • May 24, 2013

If you are using the NTFS filesystem in Windows XP or another version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, you may benefit from the following Registry hack to speed things up a little bit.

The default mode is that every time you alter a file a timestamp will be saved which for most Windows users is completely irrelevant. Some backup programs or synchronizing applications use this feature but the majority of programs do not care when a file has been modified on a PC.

If you are not using a program that needs the timestamp for its functionality, you can easily edit the registry key in your version of Windows to speed up your system. Hit Windows + R, type regedit and press enter.  Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

Right-click the key NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and change the value of it to 1. Here are the two values that you can set the Registry key to:

  • A value of 0 is the default value. It means that last-access timestamps are updated and recorded on the system.
  • A value of 1 disables the updating and NTFS log writing.

ntfs disable 8dot3 name creation

While you are there you could also disable the creation of files in Dos format (8+3) by altering the value of the key NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1 as well.

Here are the possible values for the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key:

  • A value of 0 is the default value. It means that short file names are created.
  • A value of 1 disables the creation of short file names

Note that some - older - applications may need the last value set to 0 to function properly. I suggest you give it a try and if you run into any errors using software on your system, switch back to the 0 value for the Registry key to resolve the issue.

You can easily restore the default values by modifying the Registry keys in question a second time. You can alternatively right-click on FileSystem before to export the original data to your system so that you can import it to the Registry again.


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  1. Thomas said on February 13, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    On Windows Vista, updating last access timestamps is disabled by default, so the “trick” doesn’t do anything useful.

    You can use “fsutil behavior query” to check that this is true.

  2. Martin said on January 7, 2007 at 10:09 am

    MrBuddha yes it is working

  3. Martin said on January 6, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    I try that out the next time I boot into Vista.

  4. MrBuddha said on January 6, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Not sure whether this works in Vista, but in XP you can also do that on the command line without the need to modify the registry directly:

    fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1


    fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1

    Providing a 0 instead of the 1 activates the features again.

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