What Changed is a free program for the Windows operating system that provides you with options to compare system snapshots to find out which items have been changed in the Windows Registry and a file path.
Every software installation and system update has an impact on the computer's file system and the Windows Registry. That's most of the time intended and necessary to run the software program or operating system properly.
Some tools, however, add data to the system that could be - at best - classified as unwanted and at worst seen as malicious.
Adding a program or service to the system startup list without asking the user for permission or adding a system icon to the list of devices is another. Monitoring those Registry and file changes can be helpful in analyzing why something happened and where it's source is located.
Also, programs like What Changed provide you with information that something has changed, been added or removed from the machine something that you may not find out about otherwise.
Note: The author's homepage is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest working version of WhatChanged to our server. Click on the following link to download the program: whatchanged.zip
Please note that we don't support the program in any way.
What Changed is a portable system application that can take system snapshots of the Registry or file system so that you can compare two snapshots at a later point in time to find out what changed in the meantime.
This is highly useful during software installation as it records the changes the installation of a program made to the system. You would create one snapshot before the installation of the software, and another right after it to list all the changes made by the application to the system.
The computer's file system and the parts of the Registry that you want to be scanned for the system snapshot can be selected in the program interface. Taking the Registry and system snapshot takes a while depending on the size of the hard drive and the number of files stored on it, but it is quite fast usually.
The program stores the data in a text file in the folder it has been executed from.
You use the same interface to create a new snapshot to compare it with an older one. Simply click on "step #2" in the interface to create a new snapshot and run a comparison.
What Changed highlights the changes found while it is creating the second snapshot. Please note that it is necessary to select the same scan preferences for the comparison to work, as you'd end up with unrelated or missing items otherwise.
The changes are saved to a snapshot file in the same directory as the application. It's a simply text file that points to Registry keys and files that have been changed or added.
What Changed is a simple application for Windows. It is portable which means that you can run it from any location, and compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system.
It is useful in determining the changes made by a software installation on the system, or an operating system upgrade, as it reveals those if you define the parameters correctly.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.