Piles is a free program for Windows that lists the most recent modified files in a directory of your choosing for quick access.
Most programs do not integrate well with Windows Explorer, the standard file browser of Windows. Files that are downloaded for instance are not specifically marked for easier access. That's probably not a problem if you download a handful of files a week but if you download dozens or hundreds per day it is.
Files are usually dropped in a download directory that grows over time, some files get added, some deleted but the file count usually is high enough to make it more difficult than it should be to locate the latest downloaded files.
While you can change the alphabetical sort order to time-based to display new files at the top, it is not a perfect solution either, especially if you need to access previous files as well every now and then.
But it is not only downloaded files that can be a problem. Basically any type of file that gets updated, think of log files, documents, music for instance.
While it is possible to sort by modification date it is not the best solution as it means to switch between different sorting options regularly as sorting by date makes it that much harder to locate files by name
Piles is a program for Windows 7 that solves the problem. It is basically a directory monitor that displays the most recent files of a directory in its interface.
The program integrates nicely with the Windows 7 Taskbar displaying all recent items in a jumplist. It has to be noted that Piles will only monitor one directory per instance that is opened and that it does not monitor files in subdirectories.
That's a severe limitation, it would be great if Piles would include subdirectories and the possibility to add multiple unrelated directories to the same stack.
A right-click on the Pile program icon in the Windows 7 Taskbar opens a context menu with options to create a new pile. A new Pile is created by specifying a folder to be monitored and a name.
The creation generates a second program icon for that folder. All icons look the same, it would be nice if the developer's would add customization to distinguish between different Pile folders.
Piles for Windows is a clever program that can aid the user in finding downloads, documents and other files faster, providing that they have been added or modified in a folder that is monitored by the software program.
Piles is only compatible with Windows 7 according to the developers. We have not tried running it in other Windows versions but figure that it won't work because of the taskbar integration. The program requires the Microsoft .net Framework 3.5.
Update: Piles does not work on devices running Windows 10. The developer website is no longer available and Piles is no longer available for download as a consequence. We have uploaded the latest version of Piles released by the developer to your own server. Note that we have done so for archiving purposes only and that we don't support the program in any way. You can download Piles with a click on the following link: PilesAdvertisement
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.