Sometimes you may want to make sure that particular folders, and more precisely files stored in these folder, are not tampered with by any means.
This includes the assurance that files have not been edited, moved, deleted or manipulated in any other way. Take backups as an example: you may want to make sure that backups are not corrupt, don't become corrupt over time, or have been tampered with during creation time or afterward.
The programs mentioned in the last sentence verify the integrity of files only when they are executed; a program like Track Folder Changes displays the changes the moment they happen.
When you first start the program you will notice that all directories on the root drive are monitored by it by default. You may want to change that to reduce the noise created by the application. Just click on the folder browser icon to select a folder with the mouse, or enter the desired folder manually in the form to start the monitoring.
Note that you may use the program to monitor a single root folder and all of its subfolders only. If you need to monitor multiple folders, run the program multiple times to do.
All previously displayed changes are reset the moment you select a new folder to monitor. You could copy a new file into the folder to test if the monitoring picks up the changes, but it is usually not necessary.
The program uses color codes to distinguish between new and deleted folder changes. New files are highlighted in green, manipulations in blue and removed files in an orange tone. The program displays the directory structure if changes happen in subfolders of the selected root folder.
Be aware that Track Folder Changes does not detect all file manipulations. It detected when files where added, deleted or moved with accuracy. File modifications where not always detected on the other hand. (If you are one of those users you may want to take a closer look at Directory Monitor which can detect those file manipulations as well)
You can download Track Folder Changes from the program's Codeplex project website. Please note that it requires a recent version of the Microsoft .Net Framework to be installed on the system.
Track Folder Changes is a handy program for Windows that monitors a root folder for create, delete and change events. The monitoring worked well during tests on most systems but sometimes changes were not recorded immediately or at all.
Downsides: the program has not been updated for a while and it is limited to a single folder.
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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.