SoftPerfect File Access Monitor turned into freeware

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2016

SoftPerfect File Access Monitor, previously a commercial program, has been released as a freeware version by its parent company.

The program has been designed to monitor file operations such as read or write on Windows machines.

File Access Monitor supports the monitoring of local and network connected systems. Setup of the application is not overly complicated but it is still not as easy as clicking on its shortcut to start it up.

First thing you will realize is that the program displays a connect prompt on start. It is set to connect to localhost -- the local system -- by default. There is also a password field, but that can be left empty on first run.

SoftPerfect File Access Monitor

file access monitor

You may add a password to the app to protect it from unauthorized access. Once connected, a list of available drives is listed in the interface.

You may click on any drive to browse its structure, or to be more precise, the folders and files that were accessed based on filters set in the program window.

file access monitor log

The program lists all file operations on the right side of the program window once you select a folder or file. The example above highlights several operations including creation, read and deletion operations.

Each operation is linked to a particular user, a process, and time. This makes it easy to link any file event to a user account and process.

A click on the chronological button opens the list of file operations in chronological order. Each file is listed with its name, process, user account it was executed under, time, and details when you open the chronological view.

chronological view

You may click on any header of the table to sort the data accordingly (the default sort order is by time). This allows you to sort by operation, process, or file name among other things.

Filters are listed at the top to display matching file operations. If you are only interested in delete operations, operations by a specific user or process, then you may use the filters to display only those in the interface.

The same filtering options are available in the main program window as well. Apart from those, you may also use the find functionality to search for files or folders.

Simply enter a partial or full name, and wait for the population of the results. You may double-click on any entry to jump to the location right away in the main program window.

SoftPerfect File Access Monitor was a commercial program and it comes as no surprise that several administrative features are built-in that appeal to businesses more than to individuals.

You may save logs at any time, but can configure the program to create reports in intervals automatically as well. These can be saved to csv, HTML or plain text files, created hourly, daily, weekly or monthly, or sent to an email address.

The settings lists other useful options. You may configure filters there to block files or paths from being monitored, or add include paths and files instead. The operations tab lets you furthermore deselect operations that you don't want to monitor, and include or exclude processes.

We have reviewed several alternatives in the past: File Watcher Simple, Windows Explorer Tracker, What Changed or Disk Pulse are but four of the programs designed for the task.

Closing Words

SoftPerfect File Access Monitor is a professional file access monitor for Windows. SoftPerfect has turned the program into a legacy product. This means that it is no longer developed or updated, but available for free to all users.

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5 based on 5 votes
Software Name
SoftPerfect File Access Monitor
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  1. Tom Hanks said on November 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    This is great. I appreciate that they freewared it.

  2. Marc said on November 6, 2016 at 2:21 am

    There’s also Mooo FileMonitor which wasn’t mentioned in this article but that has been around for a while. Maybe uniextracting SoftPerfect File Access Monitor it is natively portable…

  3. Rotten Scoundrel said on November 1, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Martin, when you do these reviews and announcements you obviously run the stuff to get the screen dumps.

    Could you first run your IP scanner (can’t remember what you us instead of wireshark) and in the final comment box also have a “calls home,” check box?

    The “no free lunch,” thing is ringing in my ears every time I see “…app… is now freeware.”

    1. stilofilos said on November 4, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Even eventually very expensive payware apps do call home the last years, without the ‘free’ ‘excuse’. A huge chunk of nowadays mankind has definitely become extremely bad manners.
      For some time now, I therefore systematically block all not-yet-known-and-trusted software in my firewall from venturing out on the www tout court. It just appears to have become a necessity to filter the bad ones out. Once a specific tool prooved to be convivial, I gladly remove its blockage.

      That said, a kind salute to Softperfect for giving this one away nevertheless – and to Martin for kindly letting us know.

  4. Rick said on November 1, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    SoftPerfect has turned the program into a legacy product. This means that it is no longer developed or updated, but available for free to all users.

    On their website re donations :)
    Did you know that this free app has development and maintenance costs?

  5. Tom Hawack said on November 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Mr Martin be as so kind as to inform Mr Brinkman that milady is undoubtedly satisfied with the headlines of this article.
    So am I :)

  6. simpleman said on November 1, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Mr. Martin, thank you for this.

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