Monitor changes to drives, files, and Windows Registry with FRSSystemWatch

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2018
Updated • Jul 23, 2018

FRSSystemWatch is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to monitor entire drives, directories, files, or Registry keys for changes.

It can sometimes be important to make sure files or values in the Registry are not changed; maybe you want to make sure that web server files are not tampered with or that Windows or programs don't reset certain keys in the Registry.

You can use quite a few programs such as FileActivityWatch, Delete Extension Monitor, or Windows Files Monitor, and even built-in tools like the Windows Resource Monitor for that depending on your needs.


FRSSystemWatch is another program that you may use for the job. The program can monitor any drive, folder, or individual file on any connected storage device, and Registry keys.

You need to install the program before it can be used; installation is straightforward and should not take long. Compatibility-wise, it is compatible with Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows and is offered as a 32-bit and 64-bit version on the website of the developer.

The program monitors the c: drive automatically when you start it for the first time. Updates happen in real-time and data is displayed in a log-like format within the application interface.

Each entry is listed with date and time, an icon that indicates file, folder or Registry key activity, the path and name, and the action.

You may notice after some searching in the interface that there is no pause button available to stop the monitoring. The missing option to pause the monitoring is one of the shortcomings of FRSSystemWatch. It may not be an issue if you monitor very specific locations or files, but if you monitor an entire drive, new entries get added very frequently to the log which makes it difficult to near-impossible to analyze what is going on.

The only option that you have is to select Watch > Remove Monitor. The second shortcoming is that doing so removes the entire log. If you have not copied the data beforehand it is lost as the program does not save the data automatically.

Speaking of issues; the program lacks proper export options. The only ways to save data are to either select it and use edit > copy to copy it to the Clipboard or to print it.

Now the good things. You can monitor multiple locations and it is easy enough to create new monitoring jobs. Just select Watch and then the desired type of monitoring to start it. The program remembers the locations and loads them on start automatically but it will start the monitoring anew and does not load any old records.

You can modify the interface quite a bit. Select Settings to adjust the font or color scheme used by the application in great detail.

FRSSystemWatch supports quite a few keyboard shortcuts that you may find handy. Use Ctrl-A to select the entire log and then Ctrl-C to copy it to the Clipboard. That's the fastest way to export the log but remember that you need to paste it somewhere unless you use a clipboard monitor such as CopyQ, Remembr, or Clipboard Help+Spell that remember what you copy to the Clipboard.

Closing Words

FRSSystemWatch is a handy but limited system monitor for Windows. While it may already be suitable for some uses, most users probably would like to see options to pause the monitoring, auto-export the log, or at least save log files manually to different formats.

Now You: Do you monitor your system?



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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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