Monitor folders on Windows with Folder Monitor

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 7, 2018

Folder Monitor is a free software program for Microsoft Windows devices to monitor any number of folders for changes.

The program may monitor different events such as create or delete, notify users about the changes in various ways, and optionally execute commands if that is desired.

The application requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 but has no other dependencies. The size of the download is less than 100k and you can run the unpacked Folder Monitor executable right after unpacking.

You may want to check out the following monitoring alternatives which we covered in the past:

  • Extract Now -- Monitor folders for new archives to extract them automatically.
  • File Watcher Simple -- Monitor any number of folders for events.
  • Folder RSS -- Creates a custom RSS feed that highlights modifications in the selected folder.
  • Spy the Spy -- Monitors only for executable files.
  • Watch 4 Folder -- Monitor up to four folders for events (create, change, rename, media, more), log changes, and execute programs.

Folder Monitor

Folder Monitor runs an update check once a month by default; if you use a program like Windows Firewall Monitor you may notice the connection. You can turn off the update checks by right-clicking on the program's system tray icon and disabling the update options.

Right-click in the main program interface after start and use the "add" options to add new folders that you want to monitor. You can use "add folder" to use the folder browse or "add path" to type or paste a path to a folder directly.

The default monitoring options monitor the folder for any event and include any subfolder automatically as well.

Right-click on the line to control the monitoring. You can turn off recursive monitoring right from the context menu and turn monitoring on and off there as well.

Selecting options displays all other monitoring details. The program monitors for create, change, rename, and delete events by default. You can disable any event check and modify the time out interval as well here.

The two remaining options tabs let you specify include or exclude filters using regular expressions, and a command that you want executed.

Exclude and include come with sets of presets to select documents, text files, or movie files for inclusion or exclusion. It is possible to add custom regular expressions as well using the filter menu.

You may add a command and arguments so that it is executed whenever changes are noticed; Folder Monitor supports variables that you may add as arguments. If you add (5) as the argument the full path to the file is supplied to the command, e.g. notepad.exe or copy.

Folder Monitor keeps track of all changes in a log and displays that log to you whenever new changes happen.

The notification lists date and time, full path, file name, the actual event, and if a file was renamed the new name as well.

You can change notification options with a right-click on Folder Monitor's system tray icon and the selection of options.

Folder Monitor supports visual and sound notifications. The program icon blinks by default and displays the log of changes and the sound notifications play a system sound. You can disable either one or even both if you prefer that, or change them.

The program supports command line arguments as well. You can use /ConfigFile to load a specific configuration file, /LogFile to select a custom location for the log, and /AllowMultipleInstances to run multiple instances of Folder Monitor at the same time.

Closing Words

Folder Monitor is a well designed monitoring program for Windows PCs that keeps track of file changes in monitored folders and notifies you about them.

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Author Rating
4 based on 6 votes
Software Name
Folder Monitor
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  1. Tom Hawack said on August 2, 2019 at 10:51 am

    FYI :
    FolderMonitor required .Net framework 4.6.1
    Latest FolderMonitor requires .Net framework 4.7.2

  2. Shah said on August 2, 2019 at 5:12 am

    Like the program.

    I did a test to backup a working folder on any changes. From the monitored folder to a different location by using a batch file in the “Execute Command” tab. It works but not in the desired way. The changes to the folder are tracked instantaneously. So even when I open an excel file in that folder, excel creates a ~$filename.xslx. And when I close the file excel deletes that file. Both the changes are tracked by this program. When I change something in excel file and save it Excel creates a RandomName.tmp file for a split second and then rename it to the original file name. All the changes are tracked and unnecessary events are raised.

    I think the events should generate with a delay of 1 to 5 seconds to avoid any unnecessary triggers. Is this possible ?

  3. owl said on August 11, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    Immediately, I Installed it.
    Resident task, RAM: 33 MB ±.
    I felt it was easy to use and very convenient function with little system resources.
    Martin, Thanks for the review!

  4. Kubo said on August 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Using here “FolderChangesView” from NirSoft.
    It works nicelly.

  5. CalixtoVWR1 said on August 7, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I also wanted a program like that, specifically to monitor mostly supercookies that kept on coming back when deleted and some metadata (date) that also kept on changing in my Documents & Videos folders —not for all of them. I have not tested the program yet, but that should be done in the upcoming days.

    A big thank to Martin!

  6. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Just downloaded and ran (no install) FolderMonitor Nice!
    I was looking for such an application, simple, not bloated, to monitor in a first time Firefox’s [PROFILE]\storage\default\ folder in order to be notified of sites laying down their data (which I don’t approve when unnecessary) and block their cookies accordingly (given this is at this time with Firefox 61 the only way to block this). Perfect.

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