RSS Feed

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...


Subscribe to either one of our two newsletters for regular updates and information

Downloads newsletter

This is a weekly newsletter with download news, updates and other information

This is a monthly newsletter with software store information, offers and deals

Trace Spy 2.1

Monitor program debug messages

by Mike Williams

Our Rating:
Your Rating:
Login to rate
Based on 0 ratings
License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 16 April 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 422
Developer: Simon Mourier
RSS News Feed:
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from
Trace Spy 2.1
Monitor program debug messages

Trace Spy is a compact portable tool which captures and displays debug output on your PC (highly technical status messages from running applications). It's essentially a .NET version of Sysinternals DebugView, with filtering, trace colorization via regular expressions, and basic Event Tracing for Windows support.

The good news: Trace Spy is extremely easy to use: just launch it and messages will be appear in real time.

The bad news, for regular users: as you'll guess from the description, this is a developer-oriented tool; most programs don't generate any debug output, and when you do see a message it'll probably be extremely cryptic. We regularly saw messages like "explorer 11872 0000000000000000 LEAVE: DllCanUnloadNow" and "SearchProtocolHost JIT-V : New Virtualized Thread: 16672", for example - not particularly helpful.

Still, there are occasional exceptions.

When right-clicking a folder on our test system, Explorer generated a debug message complaining that it "failed to load resource DLL...", and pointed to an Apple file, maybe useful if a folder wasn't displaying as you expected.

We noticed that Google Earth displayed some status information when it launched: Intrinsic Alchemy version, EGL version, vendor strings and more. Even if you've no idea what any of this meant, you could perhaps compare the debug output on this PC with a working system, and look for any differences.

Running VLC Media Player on our test system also produced some unusual debug output, including a warning of an "ES_OUT_RESET_PCR" error. We've no idea what that means, but if we were having a VLC problem then it could be a valuable clue, and a quick web search would tell us more.

You shouldn't expect too much from Trace Spy; barely 5% of our test programs displayed any debug output, and most of that is too cryptic to be useful. But there are one or two exceptions, and on balance (and if you're an experienced PC user), it's probably worth adding Trace Spy to your troubleshooting toolkit.

Version 2.1 changes:
 - Added ETW description into process name (option).
 - Added Quick Colorizers feature.
 - Added RecordView (double click on a trace).
 - Added support for ETW trace levels (the 2nd parameter in the WriteMessageEvent call above)
 - Added support for TAB '\t ' character in trace texts.


Trace Spy provides a simple and straightforward way to monitor debug output. It's very much a developer's tool, but if you're an experienced PC user - you know your way around the darker corners of Process Hacker, say - then the program might occasionally help with your troubleshooting.

Your Comments & Opinion
Related Download Articles
DebugView 4.81

DebugView 4.81


Reveal hidden application messages that could help to troubleshoot your PC problems


WinCrashReport 1.25 (64-bit)


Troubleshoot crashes on your PC


WinCrashReport 1.25


Troubleshoot crashes on your PC

Flux 4

Flux 4.1.7

Trial Software

A site creation tool to rival Dreamweaver

Other Download Articles From This Category

PilotEdit 9.9.0


An incredible file editor that can be used for programming, web development and more

PilotEdit Lite

PilotEdit Lite 9.9.0


An incredible file editor that can be used for programming, web development and more



Open Source

A versatile Notepad replacement

EditBone (64-bit)

EditBone 12.7.1 (64-bit)

Open Source

A powerful programmer's editor

From Softwarecrew

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...

Our Price: $29.99
RRP: $49.99
Saving 40%
Buy Now
Offer Ends In:

Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.16.11

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's new in 2.16.11?

 - Due to a bug in iOS 10, your notification sounds may not properly play until you restart your iPhone (press and hold the power and home buttons for 10 seconds).
- In groups, you can now mention specific people to get their attention by typing the @ symbol and choosing someone from the picker. 
- When forwarding messages, you can now send to multiple chats at once 
- Ask Siri to send WhatsApp messages or place WhatsApp calls (iOS 10+) 
- Answer WhatsApp calls right from your lock screen, just like a standard phone call (iOS 10+) 
- A new Widget lets you quickly jump to a recent chat or see which chats have unread messages (iOS 10+)