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Which files were modified yesterday? Recent Files Scanner reveals all

21 March 2013, Mike Williams

You’ve lost that important document you were working on yesterday; you’re wondering which files a program is accessing; or maybe you’d just like to know what someone else has been doing on your PC. There are many reasons why you might want to know which files have been created, modified or accessed on your PC – and Recent Files Scanner is just the tool to help.

To get a feel for how the program works, just launch it and click the green Scan button. By default it will scan your Documents folder and any subfolders, and you’ll quickly be looking at a report listing everything you’ve modified recently.

Click Settings and you can customise your scan, setting details like the folder to check, and the search depth (the folder only, 1 level, 10 and so on).

There’s an option to set the range of dates that interests you. This is initially set to the last week, but you can change this to the last day, three days, 5 days around last Christmas, whatever you like.

Any recently modified files are listed in a simple report

And elsewhere there are include and exclude filters; you can specify content which the file must include; you’re able to decide which file date to check (created, modified or accessed), and more. Click the Start button again to try the new settings.

The report you’ll produce from this isn’t just a text list. Right-click any file and you’ll find options to open it, view its containing folder, check the file’s properties, view a preview (for images) and more.

And if this still isn’t enough, click the binoculars icon and the program will monitor whatever folders you’ve specified, displaying newly created, changed or modified files in real time.

There are some oddities here. In particular, the program didn’t always work as we expected, either intermittently refusing to scan the path C:\ and replacing this with its own Program Files folder. We couldn’t figure out why, though – other root folder scans worked fine, as did monitoring subfolders – so this might be a specific issue with our test system.

Recent Files Scanner has some issues, then, but if you can live with its quirks (or perhaps avoid them entirely) then you’ll find a capable tool, very useful for monitoring file-related activity.

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