Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Find Newly Created Files in Windows

There is no easy way to find files that were recently created in a Windows system. What you can do is open the drive inside which you want to search in Windows explorer, and type the following into the search box in the toolbar – “datecreated:today”. This search filter tells Windows to find and display all files that were created and saved in that drive that day. Instead of “today”, you can enter any date or date range using the calendar that drops down from the search box.

This will list all files that were created on that particular date. You can limit your search to a particular folder or drive, or you can search the entire hard drive or drives.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work every time. For instance, here is the result of the same search carried under another directory.

windows-search-wrong

See how the search results contains list of files that were created a long time ago? Basically, what it means is Windows search is unreliable. If you find that happening and Windows is not returning you the correct results, try DriveSort.

drivesort

DriveSort lets you do just as the name says - sort an entire drive or a selected subfolder, either by size or by date to find the newest files, which is what we are interested in. Simply select the drive or folder using the Browse button and then choose how you want the files sorted – by size or by date. The files that were recently created occurs at the top of the list allowing you to quickly discover them without bothering to scroll.

Another option is to use a software called Piles. This program can monitor any directory for recently created or modified files and display it on a JumpList from Windows 7 taskbar. Piles is useful only when you need to watch a particular folder on the drive. Although very handy, Piles has several limitations as explained in the original review of the program. For example, it cannot search sub directories or watch for files under multiple folders.

piles-jumplist

A better file monitoring tool is Windows Explorer Tracker. This freeware utility records all operations such as Delete, Rename, Create, Insert, Cut, Copy and Paste actions performed on files and folders on drives and storage media. The result is automatically saved on a .log file under the user’s directory. Windows Explorer Tracker provides comprehensive information of everything that is happing to your files, which is obviously a whole lot more than you asked for.

windows-explorer-tracker[2]

The main drawback of Piles and Windows Explorer Tracker is that these programs need to be setup in advance before they start delivering results. If you need to pick up just one tool, I recommend DriveSort.

3 comments:

  1. this is handy to see if virus created folders

    ReplyDelete
  2. Use "Everything"
    Still the best Windows search tool imo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tried Everything, but couldn't find a way to sort results by latest. So not particularly useful in this case.

    ReplyDelete

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