16
Dec
2009



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vistaThe TimeStamp feature is a simple time log which tells you what time a file or a folder was accessed (last access). This is quite useful, above all for security reasons, when you want to know if anybody accessed, tried to access or modified a private file or folder in your computer.  Basically, it is  the NTFS file system that  records all kind of activity happening on your computer.  Here is a simple tutorial to enable or disable it for your personal needs.

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search Box field type: regedit and press Enter.
  3. Locate the following key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\ FileSystem
  4. In right-pane, double-click NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and set its value to 0 (zero). If such a value doesn’t exist, right click -create a new DWORD and name it NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and set it to 0 (zero). The zero value will disable the feature. Of course, if you set the value to 1 you will enable it.



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4 Comments to “How to Enable/Disable the Last Access Timestamp in Windows Operating Systems”

  1. PeterH Says:

    I have just tested the above on XP SP3 and it works.

    The value has to be set to 1 to stop the timestamp updating.

  2. UStud Says:

    In Windows 7 and Vista the option is set to 1 by default (i.e. NTFS last access update is disabled) in order to speed-up the system.

  3. Web Talk Says:

    Hi Teri Greene,

    thanks for pointing that out. Since English is not my primary language may ask you to contact me by using the form located on the Contact page and suggest me the proper way to write it? I am having some difficulties with this articles. Thanks.

  4. Teri Greene Says:

    Hi.

    I think these sentences could be worded better, as it’s potentially misleading:

    “The zero value will disable the feature. Of course, if you set the value to 1 you will enable it.”

    After a paragraph talking about the Time Stamp Update “feature,” the reader will probably read “will disable the feature” as “will disable Updating,” rather than “will disable the registry entry.” Then they’ll erroneously think that enabling the registry entry enables Updating.

    Since “NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate” has the word “disable” in it, enabling the registry entry (value=1) will turn LastAccessUpdate OFF. 0 will turn Updating ON.


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