Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: The possibility of finding a file access log detailing deleted files.

09 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
The possibility of finding a file access log detailing deleted files.


I apparently deleted some files, though precisely when is an open question (likely within the last 3 months). I have already run a few file recovery programs to no avail. The files are mostly scientific articles, so they are replaceable. The catch is I need to know which files that were deleted.

I know that Windows is renowned for the amount of data it logs about system activity. I was hoping that there is an access log buried somewhere that I could search for the folder names and find a list of the specific files that were deleted. Also, any recommendations on the program(s) that would be helpful in doing this. I am running Windows 7 Professional x64 on a Dell Latitude D830.

Thank you so much for any help you can offer

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2013   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Windows does not log that kind of thing unless file system auditing is enabled and the appropriate options set. This is NOT enabled by default. This auditing would consume a large amount of disk space in quite a short period of time unless it is very selective.

The real solution to this kind of problem is to maintain backups of all important files. There are a variety of ways that data can be lost and not all are preventable and not all recoverable. You need to be prepared when (not if) something happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2013   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Detect names of deleted files


It might be worth running a analysis of your HD with Autopsy. It's a data intensive application so it's not fast but it is very thorough. If this can't list your deleted files then the file names are almost certainly unrecoverable.

Autopsy: Download

Note: When applying file filters it can take a while before the results are ready to display.

For viewing old folder names only try:

ShellBag AnalyZer, ShellBag cleaner
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Dec 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I keep restore points on my data partitions. Those don't take a lot of space and allow me to retrieve any prior files. The amount of restore points depends on the allocated space for the shadowstorage. I usually assign 10% of the partition.

To recover the files I use Shadow Explorer. ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 The possibility of finding a file access log detailing deleted files.

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Help on finding corrupted files unable to fix by System File Checker
Hello, I performed a system maintenance a few days ago and ran sfc to verify the system files. The utility found some corrupted files and repaired some of them. Then I ran the tool the 2nd time to check if no more corrupted files exist but it said found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of...
Performance & Maintenance
When file is deleted from main directory it is also deleted from sub
Hello All, I've never seen this happen before. I have a main directory with 80 files in it. I created 8 sub-directories under the main directory and put 10 files in each one. I then went back to the main directory and deleted the 80 files that are there. The files I deleted from the main...
General Discussion
Can't backup my files: unable to access file
I have a Win 7 64-bit and yesterday, I got the black screen of death on boot. Black screen, blinking cursor right after I boot. I can access the Samsung recovery menu. I figured I'd just backup my data and do system restore or clean reinstall. After hours of backup, I looked to see the details on a...
Backup and Restore
Deleted My Documents and recovery software not finding files
I pressed delete on my Documents folder by mistake, and now I have gone through an unbelievable amount of recovery softwares, and none of them will find the files. on only need a few folders back in my documents. PLEASE HELP, they are folders for work.:confused:
Backup and Restore
Windows 7 File Explorer Deleted My Files
I wanted to consolidate data from other disks that I had so I could use those disks to convert an existing W7 installation into a RAID array. So I hooked up additional 2 x 500GB disks that contained files and previous installations of Windows and a 1TB drive to copy the files I wanted to keep....
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:08.
Twitter Facebook Google+