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Windows 7: Finding/Changing Installation Details of Applications

06 Sep 2018   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Finding/Changing Installation Details of Applications


if we use regedit, we can find/change some programs' installation dates at

but i realized i could not find details on all the applications i installed. i searched on this topic, and a poster wrote at a tech site :-

"The InstallDate registry value appears to be used by Windows Installer-installed applications. Applications that use other installation technologies may not use that property or use a different format (or they may not store an install date in the registry at all)".

to me that sort of makes sense. So is there any other way to find/modify installation details for these programs? if not stored in registry then, where should i look and how do i identify it

eg. CCleaner - i could find the installation date in the registry. but let's say Hard Disk Sentinel. i can't find it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2018   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The fundamental problem is right within your post:
or they may not store an install date in the registry at all
The standard way Control Panel expect to find such date it the "InstallDate" registry value, and when this is missing, there is no way Control Panel can ever display such date, because it's not stored. Programs that don't bother registering their install date may use their own methods of logging such thing or may not even bother at all. But the fundamental problem is that there is no direct way of knowing this, the solution, if any, is on a casy-by-case basis.

The most basic option is to hunt in the program's folder for some kind of log file, those often contain dates and other hints of the installation process. Lacking that, look at the dates of the files there, some times files are created during install (instead of siimply copying them) and as such their dates would be those of the install time (of course file system dates are 100% unreliable, so don't expect accuracy from there). Another place to look at could be their settings directory within AppData. Files there might correspond to first use date if they're not updated frequently, which at least can put a lower bound on an approximated install date (the program can't change its settings prior to its own install). If you have old image "backups" you can look there too and see if the program was installed back then.

Of course I'm just guessing and such investigation must be done on each thing separately, and you're not warranted to get any meaningful result. The definitive answer for non-compilant software is "you can't know for sure", only look for hints.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2018   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

yea i c what u mean 'case by case' basis. it's 3rd party apps anyway who knows how they record it right? it's cool i have resolved the matter another way thx for ur reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Sep 2018   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Magnakai View Post
... it's cool i have resolved the matter another way thx for ur reply.
why not share 'another way' with the community?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2018   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

yes, of course. i went for the portable version of that program lol.
i meant i decided not to use installed version of that application anymore (actually for other reasons), uninstalled it so its installation particulars are now moot.

but i still didn't find it's entry at that path under registry (CurrentVersion\Uninstall) or anywhere else if that's what u mean; i guess maybe it's in some config file in its program folder (not neccessarily written to registry) or somewhere else on my system.


If it's only the installation date which you want to change, then there is the other way of : changing the date/time of ur win system, installing the prog, then changing back the windows date/time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Finding/Changing Installation Details of Applications

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