Free Folder Monitor is a simple tool which displays hard drive activity - the files and folders which have been created, changed or deleted - in real time.

Launch the program and it begins to work immediately, displaying any current activity as it happens. This includes the date and time of the event, its type (Add, Modify, Rename or Remove), the file name, size and attributes.

Events are colour-coded by type, making the report easier to follow. File or folder deletions are displayed in red, so you can spot them at a glance. You can also ask the program to monitor only particular events - just Add and Rename, perhaps - or list only activity in a specific folder.

We had some small issues with the program. For example, to start and stop recording events you must click File > Active; would it be so difficult to have a toolbar button, or at least a keyboard shortcut, so you can toggle this on and off with a single action? There's no option to save the report, either.

The core of Free Folder Monitor works well, though, and the program provides a quick and easy way to track exactly what's happening on your hard drive.

Please note, the program asks to install toolbars and other "extras" during installation. If you're not interested, pay close attention to what's happening during the setup process.

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It has room for improvement, but if you're looking to track exactly how any program is using your hard drive then Free Folder Monitor will be able to help.