How to use regshot to monitor your registry

Usually when software gets installed onto your computer, it copies the needed files and registry entries onto the system for the program to function properly. And when you want to uninstall the software it should but doesn’t always remove everything that was added in the first place. Most of the time there is useless data left over which should have been removed because the uninstaller maybe is corrupted or even badly programmed. Depending on the program and how good the uninstaller is, this could range from one or two innocuous registry keys right up to hundreds of keys and several Megabytes of leftover files.

One way to find out yourself what is getting added to your system during a software install is to actually check the state of your system before the installation, and then check again afterwards to see what has changed. Here’s a selection of 7 tools that can track what file and registry changes are made during a software install by creating and then comparing before and after snapshots of your system, all were tested on Windows 7.

1. Regshot unicode

Regshot is a long running utility that can quickly take a before and after snapshot of the system registry. Also in the more recent unicode version it’s gained the ability to monitor for file changes using CRC32 and MD5 file checksums although this function is turned off by default and you have to go to File -> Options -> Common Options -> and tick “Check files in the specified folders” to enable it.

Only the Windows folder is entered into the list of watched folders so you have to enter any others yourself through the Folders tab. This version also added the Connect to remote registry option.

How to use regshot to monitor your registry

Regshot is very much a “hands on” utility and is more for experienced or advanced users to quickly check for system changes between two different points in time. Simply create the 1st shot, install the software or run the program you want to watch, and then press 2nd shot. After comparing the differences in the 1st and 2nd shots, it will open an HTML log in your browser listing all the detected changes.

Being only a few hundred KB and portable, Regshot is an extremely valuable tool to have around. The original Regshot is still very slowly being developed and there is a recent beta with separate 32 / 64-bit and ANSI / Unicode versions that can be found at SourceForge.

2. InstallWatch Pro

InstallWatch Pro is quite an old utility which works in a similar way to RegShot in that it tracks any changes made to your registry and files between 2 given points in time although this program is more specifically designed for tracking installs. The program is quite detailed in what it can track and includes additions, deletions, or modifications to files and directories, INI files and the system registry.

How to use regshot to monitor your registry

The good thing about InstallWatch is the easy to read way in which the results are displayed because it behaves just like a standard Explorer window with an expanding tree view of the sections on the left. While the program is running it will detect if you run a setup installer and ask to create a before snapshot, or you can simply click the Snapshot button on the toolbar.

After install, it will ask to create the after snapshot or you can use the Analyze button. The result can then be browsed or individual sections can be exported to text or HTML. All installs are instantly accessible from the tree view and there is also a useful search function.

3. SpyMe Tools

This utility has something the others in the list don’t which is a function to monitor a drive or folder in real time for file changes and could prove a useful addition when doing a bit of troubleshooting. SpyMe Tools is a quite an old program but is still perfectly capable at creating before and after snapshots to watch an install or software for changes.

It does have one drawback though because there is only the facility to snapshot either files or registry, not both together, changeable in the Current Mode option on the toolbar.

How to use regshot to monitor your registry

Like InstallWatch Pro the interface looks a lot like Explorer so you should feel at home navigating around. The way SpyMe Tools works is slightly awkward because you have to click the Scan button and save the snapshot, install or run the software to track, then click the Scan button again and save another snapshot with a different name.

Both are then tested for changes using the Compare button and the results will show in the window. The differences between the 2 snapshots can be saved as a text file. SpyMe Tools is also a portable program.

4. InCtrl5

InCtrl5 is an incredibly old tool dating way back to the year 2000 but some users may have heard or used it before, and it can still do a job with a little bit of effort. There are one or two issues with it though which require a bit of knowledge to use the program effectively. First, unsurprisingly InCtrl5 will need to be run in compatibility mode for Windows Vista, 7 or 8.

Secondly, there is an issue with it’s output results for 64-bit users as it won’t display the Software\Wow6432Node registry keys as coming from there, but will instead show them as coming from simply Software, something to watch out for.

How to use regshot to monitor your registry

Using the program is pretty easy and it will track changes to the registry, drives and folders, ini files and also specific text files. Inclusions and exclusions can be configured by using the What to track buttons. After selecting the installer you want to track, it will create the before snapshot for you.

Then you install the software and press the Install Complete button to create the after snapshot and the analysis, which could take a little while. The result will then open up a window where it can be viewed or saved as HTM, TXT or CSV files formats.

Published on February 27, 2015 By Amit Kumar

Looking for a useful registry monitoring tool to track registry changes? Here are top 5 best tools to monitor registry changes in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 PC.

Do you know how to monitor registry changes in Windows operating system? If you are well familiar with Windows registry editor then you must know the usefulness of monitoring registry changes in Windows computers.

Windows registry is one of the most important components of Windows operating systems that stores configuration settings and options for the applications and tasks running on the platform that have opted to use the registry.

Since Microsoft Windows operating systems haven’t included any in-built registry monitoring tool to monitor registry changes in Windows. So, tracking and monitoring registry and file changes in Windows PC is a quite difficult task for the people.

How to use regshot to monitor your registry

In this condition, using a powerful registry monitoring software can be the appropriate choice for you. In this Windows guide, we are sharing a list of 5 best registry monitoring tools to monitor registry changes in Windows. Let’s check them out:

Tools to Monitor Registry Changes in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

Below mentioned all Registry monitor software is very popular among Windows users for monitoring registry changes in the different version of Windows. Check them one by one and share your view with us through comments which registry monitoring tool is working extremely well for you.

Here’s the list of top 5 best tools to monitor registry changes in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 computers:


Regshot is an open-source registry comparing utility that helps you to quickly take a snapshot of your Windows registry and then compares it with a second one which is done after doing any changes on your system or installing a new program, software product etc.

It’s really a very useful registry monitor freeware and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems. Regshot not only take the snapshots of windows registry, but it also snapshots the Windows directories. You must try this monitoring software.


WhatChanged is a well-known system utility to monitor registry changes in Windows. Basically, it scans for the modified files and registry entries that makes easy to compare the changes in system settings. WhatChanged registry monitoring utility is quite helpful for checking the program installations.

It’s almost similar to Regshot monitor freeware. WhatChanged uses the “brute force method” to track registry and file changes.


Papertrail is a frustration-free log management tool that allows you to instantly manage logs from different servers.

With Papertrail, you can consolidate your logs in one place with a cloud-hosted log management service that takes typically only minutes to set up. Powerful. Quickly diagnose and fix customer problems, error messages, app server errors, and slow DB queries with full visibility across all logs.


RegFromApp tool is developed by “” that nicely monitors the registry changes made by the Windows program and application that you selected. It also generates a RegEdit registration file (.reg) that includes all the windows registry changes made by the program and application.

The generated .reg file can be used to import available changes with the RegEdit when it’s needed. RegFromApp registry monitoring utility works with almost all the Windows operating systems.

Process Monitor

Process Monitor is a very popular and advanced registry monitoring tool for Windows system that displays real-time file system, Registry, and process/thread activity. It’s also known as Windows registry system troubleshooting and malware hunting toolkit.

It’s very small in size but comes with several options to track and monitor registry changes in Windows computers.

Reg and FC

Reg command is the built-in command line from Windows for the registry. Before using this command to monitor changes to the registry, firstly export all the useful/important keys which you wish to track to a text file when your system performing well and export those files again after few changes or software installations. Now, compare both files using the following file compare command line fc.exe.

The command will compare both files and save the changes into the result.txt file in the same directory. Thus, you can easily track and monitor registry changes in Windows.


We hope you found a helpful list of registry monitoring tools in this article. Let us know – which registry monitoring software to monitor registry changes in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 is working impressively for you?

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