How to See a List of Your Recently Opened Files in Windows


Whether you need to check what files were recently opened on your computer for backup reasons or if you want to see what someone else was opening on your computer, the OSFV tool comes in handy. Today we will discuss what the tool is and how you can use it to see what files were recently opened in Windows.

What is Open Save Files View?

Open Save Files View, which we will refer to as OSFV from now on, is another great Nirsoft utility program. It accesses two registry keys (OpenSavePidlMRU and OpenSaveMRU) which allow it to display a comprehensive list of all the files that you have opened with Windows.

The program will display several bits of information regarding each file including:

  1. The name of the file
  2. The type of file (file extension)
  3. The order that they were opened in
  4. The time that the last file of any given format was opened
  5. The time and date of creation and modification
  6. The size of the file
  7. Any information related to the file’s attributes

This program works on either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows.

Downloading the Program

Once you are ready to begin, you will need to download the OSFV utility from Nirsoft’s Website. Simply scroll to the bottom of the page and download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the program based on your operating system.

Once you have downloaded the program, let’s create a folder on the desktop called OSFV, and extract the files from the zip folder into this folder.


Using OSFV

When you have successfully extracted the files, all you need to do is double click on the “OpenSaveFilesView.exe” and wait for the program to load.


Now you may be wondering what else you can do. Truthfully, there is not much you can do with this utility other than view the recently accessed files, information related to them, and export a copy of the information you gather.

Viewing Recently Opened Documents

Let’s say for example, you caught someone on your computer and they claim that they were just using the Internet but you don’t believe them. When they are gone, you can run this utility and check the most recently accessed files.

Begin by clicking on the column that says “Open Time” twice so that the arrow is pointing down. You will see the files listed by which ones were opened most recently.


As you can see in the image above, the most recently accessed files were three image files, a text file, a word document, and a flash video file.

Evidence of File Modification

Now let’s say, for example, you want to prove to someone that you haven’t modified any files recently. You can start by clicking on the “File Modified Time” column till the arrow is facing down like before.


As you can see in this image, four files are listed as recently modified. If you want to prove to someone that the .tif file and the first word document were not modified, you can hold the “Ctrl” button and select  the files. Let’s also say you want to show that the FLV file was recently accessed. Just follow the same process till you have your three files selected.


Now that you have selected the files, click on the save button as shown in the image above. Once the save dialog box pops up, select a save location and give the text document a name. For this example, we will call it “Evidence.” Note that the default save location is the same folder where the application is.


Now let’s open the document to see the details of our evidence. Navigate to the file and double click it.


Note that each document has a full list of details associated with it.

Language Options

Open Save Files View is also available in four additional languages: Dutch, German, Greek, and Russian. In order to install the languages simply click on the link for the language you want to download the zip file. Extract the “opensavefilesview_lng.ini” file and move it to the installation folder of the program. In this case, the folder we will move it to is “OSFV” on the desktop.


Once you have done that, you can run the Open Save Files View program again and you will see the program in the selected language. In this case, it is in Dutch.


In order to remove the language pack and go back to the default English, simply delete the language file from the Open Save Files View folder with the  executable and relaunch the program.


Image Credit: Theen Moy on Flickr


Martin Hendrikx is a technology writer and author with years of experience. He has traveled to 47 countries and counting and is well versed in all things Windows.