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Windows has a feature that might give you a clue as to when an application was installed on your computer.

Someone else installed some Microsoft applications on my computer some time ago, I'm not sure who. The point is, I need to know the date that these applications were installed. Where can I look to find out when these applications were installed?

It's interesting that this information isn't made more obvious in add/remove programs in control panel.

My approach feels like a bit of a hack, but it's pretty reliable.

I'd just look at "date modified" property of the directory that the application was installed in. For example the date of the "Microsoft Office" directory in "C:\program files".

When a file gets installed, it usually carries the date and time of its creation with it: its creation by the manufacturer. However when the setup program does its thing, the directories it creates are time stamped with the time that setup created them. Unless something comes along later and modifies it, which is fairly unusual, it's a good, quick, and easy way to find indicator of when the program was installed.

Article C2264 - January 20, 2005 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
Dave
December 18, 2008 9:24 AM

On an XP system you can also run a dir /Q in the program folder in question and that will tell you who the owner of the files are which is usually the person who logged in and installed the application. This command also provides the users domain information if the system is a domain member and file date and time stamp information as well.

Don
October 23, 2009 4:18 AM

Hi leo
I have question : when I install programs that be online like partycasino etc. do you know any programs that can tell me where the files is installed?. the reason for the question is that iam aware of some download form partycasino have been installed on my computer but i can not find the files in regedit...
so if you know about some programs that can help me to locate this files then I happy...

Best Don

Best Don

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