When you're not using your PC, Windows is far from idle. Programs are running all the time, including dozens of so-called services which run continually in the background. Even if you're not logged into Windows, the operating system is still busy.
One way to find out what your PC is doing, is to monitor changes to files. Equally, by undertaking such monitoring, you can find out which particular program is responsible for changing the contents of a file. This can be a useful step in troubleshooting a problem.
One of my favourite tools for monitoring file changes is something called Folder Change View, or FCV. It's produced by Nirsoft and you'll find the tiny 0.1 MB download at http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/folder_changes_view.html
The file is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust, and is portable so there's nothing to install. Just download, unzip, and click to run.
When the program starts, you can choose which folder to monitor. You can also choose whether to monitor just that folder or all of the subfolders within it. And you can specify whether to simply monitor the folder as a whole, or all of its files.
Leave the program running for a while, and it will display a list of all the files that have been changed, as well as the name of the program that changed them. It's fascinating to watch, to see just how much activity Windows is doing, and which are the key files that are accessed most often.
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