SYSK 254: How to make your Windows XP or 2000 run a bit faster

If you’ve formatted your hard disk using NT File System (NTFS) format, there is a registry setting you might want to know about – NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate.  If it exists, you can find it under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem registry key.


In essence, if the setting is missing or is set to REG_DWORD zero (0x0000000), then every time you access a file, the operating system updates the date/time stamp on that file, the directory the file is located in and all parent directories.  If you’re not interested in logging this type of information, then set the NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate to 1.


NOTE: ”last accessed” is different from “last modified”…


Interestingly, Vista has it set to 1 by default…


There are a few folks talking about this “trick” -- is one of many...  I, regretfully, only learned about it a few days ago; so, hopefully, this post will not be too late for those of you out there using XP…


For information about this setting, visit



Comments (2)

  1. CoqBlog says:

    …c’est vrai que cette fameuse date de dernier accès associée aux fichiers ne me sert apparemment pas

  2. ehoff says:

    If you don’t feel like mucking around with the registry, you can do this with the command-line tool, fsutil.

    fsutil behavior query disablelastaccess

    This trick works especially well for Windows 2003 servers when working with large numbers of files.

Skip to main content