How to Suppress NTFS Volume Last Access Timestamp

Would you like to be able to cover up your computer tracks?  This registry tweak can help you eliminate some of your virtual footprints.

Windows XP, by default, updates the LastAccess timestamp whenever a directory is accessed on an NTFS volume.  To hide when you last accessed such a directory, you can use this tweak to stop the timestamp from updating.

Note that this tweak is for Windows XP only. Before beginning with this tweak, you should create a back-up of your registry settings.  This way, you have a means of restoring your registry should any issues arise.

The procedure to suppress NTFS volume last access timestamp follows.

  1. Click Start and go to Run.  Enter regedit.

  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on the left side of your registry editor.

  3. Next, go to SYSTEM.  Expand this folder to get to CurrentControlSet.

  4. Once inside CurrentControlSet, go to Control.

  5. Expand the Control folder and look for FileSystem.

  6. Look at the right hand side of the box.  Look for NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate.  If the value is there, proceed directly to step 7. If NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate is not listed, perform the steps in 6a.


    1. Right click on the right hand pane of the box.
    2. Select New and then select DWORD.
    3. Rename the DWORD value NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate.  You can also rename the value by right clicking on the new DWORD value and typing in NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate
  7. Double click on NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate.  A little box will pop up.  In Value Data, enter 0 if you want suppression to be disabled.  If you would like suppression enabled, enter 1.
  8. Exit registry and reboot.