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Compatible with Windows 7 OS
Software runs successfully on Windows 98, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista & Windows 7 and 8 x32/x64

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On the Folders to Watch tab you can specify which locations, file types and events to monitor.

Folder(s) to watch

This box holds a list of the folders you want to watch. To add a new folder, type its name (one per line), or use the […] folder browse button to add a new folder to the list.

Network locations – trouble shooting

Some network locations will NOT support the commands that File Watcher needs in order to monitor files. However it does depend if the target file system supports it. If the network redirector or the target file system does not support this operation, File Watcher fails with ERROR_INVALID_FUNCTION.

If you find that no events ever occur, check the Network or FTP Location -Use Polling check box. File Watcher will take a snapshot of files and re-check every minute.

Note: Watching a FTP location

You can watch an FTP location simply by placing the ftp url into the Folder to Watch list:

With username and password

File Watcher detects FTP urls from the leading ftp:// path, and automatically turns on polling to monitor these files. Processing of subfolders is not supported.

Watch subfolders

When checked, FileWatcher will also watch all subfolders of any folder that you specify

Process any existing files on Start

When FileWatcher starts watching, it can process any matching files in the list of folders that might have arrived while FileWatcher was not active. This is useful to handle restarts.

Network or FTP Location -Use Polling

If you monitor a Network or FTP location, File Watcher may not be able to detect any changes. This is because the network connector does not fully implement the file event functions (API) required by FileWatcher.


To work around this lack of events, check this box. File Watcher will re-examine the target folder every 60 seconds (customizable) to look for changes. Note that you should not specify a folder tree with a huge number of files (e.g. more than 1000), as this is very inefficient to process.

Seconds between polls

The number of seconds between polling attempts, default 60 seconds.

File types to watch (*.* for all)

This box specifies which files to watch. By default all files (*.*) are watched. You can watch multiple file types by separating each with semi-colons e.g. *.txt;*.html;*.xml

Wait for exclusive file access

Normally you want FileWatcher to wait for a file to be completely written to disk before processing it, especially with large files like images or video – the default is on.

There are several reasons you might need to use this option:

  • Some applications do not close their output files immediately, so FileWatcher can never get an exclusive lock
  • If the files being watched are through a read-only share, then FileWatcher again can't get an exclusive lock
  • Some combinations of Operating System and File System do not return this information correctly, and so File Watcher is never able to obtain an exclusive lock on the file, which normally indicates that it is still open.

In any of these cases simply uncheck this setting.

Seconds to wait after a new files arrives

This settings allows files that arrive together to be grouped. To process each file individually, type 0.


Note that this setting has NOTHING to do with waiting for large files to be completely written – FileWatcher handles this automatically (see Wait For Exclusive File Access above). The intention of this setting is to allow multiple files to be processed together.

Actions to Watch

You can trigger actions based on a number of events

-         New files arriving (once the file has been completely written to disk)

-         Files being updates (again, once the file has been completely written to disk)

-         File deletions

-         Ignore folders – check this box to ignore any changes made to folders. Generally you only need to process files, not folders.


Note – if you want to see file deletions, then you must uncheck New Files and File Updates, because otherwise the file deletions are reconciled against the New/Updated file list in order to eliminate files to be processed that actually no longer exist.