Over time, your computer will accumulate numerous items, such as files, folders, applications or programs. While you can easily identify when a folder or file was accessed or modified simply by using Windows Explorers, identifying when applications or programs where last accessed, isn't as easy to find.
Unless you know where to look…
Windows provide an easy way to view this information, with out needing to install anything by using Add or Remove Programs in XP or with Programs and Features in Vista.
Viewing Last Accessed Information In XP
To view when applications or programs were last accessed in Windows XP, open up Add or Remove Programs by clicking on: Start \ Run and enter appwiz.cpl .
Or, using the long way, click on Start \ Settings \ Control Panel \ Add or Remove Programs .
Once Add or Remove Programs window has open, by default all installed programs are sorted by name. To view last accessed information, click on the Sort by: pull down arrow and select Date Last Used selection.
Here you be able to view when programs were last accessed, which can help if you are want to clean up your computer.
Also notice that not all programs in the last will provide this information. The reason for this is that not all programs installed can be accessed as a single program (such as patches, resource kits, etc) or some have never been access.
If you are using this information because you want to cleanup your hard drive, use discretion when removing programs and always make a backup first.
Viewing Last Accessed Information In Vista
Vista provides the same information but it's not easy to find how to display it. Click on: Start \ Run and enter appwiz.cpl
Or click on Start and type program in the search field and select Programs and Features from the list.
In the Uninstall or change a program window, right click on the Name column and select More…
In the Choose Details window,click on the check box next to Last Used On and click the OK button.
Depended on what columns are selected and how they are sorted, your view of last accessed programs will look similar to the following screenshot:
The view can be sorted in ascended or descending order by clicking on the Last Used On column.
Just like XP, the same reason applies for why some programs do not display any information on when they were last used.