'last used' column in Programs and Features in the Control Panel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VARLEYST, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. VARLEYST

    VARLEYST

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    There used to be a column in the Programs and Features in Control Panel that would show when a program was last used. This doesn't seem to work in Windows 10. Although I have found how to show the column, it doesn't have anything in it. I have 111 Programs etc listed and would like to delete some but am unsure of which ones to delete.
     
    VARLEYST, Mar 30, 2017
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  2. VARLEYST

    davehc

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    Date visited ..etc? I don't see a column with the exact title "last used", however.
     
    davehc, Mar 30, 2017
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  3. VARLEYST

    Regedit32 Moderator

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    Hi and Welcome to the Forum Varleyst.

    The Last used on Column which by default appeared in Windows XP, was effectively deprecated by Microsoft in Windows 7. Even in the prior Vista, the column was hidden, but could be reinstated just as you discovered you can do in Windows 10.

    The reality is it was never a reliable or accurate feature because while an application may have a registry entry point, that point did not contain information on the executable so there was a best guess used to give you a last used date.

    If you right-click on the executable for an application, then select Properties > General tab you will notice at the bottom is a Last Accessed date. Even this is not particularly reliable, but it atleast still exists in the Windows 10 OS by default.

    As to why Microsoft continue to allow a User to check the option to display this deprecated Last used on column, well that is anyone's guess.

    Regards,

    Regedit32
     
    Regedit32, Mar 30, 2017
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  4. VARLEYST

    Ian Administrator

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    I also get an empty "last used" column, once enabling it (right click in list > sort by > more > tick "last used").

    This heading did the same thing in Windows 7/8, IIRC, so I don't think it's a problem at your end. I don't know why they still allow the option to display this.

    edit: Beaten to it by @Regedit32 :D

    You could try using ExecutedProgramsList by Nirsoft (they do loads of excellent free utilities), that would allow you to manually find when you last executed some programs, although it's not quite what you are after:

    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/executed_programs_list.html
     
    Ian, Mar 30, 2017
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  5. VARLEYST

    davehc

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    Now I'm puzzled again. Where do you select that option, use as it is? This is all I can see in the drop down:

    Just realized, You are referring to progs and features! I was thinking File manager.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
    davehc, Mar 30, 2017
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  6. VARLEYST

    KevTRev

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    Advising why the Last Used Date is useful in business, it helps when trying to manage software licenses. If users do not need that particular software application, it can be uninstalled and the license transferred to another user who needs it. Especially in these days of ongoing subscriptions, the costs build up and, if you have several hundred users, you need to be able to extract that information without the need to interview users periodically.
     
    KevTRev, Sep 4, 2017
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