Speed up Windows by disabling the “last access” time stamp

By default, Windows keeps track of the last time a file was accessed through the “last access” time stamp. If you use this time stamp for backup purposes or you make frequent use of the Windows search function base on time stamp, then you may actually have a use for it.

In other cases you can disable the update and it will speed up Windows by avoiding having to update (write) that time stamp every time a file is read.

There are a few different methods for disabling that time stamp:

Via the command line

Open an administrator-level command prompt and enter this command:

fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1

Replace the 1 with a 0 (zero) to turn the “last access” time stamp updating back on.

Via regedit

Navigate to the following registry location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlFileSystem

Right-click the right-side panel and select New > DWORD Value. Call it NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and give it a value of 1.

To reenable, change the value to 0 (zero) or just delete it.

A reboot is required when the value is changed.

Via a registry file

Take the code from one of the following settings and create a new file ending in a .reg extension. Double-click to make the change, and reboot to make it take effect.

Enable

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlFileSystem]
"NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=-

Disable:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlFileSystem]
"NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=dword:00000001

Questions, comments, and feedback is appreciated, as always.

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