Snapman : Compare Files & Registry Changes in Windows

Every time you install a new software in your computer it makes many changes to the file system and adds multiple entries to the Windows Registry. If the software comes from a trustworthy website (like, then you can relax as its not going to make any harmful changes. But if you are not so sure about a software downloaded from the internet, then you should use the free Snapman tool to record the status of your file system and registry before installing such software. This way Snapman can tell you which changes were made by that suspicious software.

Snapman is a portable software and runs on all versions of Windows starting from XP. It can record the current status of your file system and the Windows registry and allows you to compare the status recorded at two different times. This makes it easy for you to record the system status before and after using a software and then compare them to see what changes have been made. You can start by taking the snapshot of your system. This is done by clicking on the small camera-icon in the Snapman toolbar.


You will be asked about the snapshot options – whether you want to record the file system (and if yes then which disk drive), whether you want to record the registry state and where to save the snapshot file. After this you can click on the Take Snapshot button to initiate the recording of the system snapshot.



Recording of the snapshot can take a while, so sit back and relax. Some of the files and some of the registry are ignored and left out as they cannot be recorded. For example, the system files that are currently in use cannot be read by any other program other than the core modules of the Windows itself – so they are ignored. In the end, you are shown a message about how many files or registry keys have been recorded.


Now if you want to compare this snapshot with another snapshot take at a later time, then you can click either on the registry compare or the file compare buttons in the toolbar. You will have to select two snapshots to be compared. It will read and analyze them both to show you them both  side-by-side. The unchanged items are shown in black, the changed items are shown in either blue or red (blue for newly created items and red for deleted items).


Conclusion: Snapman can record a snapshot of your system so that you can compare two snapshots at any later time and see what changes have occurred during this time. It can be helpful in pin-pointing the undesirable changes made to your system by a malicious software and reverting them.

You can download Snapman from

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