I've been using InControl5 for 10+ years to take snapshots of Windows folders and registry while testing software installation packages. It takes a snapshot of the system before running the install program and then takes another snapshot when the install is complete. It compares the two snapshots and generates a report which shows files, folders and registry values created, modified or deleted.

It seems to me there might be a newer/better tool out there by now. Does anyone use anything else for this kind of purpose?


There's Sandboxie combined with an additional utility called SandboxDiff that might be able to do what you need. The author of SandboxDiff mentioned he had also previously used InControl5.


Have a look at RegShot !

"Regshot is an open-source (LGPL) registry compare utility that allows you to quickly take a snapshot of your registry and then compare it with a second one - done after doing system changes or installing a new software product."

  • I gave it a go, and although the UI is rather minimalistic, it does its job. The report actually looks rather fine - and having it as an open source could mean it will remain relevant and non-bloat. Thanks – akauppi Jul 15 '14 at 11:23

You might have a look at Total Uninstall. I've been using it for years and it's a very efficient uninstaller that compares snapshots before and after installation. Very reliable and highly configurable.

  • Note: their trial is restricted, it's not the Pro version. Means one cannot do comparisons or run it in a virtual machine. Obviously, such trial policy harms them themselves. – akauppi Jul 15 '14 at 11:25

Well PC Magazine has updated InCtrl5 itself, but since they started charging for utilities several years ago, InCtrlX is not free.

An alternate programs is ZSoft Uninstaller. I’ve tried a lot of these kinds of programs and ZSoft’s was the next best one to InCtrl; it works pretty well, is fairly effective at catching changes to both the file-system and registry without cluttering with too many false-positives, and unlike most programs in the category is actually free.

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