Start Menu Click History (Explorer UserAssist Data)

Today I’m going to focus on some of the new features of Total Privacy 5.1, starting with the Start Menu Click History Viewer (also known as Explorer UserAssist Data). This Viewer is available with Total Privacy (Privacy Items, Windows, Start Menu) and as a standalone freeware application.

Start Menu Click History

What does the start menu click history shows? Every time you open a program from the start menu, the date and number of times you used it is stored in an encrypted database. The Start Menu Click History Viewer reads the Explorer UserAssist Data from the registry and allows you to see exactly that information is stored in this location.

When first looking at the contents of this registry key one might think they have been infected by a trojan or something. But in fact, it’s EXPLORER.EXE, a Windows system program, that writes these keys.

The above screenshot shows the contents of a system with little over 6 months that has never had any cleanup performed. There are 1103 entries including references to local files, titles of web pages, .url files in favorites, and shortcuts. There are entries for things accessed only when Windows was first installed (like drivers). This means that Windows logs this information and never deletes the log data. In addition of being a very high security risk this also bloats the registry, which fragments it, slowing Windows down.

The start menu click history can be found at the following registry key:

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One comment

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