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Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

spying wife

by j2569 / January 10, 2007 2:45 AM PST

Here's my situation. I have windows xp pro. My wife is nosy. Almost every night when I go to work my wife checks to see what I have done on the computer while she has been at work all day. She knows every picture, video, and file that I have looked at that day. Nothin on the internet, just files accessed on the computer. Every CD, DVD that has been inserted in my burner. Every file that has been clicked on. How does she do this? I'm not doing anything that she cares about, it's just something she holds over my head to make her seem like a computer geek and me a computer NOT geek. Help please....

Discussion is locked
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Different question for sure...
by PKsteven / January 10, 2007 4:35 AM PST
In reply to: spying wife

All she has to do is look at history, recent docs, etc...or perhaps she has some software installed that tracks your info. If you want to try and throw her for a loop, download a software that takes snapshots of your desktop or other windows like Fastone capture. Take a screen shot of your desktop, set it as wallpaper, right click desktop \arange icons by\ then look down for show desktop icons, uncheck it and your icons dissappear. Then right click your task bar, properties, find the AUTO hide setting and the task bar will go down. Now, when she goes to look around, she will click on icons, etc...and nothing will respond since it's actually a desktop wallpaper. Make sure you don't capture the mouse cursor though, it's a dead giveaway. I have done this to quite a few as I laugh seeing them trying to figure it out but there is a chance she'll catch on right away. My wife isn't tech minded at all so I kept here busy for quite a while with this one, Wink


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no software
by j2569 / January 10, 2007 4:46 AM PST

there is no software installed...i have ran several programs to check for that....she only monitors windows...not internet....can u tell me where and how to check for all of these things? history, recent docs, and such...i thought she was just doing a search for modified documents but when i tried to test that theroy it didn't hold water....tried clicking on a picture, then do a search for modified files for today luck !

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Here's a Free Program That Erases Lots in 2 Seconds.....
by tobeach / January 10, 2007 3:14 PM PST
In reply to: no software

Get CCleaner (Freeware). It's not an AV but an extensive temp/cache/application cleaner.
Download (& print out for reference) the Help file (descriptions of items to be cleaned), then download, save & install either the "Slim"(suggested) or "Basic"(if you need additional language files) version.These versions are 100% adware/spyware free.
Additionally, add the download page below to your IE Favorites or Bookmarks list and use it to check for updates about once per month.
In "Options", click on "Settings" and uncheck:
"automatically check for updates" to prevent getting an undesirable (adware toolbar) version from built in updater link.
I run CCleaner immediately before & after each net visit as it only takes under 5 seconds to clean.I also have it set to auto-run at boot up. Note: It also has Overwrite of deleted items of 3x,5x times,7x available under options. Thats NSA level erasure. Takes longer.

Help file to print out:

Download Free Program Link:

You'll wonder how you survived without it. You're gonna Love it!!
Enjoy! Grin

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P.S.: You Can Also Set to NOT Put Icons on....
by tobeach / January 10, 2007 3:19 PM PST

Desktop or Toolbar (just to engender some head scratching).
Don't forget to visit "new program" on BOTH desktops (if more than one) so the "New Programs installed" highlight won't show up.


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Updated New Link for Help Files:
by tobeach / May 5, 2007 4:10 PM PDT
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Re: no software
by jason188 / January 12, 2007 1:36 AM PST
In reply to: no software

I noticed using Windows XP home edition there's a folder under the Documents and Settings directory titled "My Recent Documents" that appears to keep a record of recent files accessed.

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Fake Wallpaper
by medangit / January 12, 2007 12:51 AM PST

I love the wallpaper idea! I'v got a clueless 20 yr old daughter...that could keep her occupied all afternoon! I don't see any need for a marriage help...sounds like a little healthy competition to me. Keep's ya sharp!

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On a different note
by jackson dougless / January 10, 2007 5:21 AM PST
In reply to: spying wife

It's always important to ask the right question, and in this case, the question isn't how, it's why.

You and your wife should seek out a good marital counselor immediately, if not sooner. Nosy is still at the starting line choking on your wife's dust. This is not a healthy relationship at all. Seek professional help, be it a marital counselor or divorce lawyer. You'll want to keep in mind, that these sorts of pathologies rarely get better on their own as time passes. They tend to get worse, at an ever accelerating rate if left unchecked.

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I have just setup my WINXP Home with a password
by DarCLew2 / January 11, 2007 6:14 AM PST
In reply to: On a different note

No password no WINXP under your name.

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by Hopeitworkx / January 11, 2007 9:12 PM PST
In reply to: On a different note

What's more, "hiding" stuff will make her wonder what you have to hide.

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no marriage advise needed
by j2569 / January 11, 2007 10:28 PM PST
In reply to: Plus...

Apperantly you all don't understand. I am not hiding anything or doing anything wrong. It's more of a joke than anything. I am the computer geek of the house. She is just gloating than she knows how to do something I don't. She is holding it over my head showing off her superior knowledge !! Get over yer marriage counciling....

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by spydermanusn / January 11, 2007 10:37 PM PST

This isn't a marriage counseling forum, it's an XP forum. I did a quick search of the Microsoft KB and couldn't find ANYTHING on marriage odd. Silly

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Like I said
by jackson dougless / January 11, 2007 11:43 PM PST
In reply to: +1

It's about asking the right question. In school, I was never one of those kids who was whining about having to learn something I thought I'd never use. To this day, I still dabble in a little of everything. Which all helps me to see problems from a number of different perspectives, and be able to combine them all.

Not every computer problem has a technical solution, since very few computer problems have technical causes. Most computer problems are more social than technical. The problem isn't the lack of knowledge on the part of the user, it's social conditioning that prohibits them from exhibiting such knowledge. Knowledge is not valued by western cultures any longer. Instead, stupidity is now the desired trait to have. The real key to solving most computer problems, or problems of almost any other nature, is breaking down the social taboos on displaying signs of intelligence in people. Forcing people to not to rely on others so much, but to rely on their own abilities.

You're free to continue with your narrow minded view of the world if you wish... I'll respect your decision for as long as you respect mine.

Incidentally, I still stand by my original statement, but that's all the more I plan to say on the subject. Whether or not the person takes my advice is up to them. Though if they don't, I suspect that within 5-10 years, they'll be wishing they had.

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Be frank
by Amanda_Billows / January 12, 2007 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: +1

But If you have anything to hide, (i mean anything) why being so upset. Just let her check and double check...
Maybe she just want to be sure.

On the other hand, if you hide something, It could be annoying, coud'nt it?

Good luck.

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hiding tracks
by SteveL0227 / January 12, 2007 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: Be frank

Hmmm ... seems this person is asking a simple question: how to keep someone from knowing what they do on a computer. And a simple answer is to go to the History folder and delete the record for the day. Poof. Without using some technique for restoring the History file, one can't see how the computer has been used. There may be several History files on the hard drive, so a search might be needed to find them all. Also, a simple deletion of the Internet travel history (in IE, select Tools, Internet Options, then hit the "Clear History" button in the History panel), will remove Internet browsing tracks.

If one wants to delete record of what documents or spreadsheets opened or created, just go to the application and tell it to not keep a list of recent documents (say, in Word, open a document and select Tools ... Options ... click the General tab ... "uncheck the Recently used file list").

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thanx SteveL0227
by j2569 / January 12, 2007 3:04 AM PST
In reply to: hiding tracks

Finally someone who'd not tryin to be Dr, Phil !!! I care nothing about internet history, this is purely windows I am talkin about. I can't locate a history folder anywhere on my hard drive. I think she has it hid or something. Where is this folder usually located? How can I tell if it has been renamed or hidden?

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She's got your goat!
by dwegelin / January 12, 2007 10:05 AM PST
In reply to: thanx SteveL0227

Just simply ignore her until you figure it out. She'll eventually tire of it because she's not getting your goat anymore.

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how about this?
by linkit / January 12, 2007 12:40 PM PST
In reply to: thanx SteveL0227

If there is a spy program recording activity and it isn't as stealthful as it could be, it may be discovered in the Processes tab of Windows Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL). Google all the processes to discover the possible spy. You may also want to try HijackThis.

BTW, if your wife works for the NSA or, nevermind, I don't want to know.

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The fascist mantra
by jackson dougless / January 12, 2007 1:32 AM PST
In reply to: Be frank

Only people with something to hide have anything to fear from a police state.

I'm not implying you're a fascist, just that you're using fascist-style reasoning. It's also fundamentally flawed reasoning, but that's another issue.

I think I summed it up by saying it's an unhealthy relationship for the both of them if this is going on. There's a clear lack of trust, and you cannot have a healthy relationship without trust. So the person can either work to rebuild that trust, or cut their losses and run. Simple. Now it's up to them to make a choice on which path to take.

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Quite enough don't you think?
by PKsteven / January 12, 2007 3:10 AM PST
In reply to: The fascist mantra

Come on people, when I first started knowing things my family had no idea about with computers, I used to be a braggart and play little jokes as well and did this to my wife and oldest son. It's just his wife showing her knowledge and having fun. I have to freinds in college right now where their wives do this too, it's a technical prank is all.
Not to mention if anyone is giving MC advice, could you show your liscense\certificate or college level analysis for MC? I would doubt anyone is qualified here. The person is asking a technical question and this is obviously not a serious issue. I have to say, your answers are WAY TOO DRAMATIC.


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Spying Wife -
by tallin / January 12, 2007 3:17 AM PST
In reply to: +1

I certainly agree with you spydermanusa - Let's keep it as such, a wonderful forum spoilt by the original post/thread I was compelled to respond to.

Happy New Year to you all.

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Clear your tracks
by Oracle_360 / January 12, 2007 3:47 AM PST
In reply to: Spying Wife -

The "documents" section of your start button can be cleared by going into your documents and settings and deleting all the files.

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by Papa Echo / January 12, 2007 7:50 AM PST the looks of it, you are not the geek anymore. she is winning ! Join the game ! So, let her find something. E.g. a memo for yourself to buy her a present.... take her out for dinner.... A Mediterean cruise... ? Keep quite. Act the innocent, but keep the promise !

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by PKsteven / January 12, 2007 8:59 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmmm....

LOL, @ papa echo. Well, in my experience of almost 16 years, the wife ALWAYS wins. Wink


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Not trying to spoil the mood of fun, but....
by giedre11 / January 12, 2007 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: Geekathon

There are pc programs out there that once downloaded on the unsuspecting victims pc can never be found, as it hides itself that well. They are not cheap, running roughly around $100.00 or so. The person who placed this program on the unsuspecting partners pc can monitor everything they did without ever having to touch their partners is all emailed to them. These programs are also illegal. Oprah had a show on it some time ago.

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by PKsteven / January 12, 2007 1:00 PM PST

Hate to burst Oprah's bubble, but monitoring software is not simply "illegal". It highly depends on the situation, who's pc, work or non work environment, etc...Not all are illegal and not all are illegal in every circumstance or state or country. If I go to your home and install it on your pc without your knowledge, yes, if in my work place "my own business that is" then no if there is just cause or to make sure workers are doing their job. Where I work part time between pc repair, is for an insurance company, simply making welcome calls but we are monitored with software constantly, it isn't illegal. But as said, there are many circumstances. I don't know what kind of software you mean but installing typical monitoring software on your own pc is not illegal at all providing the software is legal.

I think this person's question is getting out of hand. Simply put, his wife knows a lot about pcs and he knows jack. She keeps showing him up and they are having a bit of fun doing so and he wants to know how she does it. He has stated her knowledge of computers and I doubt she needs to install such things. My son can't figure out how I know everything he does either, do I have software to monitor? No. I do think his wife has a high common sense as well. Wink

My last suggestion to original poster before this becomes Dr. Phil show, is this, go to Microsoft site, or some other site and learn a bit about computers. How stuff works is a great site to start as well. There are many pc tutorials out there, Google, Google.


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Lets keep this in proportion.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 12, 2007 10:30 PM PST
In reply to: spying wife

I agree with the others here who have seen that this is a bit of fun between spouses. Let's try and keep it that way.

There have been some good suggestions to get your own back. I particularly like the "False Desktop" idea. That would stump your wife for a while, and she would have a giggle when she realised what you had done.

The 2nd good suggestion was the, "Let her find a memo" idea, eg buying her a present.

Or, why not create a document, Word, or whatever word processor you use, and type on it in a large font size, "Ha! I'm watching!!". Save that with some innocent name and let her find it.

To find out more about recent docs, goto Google and researched What are MRU lists? (Most Recently Used).

You will find that most programs have an mru list in their File menu option.

Good luck, and have fun.


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Several options here.
by btljooz / January 13, 2007 3:43 AM PST
In reply to: spying wife

1. Learn how your computer operates. Your local library should have books on the subject. Take some short classes from your local school system, YMCA, etc. if available. I'm talking the one day a week for 6 - 8 week variety. You can even sign up with CNet's free courses here: . I'm sure that with some research you might be able to find other websites and/or forums to learn from, too. By doing this you gain knowledge that you can use for purposes beyond the reason you started learning in the first place.

2. While you?re executing the above, learn how to Network and buy your own computer so that each of you can do as you please without having to worry about prying eyes. (Won't THAT blow her mind?!) With your own computer, you can put a password on it so that she can?t get into it at all. Just don?t keep anything important on it like marital financial records, for example, so that if the unexpected happens to you she won?t have to worry about getting into your system to retrieve those all important records. (I found myself in that situation when my husband died. I still have his two computers, but I can?t get into one of them > the one with all our financial records on it!!...of course.)

3. Do as some have suggested and either ignore her (since she?s not really finding anything, anyway) and/or play your own prank(s) on her using one or more of the techniques mentioned (I, personally, liked the one that replaces the real desktop with wallpaper...LOL!).

4. Then again, you could confront her about her behavior and take it from there. That?s up to you and the situation you feel that you?re in. You might mention that you both need to share the knowledge you have about computers with each other so that neither of you finds yourselves in the situation I'm in with my late husband's computers. He did as she is doing to you in that he refused to teach me about computers so now I'm having to learn the hard way on my own. (I do, however, agree that if she?s spying on you she either, as you say, is head gaming you OR she truly has no trust in you. Neither of these behaviors is conducive to a good foundation for a positive marriage. Therefore, some marriage counseling surely can?t hurt. I?m speaking with the voice of experience here, too.)

Good Luck! I hope you two can come to an amicable agreement on mutual respect for each other's individual computer usage.

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(NT) Use CCleaner or put a password in your account and she won't
by Ryo Hazuki / January 17, 2007 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: spying wife
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Recent Documents are palces you use BUT
by DarCLew2 / January 17, 2007 9:10 AM PST

BEFORE you go off lineclick on Recent Documents, at the top is Edit, Select All and delete. No more Recent Documents.

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