When highlighting filename, is data changed in the file?

Jan 23, 2020 5:36PM PST

Hello everyone!

I have my Windows 10 in danish, so I hope, I use the correct terms and names.

When I do the following with an image-file:
Right click on the file, press “change name / rename”, or left double click, so the name gets highlighted, and then left click with the mouse outside of the name-field. No changes made to the filename.

Is this only a process in memory?
Is there data changed / written to the file?
How can I verify / find out?

Thank you for reading and replying

Best regards


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There are tools to spy on disk I/O
Jan 23, 2020 6:43PM PST

But I won't offer a tutorial on their use. So on with the questions.

1. Does the file get written to?
Should be no but as Windows is never the same from PC to PC I'm writing as-if this is a clean install without any alterations.

What can change is not the file but the date of access since Windows File Explorer will OPEN the file to see if it can make an icon for the file. This icon is kept in another file in said folder but that activity can cause the file dates (of which there are three) to change.

2. Is this only a process in memory.
No. See answer 1.

3. is there data changed.
Given the caveats above, no to the file but yes to the file date and icon datafile.

4. How can I verify?
Use a file comparison tool to compare your test file against the backup copy.
Or use a CRC checksum tool to see if the file content changes.
Or use a file i/o sniffer tool like Process Monitor. Tutorials abound so I won't write one. Example:

Post was last edited on January 24, 2020 3:15 AM PST

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Re: icon
Jan 24, 2020 12:43AM PST

I think you're wrong with your answer to question one. As far as I know, the icon is determined by the file extension (.docx, .pdf etc), not by the file contents. So there is no need to access the file itself.
Moreover, the icon already is on the screen when you start with the right click.

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Examples where the icon varies.
Jan 24, 2020 3:19AM PST

1. JPEGs and other images.
2. EXE files when I alter it's image in the .exe.

For documents and spreadsheets they all use the same icons. HOWEVER there's more.

3. MP3 files for example must be opened and read for Windows File Explorer to show other details such as duration, artist etc.

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Thanks for the added details and correction.
Jan 24, 2020 3:29AM PST


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Makes sense
Jan 24, 2020 7:30PM PST

That the file metadata etc. is being read

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which type of Icon
Jan 24, 2020 4:40AM PST

We are intelligent technology developers and we are working on projects our problem my file is getting a problem in loading so we changed their extension (icon) but the result is zero so what for next can help us.

Moderator Note: Link disabled so this is not spam. Also, your question is not the same as the original poster so you may not get a reply. Please top post your new unique question.

Post was last edited on January 24, 2020 8:45 PM PST

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Answering further
Jan 24, 2020 7:27PM PST

1 ) I have a legal clean install of Windows 10. No alterations etc. has been made.

2 ) Normally "open date" is only changed, when an actual software opens the file. Windows is by default, not set to change the last opened time.
I have show hidden files, and when i open af document, a copy is made in the folder, this does not happen when only highlighting name of the file.

3 ) Icon data file? Why should this change, as long as the format and software to open with is unchanged?

4 ) I have looked at Proces Monitor, and the column "Disk", here it stays at 0 when highlighting filename. Can I take that as verification?

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Re: answers
Jan 25, 2020 1:13AM PST

Your #4 seems a good way to see if anything is writtten to the file. Other ways I can imagine are:
- see afterwards if the change date is changed
- remove the USB stick it's on and see if you get an error message

But I think it's just a change in the screen and in the memory of File Explorer, not in the file system.

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Good suggestions
Jan 26, 2020 8:20AM PST

The "change date" is not being changed. Also not changed for the folder contaning the file.

Good idea with the USB, unless the folder closes when I take it out.

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