If you manage a Windows XP peer-to-peer network, you
regularly need to be able to find out who is remotely using files on a
particular system. This task probably makes you wish that Windows XP contained
an updated version of Net Watcher—that’s the neat utility in Windows 98 that
showed you what files were open and who was using them.

Unfortunately, Net Watcher never made it to the newer
versions of the Windows operating system. However, Windows XP does come with a
command-line tool called Openfiles.exe that performs the same function (even
though it’s not quite as snazzy as its GUI predecessor).

To use Openfiles, all you have to
do is open a Command Prompt window and type:

Openfiles [/parameter]

where /parameter is one of three settings that you can use to configure Openfiles:

  • /Disconnect:
    Disconnects one or more open files.
  • /Query:
    Displays files opened locally or from shared folders.
  • /Local:
    Enables/disables the display of local open files.

You can find detailed information about additional
sub-parameters in the Windows Help and Support Center.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!