Installer Observer title

By Zachary Schneirov

Find out all the dirty things that installers and other programs do behind your back.



What is Installer Observer?

Installer Observer is a program designed to aid a user in determining exactly what an installer has done to his or her computer. Installer Observer can discover all changes that an installer has made by essentially comparing before and after states of the system. From this comparison, Installer Observer locates all files that have been added, changed, or removed, and presents them to the user in a neat, comprehensible format.


How is this useful?

Installer Observer gives the user far more control over the files on his or her computer by allowing him or her to see all changes-relevant and irrelevant-that a program makes to those files. Because Installer Observer scans the system independently of the program that made the changes, it can be used to detect changes made not only by installers, but by suspicious programs, trojan horses, viruses, and even other users. Furthermore, with Installer Observer's powerful features, the user will never be at loss when dealing with those changes. Several applications for Installer Observer include

  • Ensuring that a computer system remains stable
  • Quick and efficient system maintenance
  • A virus checker
  • Heightened computer security
  • Detecting unauthorized usage of a computer


Contact Information

Send me any suggestions, questions, and feedback that you might have that so I can make Installer Observer better!



Version History


New in 3.0.2:

-Fixed an error that caused a message to be displayed and the package installation to be cancelled when unpackaging a file with no data fork.
-Fixed a graphical glitch involving light text being displayed in the graphical file path section of the observations window when using a Kaleidoscope color scheme with dark colors.
-Minor changes to documentation and web site

New in 3.0.1:

-Typing command-"." while examining system states will not cause other windows to also be dismissed
-Scans can now be cancelled with command-"." in addition to examinations
-Graphical glitch which arose when creating packages has been fixed

New in 3.0:

New Features:

-Compare two saved system states
-Create "packages" from observations
-Scan any folder or group of folders on any disk, recursively or within the first level only
-Exclude folders recursively or normally
-Option to observe package installations
-Controllable through AppleScript


-10,000% percent speed increase when examining a folder "in greater depth."
-Observations window contains many more details about a file
-Multiple selections in Observations window for batch labeling, commenting, moving, or deleting
-Option to view changes by folder in Observations window
-See an autoscrolling graphical file path in Observations window or a normal textual file path
-More efficient system of storing preferences and folder sets


-The option of whether or not to scan all subfolders is now set within individual folder sets
-Layout changed in main window
-Observations window uses three column-view
-Observations window is resizable
-More sounds!

Download Installer Observer 3.0.2

Link: Download Page



© 2000 Zachary Schneirov