AlternateStreamView v1.58 - View/Copy/Delete NTFS Alternate Data Streams
Copyright (c) 2009 - 2023 Nir Sofer

See Also


AlternateStreamView is a small utility that allows you to scan your NTFS drive, and find all hidden alternate streams stored in the file system. After scanning and finding the alternate streams, you can extract these streams into the specified folder, delete unwanted streams, or save the streams list into text/html/csv/xml file.

System Requirements

This utility works on any version of Windows starting from Windows 2000 and up to Windows 11. Both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported.

Known Issues

It seems that starting from Windows 7, the standard 'Open With' dialog-box of Windows stopped working with alternate streams, and thus the 'Open Selected Stream With...' option provided by AlternateStreamView also doesn't work...

Versions History

  • Version 1.58:
    • Updated to stop the file system scan when you press the Esc key.
  • Version 1.57:
    • Updated to work properly in high DPI mode.
    • When the main window of AlternateStreamView is large, the status bar section that shows the path while scanning is also enlarged.
  • Version 1.56:
    • Added /RunAsAdmin command-line option for running AlternateStreamView as administrator.
  • Version 1.55:
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView failed to remember the last size/position of the main window if it was not located in the primary monitor.
    • You can now send the data to stdout by specifying empty string as filename, for example:
      AlternateStreamView.exe /scomma "" | more
  • Version 1.54:
    • Added 'Keep The Original Attributes On Stream Delete' option (Under the Options menu). By default, when a stream is deleted, the system set the Archive attribute to the file. If this option is turned on, AlternateStreamView will keep the original attributes of the file without any change.
  • Version 1.53:
    • Fixed bug: Scanning from command-line failed to work properly.
  • Version 1.52:
    • Added 'Entry Modified' column (Windows Vista or later).
    • Fixed bug: When pressing Delete key inside the text-box of the Find window, AlternateStreamView asked you if you want to delete the selected item instead of deleting a character inside the find text-box.
  • Version 1.51:
    • Added 'Run As Administrator' option (Ctrl+F11), which allows you to easily run AlternateStreamView as administrator on Windows Vista/7/8/2008.
  • Version 1.50:
    • Added new columns: 'File Modified Time', 'File Created Time', 'File Attributes'.
    • Fixed bug: for some files, the Extension column displayed incorrect extension.
    • Fixed to display the correct icon for folders.
  • Version 1.45:
    • Added /filename command-line option, which allows you to open AlternateStreamView with a single filename.
    • Added 'Explorer Context Menu' option. When it's turned on, 'AlternateStreamView' item is added to the context menu of Windows Explorer, and allows you to check the alternate streams of a single file.
  • Version 1.40:
    • Added 'Open Folder In Explorer' option.
    • Added 64-bit build.
  • Version 1.36:
    • You can now specify environment variables inside the scan folder (For example: %localappdata%, %appdata%)
  • Version 1.35:
    • Fixed bug: When searching with wildcard that is not *.*, AlternateStreamView failed to scan the subfolders.
    • Fixed issue: The properties and the other windows opened in the wrong monitor, on multi-monitors system.
  • Version 1.32:
    • Added 'Extension' column, which allows you to easily sort the streams list by the extension of the filename.
  • Version 1.31:
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView crashed when trying to delete alternate stream with long filename.
  • Version 1.30:
    • Added 'Files Wildcard' option, which allows you to scan only the files with specific name/extension.
  • Version 1.25:
    • Added 'Open Selected Stream With...' option.
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView failed to locate 2 dots stream names (for example - F:\MyFolder\..:stream1)
    • Fixed issue: AlternateStreamView failed to locate alternate streams on remote network drive.
  • Version 1.20:
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView didn't display alternate streams attached to the root folder of the search.
    • Added 'Add Header Line To CSV/Tab-Delimited File' option. When this option is turned on, the column names are added as the first line when you export to csv or tab-delimited file.
  • Version 1.15:
    • Added command-line support.
    • Fixed issue: Removed the wrong encoding from the xml string, which caused problems to some xml viewers.
  • Version 1.12:
    • Fixed the problem with icons on Windows 7/x64 systems.
  • Version 1.11:
    • Added 'Explorer Copy' option - copy selected files and then paste them into Explorer window.
  • Version 1.10:
    • Added support for choosing the folder depth of subfolders scanning.
  • Version 1.05:
    • Fixed bug: In Windows Vista, NTFS junction point to 'Application Data' folder created a recursive scan. In this version, AlternateStreamView automatically skip junction points.
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView failed to delete streams of read-only files.
    • Fixed bug: AlternateStreamView allowed to close the main window during scan.
  • Version 1.00 - First release.

About Alternate Streams in NTFS File System

NTFS system has a feature that allows you to add multiple streams in addition to the main file stream. When you open or view the file, only the main file stream is visible, while other additional streams are hidden from the user.

Here's 3 examples of alternate streams usage in Windows operating system:

  1. Favorites of Internet Explorer: When You add a Web site link into your 'Favorites', a .url file containing the url and description is created. However, if the Web site also have an icon (favicon), the icon is saved as alternate stream for the same url file. The stream name of the icon is :favicon:$DATA
  2. Downloaded files of Internet Explorer: When you download and save a file with Internet Explorer, it automatically add a zone information for the saved file. This zone information is used for identifying the file as downloaded file from the Internet. The stream name in this case is :Zone.Identifier:$DATA
  3. Summary information of files: When you right-click on a file in Explorer and go to the 'Summary' tab, you can add summary information for the file, like title, subject, author, and so on. This summary information is also saved into alternate stream. The stream name in this case is SummaryInformation:$DATA.
In addition to the legitimate usage of alternate streams, this technique may also be used by Viruses/Trojans/Spywares for saving data and hiding it from the user.

Using AlternateStreamView

AlternateStreamView doesn't require any installation process or additional DLL files. In order to start using it, simply run the executable file - AlternateStreamView.exe
After running it, choose the drive or folder that you wish to scan, and click Ok. AlternateStreamView will scan the selected folder, and then it'll display all alternate streams found in the selected drive/folder. After the scan is finished, you can select one or more alternate streams, and then delete them ('Delete Selected Streams' option), or copy them into a folder that you choose ('Export Selected Streams To...').

Command-Line Options

/RunAsAdmin Runs AlternateStreamView as administrator.
/FolderPath <Folder> Specifies the folder to scan
/ScanSubfolders <0 | 1> Specifies whether to scan the subfolders under the folder specified in /FolderPath
0 = No, 1 = Yes.
/SubFolderDepth <Depth Value> Specifies the folder depth to scan when ScanSubfolders is 1. If 0 is specified, the folder depth is unlimited.
/ShowZeroLengthStreams <0 | 1> Specifies whether to show zero length streams. 0 = No, 1 = Yes.
/Filename <filename> Loads the specified filename into AlternateStreamView.
/stext <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into a regular text file.
/stab <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into a tab-delimited text file.
/scomma <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into a comma-delimited text file (csv).
/stabular <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into a tabular text file.
/shtml <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into HTML file (Horizontal).
/sverhtml <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into HTML file (Vertical).
/sxml <Filename> Save the list of alternate streams into XML file.
/sort <column> This command-line option can be used with other save options for sorting by the desired column. If you don't specify this option, the list is sorted according to the last sort that you made from the user interface. The <column> parameter can specify the column index (0 for the first column, 1 for the second column, and so on) or the name of the column, like "Stream Name" and "Filename". You can specify the '~' prefix character (e.g: "~Stream Size") if you want to sort in descending order. You can put multiple /sort in the command-line if you want to sort by multiple columns.

AlternateStreamView.exe /shtml "f:\temp\alt.html" /sort 2 /sort ~1
AlternateStreamView.exe /shtml "f:\temp\alt.html" /sort "Stream Size"

/nosort When you specify this command-line option, the list will be saved without any sorting.

AlternateStreamView.exe /FolderPath "f:\temp" /ScanSubfolders 1 /SubFolderDepth 1 /shtml "f:\temp\streams.html"

Translating AlternateStreamView to other languages

In order to translate AlternateStreamView to other language, follow the instructions below:
  1. Run AlternateStreamView with /savelangfile parameter:
    AlternateStreamView.exe /savelangfile
    A file named AlternateStreamView_lng.ini will be created in the folder of AlternateStreamView utility.
  2. Open the created language file in Notepad or in any other text editor.
  3. Translate all string entries to the desired language. Optionally, you can also add your name and/or a link to your Web site. (TranslatorName and TranslatorURL values) If you add this information, it'll be used in the 'About' window.
  4. After you finish the translation, Run AlternateStreamView, and all translated strings will be loaded from the language file.
    If you want to run AlternateStreamView without the translation, simply rename the language file, or move it to another folder.


This utility is released as freeware. You are allowed to freely distribute this utility via floppy disk, CD-ROM, Internet, or in any other way, as long as you don't charge anything for this. If you distribute this utility, you must include all files in the distribution package, without any modification !


The software is provided "AS IS" without any warranty, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The author will not be liable for any special, incidental, consequential or indirect damages due to loss of data or any other reason.


If you have any problem, suggestion, comment, or you found a bug in my utility, you can send a message to

Download AlternateStreamView (32-bit)
Download AlternateStreamView (64-bit)



AlternateStreamView is also available in other languages. In order to change the language of AlternateStreamView, download the appropriate language zip file, extract the 'alternatestreamview_lng.ini', and put it in the same folder that you Installed AlternateStreamView utility.

LanguageTranslated ByDateVersion
ArabicAbu Rehaam01/08/20191.56
Brazilian Portuguese MCHAL06/06/20131.36
CzechŠtěpán Hašler17/03/20221.56
DutchJan Verheijen28/01/20231.58
German «Latino» auf WinTotal.de29/01/20231.58
Greek geogeo.gr21/01/20181.54
Persian DinoTechno31/01/20231.58
Polish Traxter06/08/2011 1.30
Romanian Jaff (Oprea Nicolae)29/12/20181.55
Simplified Chinese xkonglong15/02/20171.52
Simplified Chinese DickMoore15/10/20221.57
SlovakFrantišek Fico03/02/20231.58
Spanish arquer.net20/05/20091.05
Traditional Chinese Danfong Hsieh01/10/20181.55
Turkish HARUN ARI27/01/20231.58
Valencian vjatv17/02/20091.05