What Is USN Number?

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In the realm of computer systems and file management, tracking changes and maintaining data integrity is paramount. One crucial tool that assists in this process is the USN (Update Sequence Number) Journal, an essential feature of Windows operating systems. In this blog, we will delve into what a USN number is, its role in Windows file management, and its significance in maintaining the integrity of file and directory operations.

What Is USN Number?

The USN (Update Sequence Number) is a 64-bit integer that serves as a unique identifier for file and directory operations on Windows NTFS (New Technology File System) volumes. It was introduced in Windows 2000 and is designed to keep track of changes made to files and directories, allowing for efficient file system management and recovery.

Key Functions Of USN Numbers

  1. Change Tracking: The USN Journal records a unique USN number for each file and directory operation, including creations, modifications, deletions, and renames. These USN numbers serve as timestamps for these events.
  2. Efficient Backup: Backup and recovery software can utilize USN numbers to identify which files have changed since the last backup, streamlining the backup process by only copying the modified data.
  3. File System Consistency: USN numbers help maintain file system consistency by tracking changes and detecting any discrepancies or errors in the file structure.
  4. Enhanced Performance: By recording and referencing USN numbers, Windows can perform file system operations more efficiently, making it faster and more responsive.

How USN Numbers Work?

  1. USN Journal: Each NTFS volume has an associated USN Journal, which is a log of file and directory operations. It records the USN numbers, file names, and relevant details for each operation.
  2. USN Records: Each entry in the USN Journal corresponds to a specific file or directory operation and includes a unique USN number.
  3. Tracking Changes: When a change occurs in a file or directory, the USN Journal logs the operation with a new USN number. Subsequent changes receive incremental USN numbers.
  4. Querying USN Numbers: Programs and utilities can query the USN Journal to determine which files and directories have changed since a specific USN number, allowing for efficient backup and data synchronization.

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Significance Of USN Numbers

  1. Data Integrity: USN numbers are critical for maintaining data integrity and consistency on Windows NTFS volumes. They help identify and resolve issues in the file system.
  2. Performance Optimization: By tracking file and directory changes with USN numbers, Windows can optimize file system operations, resulting in improved performance.
  3. Backup Efficiency: Backup and recovery software relies on USN numbers to determine which files have changed, minimizing the time and resources required for data backup.
  4. Forensic Analysis: In digital forensics, USN numbers can provide a trail of file and directory operations, aiding investigators in reconstructing events and identifying potential data breaches.


The USN (Update Sequence Number) is a vital component of Windows NTFS file management, enabling efficient tracking of file and directory operations, ensuring data integrity, and optimizing file system performance. While it may remain hidden from the average user, the USN Journal and its associated USN numbers play a crucial role in the background, making Windows file management more efficient and reliable. Whether you are a casual computer user or an IT professional, understanding the role of USN numbers sheds light on the intricacies of modern file system management.


What Is USN For Students?

University Seat Number (USN) of a student acts as a unique identity number for the student in an institution. Recognition of USN is necessary in order to get information about the student.

What Is USN Number In Accenture Application Form?

In the context of Accenture’s registration process, the term “USN number” does not have a standard or commonly recognized meaning. The registration process for job applications or services at Accenture may require different types of information, but “USN number” is not a typical requirement.

What Is The Meaning Of USN?

proper noun. USN is an abbreviation for United States Navy.

What Is The Full Form Of USN University?

The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) is Norway’s fourth largest university. It employs 1,900 people and offers an education to about 17,000 students. We offer profession- and business-focused educational programmes, research and knowledge dissemination to high international standards.

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