Forensics timeline using plaso log2timeline for Windows

As you may know, the popular tool log2timeline can be also used directly on Windows. But the question is, why do I need to use log2timeline on windows? The answers is quite easy, for performance purpose.

log2timeline is a fantastic tools, but the process of creating a forensics timeline can be long and time consuming, for this reason I prefer instead of using a virtualized enviroment, to use directly log2timeline for Windows.

In this guide, we will do a timeline using log2timeline for Windows.

First of all, let’s download the Windows version of plaso from the official Github repo (, then just look for the Windows 32 or 64.

Plaso for Windows

After the download, unzip the files, now you are ready to use plaso.

Let’s made our first timeline under Windows.

  • Open a cmd with administrator privileges, then move to the directory where you extracted plaso.
  • Use log2timeline.exe to gather the timeline data from your image.
log2timeline.exe plaso.dump drive_d.dd
  • Command explanation:
    • plaso.dump is the output file
    • drive_d.dd is the bitestream copy of the drive of which you want to create a timeline

  • You may choose the partition on which you want that log2timeline will collect data, in my case is p3 as you can see in the picture below.
Select log2timeline partition
  • You may also choose the vss (Volume Snapshot Service) that you want to include in your timeline. Press enter if you don’t want to include any vss.
  • Wait until the process is completed, it can last several hours.
  • When the process is finished you can run isort.exe for filter the timeline data.
psort.exe -z "UTC" -o L2tcsv plaso.dump "date > '2020-09-01 00:00:00' AND date < '2012-10-15 00:00:00'" -w timeline.csv
  • Command explanation:
    • -z is the timezone, in this case UTC
    • -o is the output time, in this case CSV
    • plaso.dump is the file created with log2timeline
    • date (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS) is the timeslot on which you want to create the timeline.
    • -w timeline.csv is the output CSV file

  • Now you have the CSV, with the data of your timeline.
  • For a better visualization import the csv into the xlsx file created by Rob Lee, that you can find at this link:
  • Enjoy your first windows created timeline!