How to Change the Last Modified Date, Creation Date, and Last Accessed Date for Files and Folders

By 4 weeks ago

On Windows 10, file attributes are attached to every file you create or alter, telling you (or someone else) when the file was created, modified, opened, and maybe more. It doesn’t matter if you’re late with an assignment or just attempting to hide your tracks—unless you change it, the information will always be there.

You have a few options if you want to change file properties like these. To edit or remove this data, you can use Windows File Explorer or a third-party app like Attribute Changer, or you can utilize the new Windows PowerShell. Using these methods, you can alter file properties on Windows 10.

Removing File Attributes Using Windows File Explorer

If you wish to update the last modified date or other file attributes in Windows 10, your first thought would be to use Windows File Explorer’s Properties menu.

Regrettably, this is not possible. In File Explorer, you can view and alter some file properties, but you can’t change the last viewed, edited, or modified dates. Other personal data, such as author names for papers and ratings for media files, will be removed, as well as the ability to make a file read-only or hidden.

You’ll need to utilize one of the ways outlined later in this article—in part—to modify additional file attributes like your last changed date, creation date, and other critical file information.

  • To remove certain personal file attributes, open Windows File Explorer and locate a file. Right-click the file and press Properties.
  • In the Properties box, press the Details tab, then click the Remove Properties and Personal Information option link.
  • As we’ve mentioned, you can’t remove or change the file creation date or other essential file attributes here. If your file has other personal information attached, you can create a copy of the file with that information removed by pressing the Create a copy with all possible properties removed option, then press OK to save and perform the action. A copy of your file will appear in the same folder as the original file with your chosen attributes removed.
  • To remove this information from an existing file, select the Remove the following properties from this option instead, then choose the properties you want to remove. Press OK to save and remove this information from your file.
  • You can also use File Explorer to change or set other file attributes, such as whether your files are hidden or read-only. In the Properties box, switch to the General tab, then press either the Hidden or Read Only checkboxes to enable or disable those settings, then click OK to save.

To change the last modified date and other attributes, you’ll need to use another method listed below.

Change File Attributes Using The PowerShell

You may inspect and update file attributes for Windows 10 files using the attrib command from Windows PowerShell. You don’t need any additional software to use it because it’s supplied as standard.

This is a complicated method, but it is also limiting. Use the Attribute Changer programme provided below to make changing file attributes easier.

  • To start, open a PowerShell window—preferably with administrative privileges. To do this, right-click the Windows start menu and press PowerShell (Admin) to launch a new PowerShell window with admin privileges enabled.
  • Use the cd and ls commands to move folders and list file contents. Once you’re in the correct folder, you can list all the relevant attributes for your file by typing Get-ItemProperty -Path file | Format-list -Property * -Force, replacing file with your file path.
  • You can use the Set-ItemProperty command to change file attributes such as read-only access. To do this, type Set-ItemProperty -Path file -Name IsReadOnly -Value True, replacing file with your file name. For a full list of possible variables for this command, see the full Microsoft PowerShell documentation for more details.

The PowerShell will not respond if the change was successful, but you can check whether it was successful by entering Get-ItemProperty -Path file | Format-list -Property * -Force again, or by inspecting the file properties in File Explorer.

As previously said, this isn’t the simplest way to alter file properties. Third-party tools like Attribute Changer make this a lot easier, and they also let you adjust the latest changed date and other things.

Using Attribute Changer To Change Windows 10 File Attributes

The best approach to change file attributes on Windows is with Attribute Changer. In addition to the standard hidden and read-only attributes, Attribute Changer lets you change file access and creation dates, among other things.

  • An advanced properties box for your file will open—this is the Attribute Changer software in action. Check (or uncheck) to enable or disable various system attributes like hidden file or read-only access at the top of the File Properties tab.
  • If you want to change the last modified date or change the file creation data, press to enable the Modify date and time stamps checkbox. This will enable you to change the created, modified, and accessed timestamps—change these using the options provided.
  • Once you’ve made your changes, press the OK or Apply buttons. Attribute Changer will ask you to confirm the changes, so press the additional OK button in the Processing Confirmation box that appears.

Attribute Changer will switch to the Reporting tab and, assuming no issues, will list the progress of the changes and apply the changes you’ve requested. You can double-check this by right-clicking your file, pressing Properties, and viewing your file attributes in the General and Details tabs.

File Management On Windows

As the methods above demonstrate, there are numerous ways to update file properties on Windows 10 that will hopefully help you develop a better file management habit. To make it easier to sort and manage your files, you may start by switching to an alternative for Windows Explorer.

Don’t fret if you’re afraid about losing your files; you can also protect Windows files from being erased. In the comments box below, please share your file management suggestions.

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