Set the created, modified date and time properties for files and folders with Change Timestamp

You may have moved some files from one hard drive to another or switched computers. When you did that, the timestamps of your files might have been overwritten.

Set the created, modified date and time properties for files and folders with Change Timestamp

Maybe you want your files to have the same date for personal or work related reasons, or maybe your timezone or time settings were incorrect when the files were created. Whatever your reason could be, you don’t have an option in Windows ‘ UI to change the timestamp. That’s precisely why you may want to use third-party solutions.

Change Timestamp

Change Timestamp is a freeware tool that you may find helpful for editing the time related properties of files.  The program is portable, and the extracted folder is about 325KB in size. It has two files in it, an executable and a text document. Run the Ctime.exe to start the program. Change Timestamp’s interface has a small window with various options.

The New Date and New Time fields let you set a specific date and time properties for the files. Right-click anywhere on the program’s interface to bring up two more options. These allow you to set the current date and time as the values to be changed.

The two boxes below the date/time fields are optional, the first one makes the program preserves the original date of the file, and only changes the time when the file that was modified. The other setting does the opposite, i.e, it changes the date but retains the time setting. Change Timestamp can be used to modify three properties of your files; the date and time that the file was created, when it was modified, and the last accessed.

One you have configured the options that you want, it is time to put the program to good use. Here’s an example: a bunch of documents with incorrect created dates.

Change Timestamp example

To modify the properties of your files, drag and drop them over the Change Timestamp interface. It’s as simple as that. This is better than using a right-click context menu to achieve the same result. Besides, a Shell extension will require administrator privileges and also write some data to the Windows Registry. Change Timestamp avoids these completely, by storing its settings in an INI file in the folder that you extracted it to.

Change Timestamp example 2

The program is not restricted to individual files, you can edit the properties of multiple files at the same time. It also supports folders, which makes it a lot easier for bulk editing data.

Windows Search indexing

Note: Your file’s last accessed date may not be updated with what you chose, and instead Explorer will display the current time. This is not a bug, Windows indexes your files constantly. So as a workaround, open Services.msc and right-click on “Windows Search and select “Stop”. Use Change Timestamp again, and your file should have the last accessed date that you select. However, if you re-enable Windows Search, it will re-index the file causing the last access date to change once more. Disabling Search permanently is not something that I would recommend, because the “Last Accessed” property is not one that is important as the other ones.

Change Timestamp is a freeware tool, it works on Windows 2000 and above. Though the program’s official website is in Japanese, the interface supports English.

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