[Windows] Change date and time created, modified, and accessed for any file with Smart Timestamp

Smart Timestamp WindowBy default,  you cannot change the timestamp for files in Windows. The timestamp metadata displays the exact date and time that a particular file was created, modified, and accessed. You can, of course, change the modified/access timestamps by modifying/accessing files, but that isn’t the same as manually changing the timestamps yourself. Smart Timestamp is a free Windows program that allows you to change the date and time properties of a file easily.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Smart Timestamp will allow you to edit the timestamp of a single file or multiple files all at once. You can specifically adjust the creation, last modified, and last accessed dates and times for any file on your computer.

Pros

  • Can edit date and time created, last modified, and last accessed timestamps of any file type
  • Can edit a single file or multiple files all at once
    • All files within a specific folder and subdirectories can be edited simultaneously
    • Can filter the editing process so that it only handles specific file types (.JPEG, .PNG, .DOC)
  • Portable version is available
  • Leaves no trace that timestamps were ever edited
  • Quick, responsive and relatively lightweight (4MB of RAM)
  • Easily navigable user interface

Cons

  • Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (people on Vista and above will have this installed already unless you specifically uninstalled it)
  • No support documentation on the program
  • There is a donate version that you may purchase to support the developers, but it offers no additional features ($4.99)

Discussion

Smart Timestamp folder and batch editorI can’t think of many reasons why you would want to change the timestamp for a file on your computer, unless you committed a crime or you’re trying to keep yourself out of trouble, but Smart Timestamp will sure let you do it. Okay, I’m just kidding around, let’s start this over.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Smart Timestamp after starting it up is that the user interface is clean and simple. There are only two navigable tabs in the window, one of which is a file explorer that works exactly like Windows Explorer. The other tab, labeled “Select from Folder,” allows you to change the timestamps for all files within a specific folder. Basically, the section tab is for your batch operations when you want to mess with multiple files all at once.

Smart Timestamp about pageThe application window is divided into two parts: on the left hand of the window are the menus for the two available tabs, while the right hand of the window is reserved for the editing options. There are actually only three corresponding editing windows, one for each timestamp variant. Once you highlight a folder or file within the explorer window, you can then change the various timestamps associated with that file. As I mentioned above, you can change the creation date, modified date and last access date of any file within Windows.

In the select from folder tab, you have to select the directory location that holds all of the files you want to edit. You can tell the program to manage subdirectories too, if you so desire. One handy feature allows you to filter affected files by file type. So, for example, if you wanted to edit the timestamps for all .png images within a folder, you can specify the file type and off you go!

Smart Timestamp from Command PromptIf you’re feeling old fashioned, you can run the program from a command line or console interface. I don’t expect too many folks will be taking advantage of this feature, but at least it’s there if you want it.

Smart Timestamp is available in a standalone version (portable), or a complete install version. Either way, it requires you to have the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed on your system. The .NET Framework is always available, but for the most part you have to have the distinct version installed that is required for the program.

The standalone executable is only 316KB in size and uses 4,180KB (4.1MB) of RAM while running. That’s pretty much the exact definition of lightweight if you ask me. It goes without saying, Smart Timestamp is light on system resources.

It’s certainly great at what it does, and when you finish editing the timestamp of a file, or files, you’ll get a lovely pop-up window declaring what was edited. That way you at least know something happened with the program is done.

Conclusion and download link

Smart Timestamp Confirmation WindowIf you want to edit any of the timestamps for a particular file, or several, than Smart Timestamp will certainly allow you to do that. Smart Timestamp is portable, is easy to use, and will run perfectly fine from a USB drive, as long as the target system has .NET Framework 2.0 already installed. Recommended, if you need or want it.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.1.0.0

Supported OS: Windows (XP, Vista, Seven)

Requires .NET Framework 2.0

Download size: 247KB (compressed), 316KB (executable)

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? Yes

Smart Timestamp homepage

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17 comments

  1. James Colborne

    Hey great little utility. My media player indexes everything and displays by date, which isn’t always correct, so this way I can update my media library to store it by what I month I got the new file. This post and the utility was very helpful – thank you!

  2. David Roper

    It appears you need a program called a TIME STAMP program. Google it and I am sure you can find a FREE one. You can stamp any file with any date you need. I hope you are looking for this.

  3. Cindy Short

    Would this program do something like:
    “set createdate=modifieddate” for batches of files on Microsoft Small Buisiness 2011. Our document files were copied over, instead of being moved, to our new server and now all the files have the same created date (the date they were copied). These files will be used in a date driven program that looks at the created date and then applies whatever instructions to that date. Now that the Created Date is the same on all these files our program is virtually useless. Since the Modified Date for each file did not change when they were copied over to new server it would be a more accurate representation of the original Create Date and could be used if I could somehow change the Created Date to the Modified date. Thanks any help you can give me.

  4. Georgi

    Thank you all for your comments and feedback.

    About the .NET Framework issue.
    .NET Framework 3.0 and version 3.5 uses the CLR of version 2.0. Therefore, if you have Windows Vista, Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2 you should be able to run the application without installing new version of the Framework.

    For those of you who use Windows 8, I have provided another release build for .NET Framework 4.
    You can download it from the Smart Timestamp’s page: https://sites.google.com/site/gdkralev/smarttimestamp

    If you have any issues or suggestions do not hesitate to contact me.

  5. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@DoktorThomas] Huh? Most of the programs we review are good enough to be recommended. For example, this program: “Recommended, if you need or want it.”.

    Really the majority of unrecommended programs are the shareware reviews we do for GOTD because, well, most of them suck.

  6. Bozeke

    Many cellphones display pics and videos in thier directories by file date and not filename. The same applies with many cheaper mp3 players, especially the ones that you just pop in a sd card to play. Just a few of many uses to modify the file date. Personally I use Filedate.exe or Bulkfilechanger.exe, both from Nirsoft.net,

  7. apete

    Very useful. I do this all the time. When I download a piece of software, then the help file for it, then the registration file, they all have today’s date and I may need to reinstall it a later date. I usually sort by name in Windows explorer to group all the companion files together. But sometimes the installer starts with “setup . . . program”. Those I need to sort by file date instead. But when the installer is zipped and I extract that file, it gets the file date of the author, which could be years off from the companion files. Those extracted files are what I re-date the most, to make them match the date of their companion files for sorting in Windows Explorer.

  8. Bruce

    There’s nothing nefarious about my usage of something like this. If I’m making a package for distribution, it just looks more polished for all the files to show the identical time stamp. One that doesn’t look random.

  9. AFPhy6

    This is great, except for needing .NET ,,, sigh.

    I have occasionally needed this facility, and I somewhere I have a tool that will do this for on smaller disks, but I don’t know if it will work nowadays. I guess I need to snatch this just in case.

    One important use for a tool like this is if you wish to package a directory and send that single file to someone who will unzip it. Often it is advisable that all individual files in that package have the same time stamp so it is easily confirmed that the proper version of any file is available. I think good package managers should provide this facility as a default, and would be much happier if people distributing software used it.

  10. David Roper

    Back in my programming days, i would use the timestamp as my version number. For example 03/21/92 might be the date I compiled it but 2:21 am would be the version number 2.21. Get it?
    If I just compiled anything normally that would not be dealing with versions, it would be during daylight hours so anything marked 2:21 pm would NOT be a version number. Timestamps for Version numbers HAD to be in the am, at night time.

    Just Sayin’

  11. mukhi

    good: sometimes windows does not understand the “original” time created/modified/accessed when you copy from one drive/partition/folder to the other. in this case, this SW will rock to change it back to its original time!
    bad: if you want to recognize the “original” time created/modified/accessed, and somebody uses this SW to change it, you are screwed.