[Windows] Keep track of files and add the date to the end of filenames with Append Date

Many computer users deal extensively with files every day. However, they often loose track of which exact version of a file something is, or when it was created. With Append Date, that’s not an issue: this little program lets you append the date to any filename with the click of a button.

What is it and what does it do

Append Date is extremely simple. To use it, just right click on any file in Windows Explorer and select the new Append Date option. It’ll add the date to the end of the filename–so if you had File.jpg before, now you’ll have File20120930.jpg or something similar. If you don’t like that format or want it to be at the beginning, Append Date can do that too.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Lets you change the date format
  • Append or prefix

Cons

  • Not all date formats work
  • Has an adware-installing extractor

Discussion

Append Date is quite useful if you are constantly changing files and want to keep a history of the older versions. You can just copy and paste it every day and make a new copy, rename it with Append Date, and keep going. In a way, Append Date is a very simple way to do single-person source control.

Append Date doesn’t really have very many options. Although it comes by default adding the date to the end of the file names, it also lets you add it to the beginning instead–prepending. If you do frequent command-line work, this can be quite helpful because it lets you quickly scroll through the days.

Conclusion and download link

There are lots of uses for a program that adds the date to the end of a file’s name, and Append Date is a great program to add it to them. There are several settings which would be nice to see, however: currently, there’s no way to create a new copy with the new name, for instance. However, even with that downside, it’s still a nice little program that lets you add a new aspect of control to your daily workflow.

Note: the installer downloadable from the developer’s site is an installer downloader with bundled adware. It’ll download the real installer onto your desktop. Be sure to uncheck everything!

Price: Free!

Version reviewed: unknown

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 155KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 4/41

Portability: Requires installation

Append Date homepage

[via Freeware Genius]

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10 comments

  1. Janet

    @Locutus:

    I installed to D:APPLICATIONS/COMPUTER AIDS to a folder I named AppendDate, and that is where it appeared, with all its program files…:-)….I always customize all related stuff to go to the app’s folder on D:, so a regular install may have put it elsewhere (?)…..

  2. AFPhys

    @Janet: Hi Janet.

    I still use, and like, XP. After writing note#1 here, I spent a little time searching for a “file versioning” add on for Windows. Many years ago now, I know that one guy had written something that did that trick, but as I said, I didn’t really dare use it at the time as it wasn’t actually incorporated into the file system, but added on top of it.

    I did discover what you wrote me: that since Win2003, Windows has had a capability of recovering old versions built in. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy ) Thanks for reiterating that for me. I did not realize that until today. Still, it really does not completely fill the “versioning file system” capability of the VMS operating system – it appears to me that you may be able to recover previous versions for some time, but eventually they will go away. The VMS file system automatically adds an incrementing number to the filename at each save, and each version is explicitly saved until you specifically purge it ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Versioning_file_system ). It does not depend on the amount of disk space allocated, or the time that multiple versions are present. It will only go away if you go to a directory and give the very nice “PURGE” command ( http://mx.isti.cnr.it/cgi-bin/conan?key=PURGE~Examples&title=VMS%20Help&referer= )

    I know that most people may not find use for that, but I sure fell in love with having it available.

    Still, this capability of Win2003+ may give me a real reason to go to Win7, which I have not had before this, even though the NTFS is still not as powerful as Files-11, the VMS file system.

    Thanks for your comment to me.

  3. JMJ

    Really useful app. The available customizations are perfect for me: Can add hyphens, underscores, even special characters, like © , by editing the ini file in the Program’s directory.
    Seems you have to run the Settings Wizard as Admin for changes to stick.

    Any suggestions on how (if possible) to make two-or-more different AppendDate’s appear in the context menu? For example, First, one that would simply append the date; and, Two, a second one that would append a differently formatted date?

    Nice find, Locutus… whoever you may be. :)

  4. Janet

    @AFPhys:

    Windows 8 is not the first Windows version to include a file history feature. Since Windows Server 2003, Windows has had the ability to automatically store historic file versions in a feature known as Shadow Copies. Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions) and Windows 7 (all versions) both include the same capability, calling it Previous Versions.

    See

  5. Janet

    From the ReadMe:

    “If you hold the Control key (Ctrl) when selecting Append Date (on files only), it will make a copy of that file then apply the date.”

    Also, worth checking out the MANY date format options (which can include time).

    Advice: Read the ReadMe…:-)…..

  6. AFPhys

    When working with DEC machines, using the VMS operating system, I became very enamored with having a “version number” which automatically incremented with each save. It really made it easy to keep track of things. … filename;1 … filename;2 … filename;3 … etc. Occasionally have to run through and purge the old versions to recover, but there is a very simple command to do that.

    I sure wish Windows and Linux incorporated such a practice, especially with cheaper and cheaper disk space. I have seen add-on programs to do it, but I have some trepidation about using an add-on for something so low-level.

    Has anyone here used such a program successfully?