How can I view a document without changing the "Last Accessed Date"?

Posted on 2004-12-01
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am using WordView to view MS Word 2003 files from my folder list.  Whenever I view a document (not opening it in Word), when I look at the Properties of the document it shows the "Last Accessed Date" as being the date I viewed the document.  Is there any way to view documents without changing the "Last Accessed Date" on the file?
Question by:lpevear
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment


    The implication is that Windows itself will update the Last Accessed Date whenever the file is accessed unless the application itself intervenes to prevent it.

    I'm using WinXP, and just looking at the properties of a file in Windows Explorer appears to reset the Last Accessed Date.  At least, the first time you do it on a given day, anyway.  I'm not really sure how that works.

    So, no, I think you cannot do what you want.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    If you know the last accessed date before opening, change the system date back to that date before opening. System time is access by double-clicking the clock in the absolute lower right-hand corner of the screen.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    No, but it takes about 20 seconds on the WWW to find software which will let you change these dates, so you can't rely on them being genuine if someone wishes to cover their tracks.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Well, guys, I admit you can find ways to fiddle with the system, but you can't legitimately do what lpevear wants.

    Actually, I'm not sure how useful the Windows "Last Accessed Date" is, if Windows resets it when you try to look at it...  I know on my PC (WinXP), it appears to do so whenever I open the Properties dialog, apparently if I have waited long enough (maybe a few hours?) -- I wonder exactly how it works, now that I've seen it.

    Author Comment

    Thanks to all who replied to my question about "Last Access Date" changing when you view the Properties of a document from within Windows.

    I found the solution to my problem:  If I look for the document in DOS, I can find what I want to find and it does not change the date, either in DOS nor back in Windows - so I'll just use DOS commands from now on to scroll through documents in this situation - thanks to all again.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Glad you found something that works.

    Please remember either to accept an answer or to ask a moderator to close the question and refund your points...

    Featured Post

    Threat Intelligence Starter Resources

    Integrating threat intelligence can be challenging, and not all companies are ready. These resources can help you build awareness and prepare for defense.

    Join & Write a Comment

    I'm writing to share my clumsy experience in using this elegant tool so you can avoid every stupid mistake I made. (I leave it to the authorities to decide if this deserves a place in the Knowledge archives.)  Now that I am on the other side of my l…
    This article describes how to use the Send to Mail Recipient command. The instructions apply generally to Office 2007 and later versions, but Microsoft® Word 2013 was used for the specific steps and figures.  What is Send to Mail Recipient? Send…
    The viewer will learn how to make their project stand out over others by learning how to change colors and shapes, add spaces, change directions, and add bullets to their charts.
    Learn how to make your own table of contents in Microsoft Word using paragraph styles and the automatic table of contents tool. We'll be using the paragraph styles in Word’s Home toolbar to help you create a table of contents. Type out your initial …

    734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    23 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now