Windows 7 reports file creation or modification times inaccurately

Posted on 2009-12-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Running Windows 7 Professional, I notice that file creation or modification times are reported inaccurately.  This makes it difficult to find a file based on its modification or creation time.  For example, there are files reported as modified "sixteen minutes ago" when they were not modified today.  I wonder if there is a solution for this?
Question by:ddantes
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    by:Todd Gerbert
    The modification time is probably accurate.  You may not have modified the file, but that doesn't mean something else didn't modify it.  Things like anti-virus software and indexing services will frequently touch files affecting their time stamps, you may have other services affecting the modification.

    What files, in what folder?
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    I can not reproduce your error.
    W7 Ultimate has no 'minutes ago' but exact time.
    Only date and time show when the file was changed.
    AV do not change or modify the file.
    So,do some testing on a file in the windows explorer
    to test.

    Author Comment

    tgerbert: Thank you for your comment.  The files which were reported as modified are data files.  Some of them contain text and some contain graphics.  

    senad: Thank you for your comment.  I stand corrected, the file was reported as modified at an exact time, not a certain number of minutes ago.   What file testing should be performed in the windows explorer?
    LVL 33

    Accepted Solution

    I'm like 99.9999% sure Windows 7 accurately reports file creation, access and modification times - are you sure you read the date & time correctly? ;)

    Do you share your computer with any other people?

    Do you have any software that runs in the background that might have modified the files?  

    Are they Word documents, Zip files, PDF's?

    Are they in your "My Documents" folder?"

    Author Comment

    tgerbert: thank you for your comment.  The files in question are in subfolders of "My Documents."  Many of them are html files.  After reading your comment, I realized that those files are sometimes scanned with an application which encrypts my Email address.  I tested it just now, and that scan resets the "Date Modified" time stamp.  I think this resolves the mystery -- thank you!

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