How to Change the Date and Time Attributes of Files and Folders

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Windows Explorer lacks many useful features. One of them is that there’s no way to easily change the date and time attributes of files and folders. Not on an item by item basis and not in bulk.

There can be many reasons for wanting to change the date and time attributes of files and folders:

  • to differentiate certain files among a bunch of files in a folder
  • to make the file structure look more professional
  • just for fun

After a quick Google search, one can find several tools to do this. But most of them are not very efficient.

So, I created a list of requirements to narrow down the number of options and arrive at the best tools to change the date and time attributes of files and folders.

Here is my list of requirements:

  1. the tool is completely free (no payments, no donations, no trial versions)
  2. the tool can change multiple files’ attributes at once (no need to change attributes of files one by one)
  3. no registration or sharing of personal information is required
  4. the tool is secure (no embedded advertisement, no piggybacking potentially unwanted programs — PUPs)
  5. the tool is lightweight and portable (no installation procedure, just unpack and use)

My requirements seem simple, yet they effectively got rid of most of the tools available on the internet.

Actually, after applying my requirements only three tools remained:

Nirsoft’s Bulk File Changer is the only tool that does exactly what it should do and nothing else, while fulfilling all of the above requirements.

bulk-file-changer

Bulk File Changer — Change file time / attributes

The Stexbar extension actually has an installation procedure. The reason I included it in the list anyway is that it adds itself as a feature of Windows Explorer, which is really useful.

MultiCommander is a much more powerful tool with many more useful features. I use MultiCommander instead of Windows Explorer — it not only replaces Windows’ native Explorer but also supersedes it in a lot of ways.

multi-commander-change-properties-dialog-window

MultiCommander — Change attributes and/or time

To use MultiCommander to change the date and time attributes of files and folders, launch MultiCommander.

Within it select the files or folders, to which you wish to apply the attribute changes.

Then click Tools > Change Properties (Attributes/Time)….

In the Change attributes and/or time dialog window you can define the file/folder properties, such as read only, hidden, archive, or system.

You can change the date and time when the file or folder was modified, created, and last accessed.

And, finally, you can tell MultiCommander to apply all these changes to the current folder and all its sub-folders. And that’s really cool.

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