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Change any file or folder’s timestamp with NewFileTime

12 March 2012, Mike Williams

When you need to distribute a set of files then it can often be useful to give them all the same timestamp. In part this makes sure you’re not inadvertently giving away information (maybe you don’t want people to know that a group of files in some new project were actually grabbed from something you did years earlier, for instance). But it’s also neater, and makes it easier to identify the file later. If you need to know which version of a document someone has, say, then just being given its date – which is very simple to find – may be enough.

Windows doesn’t provide an easy way to modify timestamps itself, unfortunately, but there are plenty of free utilities around to fill the gap. And if you need a portable tool to carry out this kind of task then NewFileTime could be ideal.

The program is very easy to use, at least for basic changes. Launch NewFileTime and it’ll automatically set its default Modified, Created and Accessed values to the current time. Drag and drop whatever files or folders you’d like to change onto the program, click Set Time and they’ll all be updated accordingly.

Drag and drop in the files and folders you need, then update them to the current time in a click

If you only want to change one of those timestamps – Last Accessed, say – then clearing the Date Modified and Date Created boxes is enough to make that happen.

If you don’t want to use the current time, then you’re free to set whatever date and time you like. Or you can use various other options to set all your files to be, say, a day older, a week younger, or whatever suits your needs.

NewFileTime’s interface does have a few quirks, which can occasionally be confusing; we’re not entirely sure why you click a # sign to open the menu, for instance. If you’re looking for ease of use above all else then SKTimeStamp, which adds the ability to change timestamps to the Explorer Properties dialog, may be preferable.

NewFileTime’s additional options, small size (it’s a 56KB executable) and extreme portability (the program runs on anything from Windows 98 upwards) are plus points, though, and if you need to modify timestamps frequently then the program could still be a sensible choice.

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