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Windows 7: .eml files timestamps updated constantly

03 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit
.eml files timestamps updated constantly

I just got this Windows 7 machine in the last week. I installed my friendly Windows Live Mail, and the wonderful Synctoy. And I immediately discovered a problem. Synctoy wants to overwrite EVERY .eml file the minute I open Windows Live Mail.

It looks like any touch of a folder at any level instantly resets the modified date on every .eml in the folder to the current date and time.

It may be that Windows Explorer is doing it, but I think it is Windows Live Mail. If I save a single email to any level of the foler, all other emails in that folder get the same date modified.

So I have hundreds of overwrites in Synctoy trying to back it up.

I would like a fix. Glad to help with any other experimentation or other.

I am Syncing between this Windows 7 desktop and my Windows Vista laptop. I don't think the operating system conflict is the problem. It worked just fine when the desktop was XP.

Help! I noticed a similar thread in the Synctoy forums, but I think this is related to either Windows Live Mail or Windows Explorer in windows 7 only.

Thanks. Any other information needed here? I searched the forums and found nothing like this problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, it must be a busy world in Windows 7 out there. I have no response to this probem at all - but it went away. I do have a new wrinkle on it - the .eml files now will not let me delete them unless I delete all their properties. But that is a lot less grief than the hundreds of write overs that it was causing before.

If some wizard at Microsoft fixed the .eml updating problem - thanks. But you somehow altered all of them now so that I cannot easily delete them. Next time, perhaps.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

I have the same problem with Windows Live Mail *.eml files that have been archived to Windows Explorer folders. I use the Heatsoft ADCS program for synchronization of folders across the LAN and some of the *.eml files were setting the modified date to the current date on sync over copy. I traced this behavior to the Indexing Feature for Searching in Windows 7 x64 Version, but if any *.eml file is selected or viewed using the Explorer then the date stamp is changed to the current date/time. This is causing a real problem synchronizing the folders during the archiving backup process! Do you or anyone else know of a Fix for this Bug - It's driving me Crazy! ! ! ! - - - Shorto
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit

The "cannot delete" eml problem went away after I deleted the registry entry:

Delete the .eml entry.

That appears to be related to Windows Live Mail and Windows 7.
The constant date update seems to be related to windows indexing.
There is another thread with that discussion.

That thread is over here:
Cannot delete .eml files

Good luck with that!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit

Here's another forum thread that seems related.
Deleting the .eml thing seems to work for some folk - some not.
Bug copying .eml-Files, time stamp changed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Thanks CarlS for the reply. I researched the links that you posted and believe I have a better understanding of what is causing the time stamp issue for *.eml files! I had not encountered the Unable to Delete problem thatI can remember, but as I stated in a previous entry the Sync time stamp change problem using the Heatsoft Advanced Directory Comparison and Synchronization (ADCS) program was fixed by disabling the indexing of .eml files on the control panel-indexing options-advanced button-files types Tab. The time stamp update to the modified date of *.eml files when selected or viewed in the Windows Explorer window was fixed by removing the Registry Key entry – Don’t forget to Export the Key to save the original key before you remove it so you can add it back if needed:
Then - Rebooting the Computer. I hope the Registry removal does not cause other issues – I will keep a watch out for it.
As I understand it from reading the posts, this time stamp updating to the current date was caused by the system writing to the Properties Cache location when the .eml file was selected or viewed thereby changing the date to current. I can’t believe this Bug has not been fixed by Microsoft and is active all the way back to Vista OPS’s. It’s probably because not many users archive *.eml files to Hard Drive folders, but I do all the time to keep a history of important E-mails! (I.e. Product Keys, Support Correspondence, Certifications, etc.) This Bug has been Bugging Me for a long time and I finally got around to fixing it, now my Synchronized Backups will keep the Original Time Stamps. Thanks again CarlS and all you other Guy’s/Gal’s that look for and post solutions for the rest of us, the Help is Greatly Appreciated! - - - Regards - Shorto
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I've a similar problem:
I've many emails (.eml files) stored in a folder on my PC and I use a program to synchronize this folder on an external hard disk. But, every time I do the synchronization, these .eml files always seem to be modified, even though they have never been opened or modified by me!
So I've to synchronize these files each time uselessly transferring many GBs and losing a lot of time...
I want to say that I have this problem only with Windows 7 64 bit and .eml files. Instead in Windows XP everything is working correctly.
How can I avoid this annoying problem?
Please help me.
Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2012   #8

windows7 ultimate 64bit
change EML files permissions to read only

Hi Carls,
Maybe you should take my reply as favour as I just subscribed to sevenforums.
I encountered similar problems when managing eml files and found a good enough solution.
The only thing we have in comon is w7 64bits and windows live mail.

This is my project: I download private messages from a facebook account to a folder on disk. This messages will be accessible in any email client, through an IMAP local server.
in windows, I use Mdaemon. You could do the same with courier-imap on linux.
The download process is implemented in a php script that use facebook graph api and copy files in imap server folders for a given user account. The file basename string can be anything 13 characters long and extension eml.
Put the file in "Sent Items.IMAP" or at the account folder root for mdaemon (.imap folder is needed)

You're almost done.

In IMAP client, the column date sent is the date field in the message header, and the column date is the file lastmodified date on disk.
This is the date that is always modified by explorer whenever you touch the file.
But if it is read-only, the file keep its date. This is the clue.

I have two problems: column date must be the field date and It must not be altered by the system.

To solve it, first I write the file to disk, then read the field date in the message header
(or a variable), then make a php touch($path, $date).
And finally, I change permissions with chmod($path, 0444)
Don't ask me why it is 0444 on windows and not 444 (which does nothing)

Now go and see your file list with correct last-modified dates. Have a look to you IMAP folder, you got the same in column date.

It's perfect. I can browse windows dir and never change the file date. I can delete files or rename, change permissions or dates manually.
I recommand you this tool: StExBar - Explorer Timestamp Extension

I suggest you use a script to do the job of modifying message file date and give permissions readonly, for all your eml files.
It should be easy to implement using php in command line.

I think it shoud solve you problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2017   #9

Window 10 x64
Mysterious update of .eml files

Solved!!! By a suggestion from Mr. Spigolo, on the Microsoft Support site.

Simply remove the .eml extension from the Indexing Options Advanced page,

in the Control Panel! It DOES work!

Thanks, Mr. Spigolo!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 .eml files timestamps updated constantly

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