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Windows 7: How many timestamps does Windows use?

11 May 2017   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
How many timestamps does Windows use?

As far as I understand, there are three:

Date created
Date modified
Date accessed

Is that all? Several webpages and utilities for changing the timestamp say so, but then I wonder about the extra date information available in Windows Explorer, like the following columns I selected which show no information at all:

Date acquired
Date archived
Date completed
Date received
Date released
Date sent
Date taken
Date visited

Are these official timestamps, or just extra information for third-party software to utilise?

As for "Date", which timestamp of the above three does that represent?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2017   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Do you know what I mean? Why no reply?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2017   #3

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan

Hi Foebane,

A good question.

The NTFS filesystem itself stores only 3 date fields for every filesystem item, which you have correctly identified: date created, date modified, and date accessed. All file entries on the file system must have a value assigned for each of these fields. Note that the “Date accessed” field is no longer updated accordingly since Vista (its use must be enabled in Group Policy from Windows 7 onwards) and is typically kept in sync with the “Date created” field.

Aside from “Date”, other date fields are derived from file type specific metadata, such as the EXIF specification of JPEG and TIFF images which may provide a date for “Date taken” and “Date visited”. Essentially, any third-party software package may implement its own file types that supply a value for these fields. I’m yet to locate a comprehensive list of which common file types influence which date fields.

Lastly, there’s “Date”. This is a calculated field, something that Windows Explorer does on the fly when listing directory contents. Jonas Heidelberg, a member of Super User, has gone to the trouble of analysing what this “Date” field represents. Read his original answer here. Basically, “Date” is the newer of “Date created” and “Date modified”, but file type specific metadata may also influence this field.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How many timestamps does Windows use?

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