As you probably know, whenever a file or folder is created or there are modifications made to it, the details of the current time and date are recorded in the file information and can be seen when you view details of the file. There is another date and time stamp recorded which is the ‘File Accessed’ information that changes when a file is touched. This though, has never been completely accurate as a lot of software doesn’t update the information properly, and also increases writes to the drive a fair amount. As a result the file accessed attribute was disabled by default in Windows Vista and 7.
Although it might not happen often, occasionally there may be situations where you want to change the creation or modification date and time of a particular file, folder or group of them. There can be many reasons for this such as making a uniform time and date in a folder when all the files inside have a wide range of dates. Or you could simply be sending a number of files to somebody and don’t wish for them to know the exact date when the files were created.
Doing such things as this through Windows can be quite a tricky affair, so it’s easiest to use a third party utility to get the job done. BatchTouch is a fairly simple program which handles the task of making it easier to change the creation and modification date and time attributes for multiple files and folders all at once. BatchTouch only comes as a portable application in a zip file which just needs to be extracted to the chosen location. The ‘BatchTouch Lib’ folder needs to be retained.
To add files and folders into the program, simply drag and drop them on to the window. A number of filter tick boxes are on hand to exclude various types from the list, so if you want to change the files and not folders or perhaps hidden files, untick the option before dragging the items onto the window.
The file modified and created dates can both be changed together or each individually. Both time and date can be changed to either the current system date/time, an absolute value if you want to specify one or an offset which will either add or subtract the value required from the originals. There are a couple of logical limitations on file dates allowed such as the modified date cannot be older than the creation date, and the creation date cannot be newer than the modified date.
There are also a few extra one click functions in the ‘Special’ menu such as updating all items to the newest or oldest one in the list or setting all entries to their assossiated modified or created dates.
When you are happy with your selection, press the ‘Go’ button. A confirmation box will be displayed with a warning that the operation cannot be undone. If you are not 100% sure it’s always worth testing on a few unimportant files or a backup first.
Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Server 2008. There is also a separate Mac version available on the website.