How to Easily View Recently Modified Files in Windows


Assuming you have it set up right, Windows Search is pretty powerful. Today, we’ll show you how to find files you’ve recently modified, and how to save those searches for quick access any time.

We’re going to be searching directly from File Explorer in this article, though that’s just one of the ways to search files in Windows. There are times you’ll want to search for files that have been recently created or modified. Maybe you recently changed a file, but can’t remember where you saved it. Or maybe you accidentally allowed a third party software installation, and want to locate those files quickly. Whatever the reason, it’s easy enough to find files based on their time stamps.

Understanding File Time Stamps

Every file on a Windows system has one or more time stamps. The three primary time stamps you’ll work with include:

  • Date Created: The date and time when the current instance of the file was created. This value is set and Windows itself will not change the value. Some third party tools do allow you to change this value.
  • Date Modified: The date and time the file was last written (i.e, when its contents were last modified). Renaming the file doesn’t change this time stamp. Neither does opening the file without making any changes to it.
  • Date Accessed: The date—and on NTFS volumes, the time—when the file was last accessed for either reading or writing.

There are also a number of other times stamps available in Windows that are used on certain file types, or under certain circumstances. For example, a Date Taken time stamp is recorded when images are captured with a camera. Other time stamps may be created and used by certain applications. For example, backup software can make use of a Date Archived time stamp and some office applications make use a Date Completed time stamp to mark a finished document.

View Time Stamps in File Explorer

You can easily view time stamp information for items in File Explorer. To view details for a single file, right-click that file and choose “Properties” from the context menu.

In the file’s properties window, switch to the “Details” tab, and then scroll down toward the bottom.

If you want to view the time stamp information for all items at a glance, you can do so in File Explorer’s Details view. In the File Explorer window, on the “View” tab, click the “Details” option. This switches your view to a column layout.

By default, only a column for the “Date Modified” time stamp is shown. To add other time stamps, right-click anywhere on the column header, and then choose the “More” option.

In the “Choose Details” window, scroll down a bit, and you’ll see a lot of “Date” entries. Choose the ones you want, and then click the…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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