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What is the “Date” column in Windows 7 explorer? It matches no date column from Windows XP explorer

Notice the Date (modification date) column in the Explorer detailed file view. When I get properties of that file however, the dates are completely different. Refreshing Explorer did not help.

What is happening?

enter image description here

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marked as duplicate by Indrek, Canadian Luke, Diogo, Renan, Synetech Oct 12 '12 at 1:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

See What is the “Date” column in Windows 7 explorer? It matches no date column from Windows XP explorer. The Details pane makes it clear that the Date column is displaying the EXIF Date Taken info. stored in the camera photo, not any of the 3 date fields displayed in the General pane of the Properties dialog. – Karan Oct 11 '12 at 22:05
@Indrek and others - This question isn't a dupe; the one you link to asks what the Date column means. My question is asking why there's a difference in what that column shows compared to the file properties. To say differently, my question still stands even if I completely understand the answer to the other question. – Matt Oct 12 '12 at 21:48
Did you even read the answer in the linked thread? To quote, "The "Date" column takes the earlier of "Date created" and "Date modified", ignoring "Date accessed", unless there is a "special" date field such as an Exif-header in a JPG, which takes precedence no matter whether it is before or after other dates present". As I mentioned above, the Details pane clearly shows that the image has Date taken EXIF data in it as stored by the camera, so that's what takes precedence. You can add the other date columns to Explorer too if you wish. – Karan Oct 12 '12 at 22:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I got the same problem for years and searched for a workaround and a behaviour to sort files (specially pictures) to look on different devices and keeping a unique archiving method. I copied or moved entire folders for backup , etc ... In the end, I could not rely on file date. I constantly have to pay attention to date modified or created.

Have a look to some explanations at microsoft solution center. Description of NTFS date and time stamps for files and folders

A good solution would be to update date-modified and date-created in a batch process after copying or moving a whole bunch of files. For example, you could do it with a php cli script.

About your problem, you have date-created and date-modified, access-date and date-taken. All of it is the same the first time when you take a photo (jpg) in your camera. Date is generally date-modified, may differ according to file type.

To manually tweak file dates, I recommand you StExBar - Explorer Timestamp eExtension or dirdate

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When you're dealing with photos, it never makes sense to sort by date created or modified since those often get changed. The date/time EXIF data stored inside the photos is what is important, and there were utilities available for XP (including at least one I know of from MS itself - MS Photo Info) that allowed you to add columns to Windows Explorer for viewing/sorting by EXIF data. – Karan Oct 11 '12 at 22:17
I agree with you. The point is, these photos are being viewed on different devices (tablet, pc, media player, tv) and the date created or modified is still attached to the file and this date is used by software on these devices. I guess it is used instead of exif for speed considerations more than license fee. I have to live with this. Of course it would be better to have all the dates synchronized. – skyrail Oct 15 '12 at 22:39
If the devices cannot access the EXIF date in any way, you can always use a touch-type utility to modify date created to match the EXIF date. Of course, the problem is that copying files can often cause these attributes to change, whereas simple copying doesn't affect EXIF date stored inside files. – Karan Oct 15 '12 at 22:43

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