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How to modify timestamp in a dll or exe?
Windows equivalent of the Linux command 'touch'?

How can I set the timestamp for a file via the command-line to a specific date?

My specific situation is Windows 7.

  • 1
    You should probably clarify your question and state that you want to choose the new timestamp. The two current answers assume you are looking for a Windows port of the Unix command touch that sets a files's timestamp to the current time. Jun 3 '11 at 20:44
  • I've looked through Sysinternals, and I'm pretty sure they don't have a utility for this. You should try the programs linked to from superuser.com/questions/135901/… Jun 3 '11 at 20:50
  • @William Jackson Changed, thanks for that. Also, if it truly was a port of the Unix command touch, I could specify the date. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_(Unix). Something is wrong with the auto linking though, make sure you get both parentheses.
    – Joe Hansen
    Jun 3 '11 at 20:50
  • 1
    I ... can't believe I never bothered to read man touch. You have taught me something new. Jun 3 '11 at 20:56
  • Duplicate of Windows equivalent of the Linux command 'touch'?
    – Scott
    Nov 29 '15 at 1:37

Due to William Jackson's answer, I found a similar question on Stack Overflow.

The accepted answer states to use Powershell and these commands:

$(Get-Item ).creationtime=$(Get-Date "mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm am/pm")
$(Get-Item ).lastaccesstime=$(Get-Date "mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm am/pm")
$(Get-Item ).lastwritetime=$(Get-Date "mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm am/pm")


Two examples:

(This one is from the comments:) Set the last-access time for a file aaa.csv to the current time:

$(Get-Item aaa.csv).lastwritetime=$(Get-Date)

Set the creation time of a file foo.txt to November 24, 2015, at 6:00am:

$(Get-Item foo.txt).creationtime=$(Get-Date "11/24/2015 06:00 am")
  • 13
    A slight variation that is recursive and a little shorter, though less readable: "gci -rec | %{ $_.lastWriteTime = ($_.lastAccessTime = ($_.creationTime = (get-date "2011-09-14T07:10:00"))) }" Sep 14 '11 at 6:36
  • 11
    For people that don't know much about Powershell, you have to put the filename after Get-Item. You can also omit the string after Get-Date to set the attribute to the current date/time like the default behavior of the touch command. Finally you can pass that code as an argument to the powershell command to have it just execute that from an existing batch file. Example: powershell $(Get-Item aaa.csv).lastwritetime=$(Get-Date)
    – sjbotha
    Sep 4 '13 at 14:03
  • 2
    What if I want to do this for every file in a directory? Jul 26 '16 at 1:25
  • 5
    The date and time format is not as per the command, but the system wide one (so, in my system, it was dd/mm/yyy). Dec 5 '17 at 1:31
  • 1
    For every file in directory : Get-ChildItem -File | foreach { $_.CreationTime=$(Get-Date) } Dec 27 '20 at 18:24

See the answers to this question.

Specifically, this can be done natively with:

copy /b filename.ext +,,

This will set the timestamp to the current time.

Documentation for the copy command is on TechNet.

The commas indicate the omission of the Destination parameter.

  • 4
    Can you explain how that is working? What is the +,,? How do I know what date it is being set to?
    – Joe Hansen
    Jun 3 '11 at 20:05
  • 1
    @josmh Check the documentation link for details. The timestamp gets set to the current time when you run the command. Are you implying that you want to be able to change the timestamp to an arbritary time of your choosing? Jun 3 '11 at 20:10
  • 10
    I'm not seeing how that helps me choose a new date for the file?
    – Joe Hansen
    Jun 3 '11 at 20:42
  • 1
    Main problem with this is when the file is not in current directory... it will copy the file to current directory instead of "touching" it in place. Aug 9 '17 at 19:12
  • 2
    @KaseySpeakman - this command relies on being in the current directory. Use pushd FILEDIR, before the comand and popd after
    – Tydaeus
    Jun 25 '18 at 18:32

Nirsoft to the rescue: try the freeware tool nircmd. It's a bunch of useful tools in one small command line program. One of the commands allows you to specify either or both of created time and modified time, like this:

nircmd.exe setfiletime "c:\temp\myfile.txt" "24-06-2003 17:57:11" "22-11-2005 10:21:56"

  • 4
    Also if you want to transfer time from a file to another, clonefiletime filefrom fileto works best!
    – JasonXA
    Jun 26 '15 at 19:42
  • Non-commandline, but more convenient for bulk editing: BulkFileChanger by Nirsoft
    – SaAtomic
    Dec 4 '17 at 12:50

Using Cygwin, to set the timestamp of test.txt to January 31, 2000, at 00:01.00:

touch -t 200001310001.00 test.txt
  • This comes back with invalid date format error.
    – ziggy
    May 31 '13 at 19:06
  • @ziggy make sure you get all the zeros...
    – Joe Hansen
    May 27 '15 at 16:50
  • 3
    This worked perfectly for me touch -t 201608221400 filename to set it to 22.08.2016 14:00:00.
    – SebastianH
    Nov 24 '16 at 9:55

Check out the following webpage: http://www.stevemiller.net/apps/

The Win32 Console Toolbox contains a utility called 'touch' that lets you modify the times on one or more files. I believe it only works with US format times, though.

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