I have observed that last "accessed date" of a file or folder on windows 7 does not get updated real time. It does not update even after refreshing the folder, renavigating to the folder and accessing its content and restarting the OS. How to update the "last accessed date" ?
According to Microsoft's documentation of the Win32 GetFileTime api:
NTFS delays updates to the last access time for a file by up to one hour after the last access. NTFS also permits last access time updates to be disabled. Last access time is not updated on NTFS volumes by default.
JanSchejbal is correct that the problem with last access times is performance, that it turns every read into an additional write. Microsoft describes how the
fsutil command can be used to modify the filesystem behavior.
The last access date has been disabled for performance purposes, as it turns every read into a write operation (source). You can use
fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 0 to enable them, but this will hurt performance.