Computer Help forum

General discussion

Preserve the creation date of a word document

by Mark L. / January 27, 2013 7:28 AM PST

Is there any way I can preserve the original creation date of a word document that is going to be backed up to an external hard drive. When it goes onto the external drive a "new" creation date is made and it can be newer than the modified date. I am looking to preserve the original date of my documents that are going to be backed up and then put onto a new computer but I can't seem to be able to figure out how to do this.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Preserve the creation date of a word document
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Preserve the creation date of a word document
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Google this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 27, 2013 1:34 PM PST

Copy files and preserve dates.

This is not a native feature of this OS and you'll have to pick a better tool for copying files. I use SyncBack and GoodSync for this.

Collapse -
Dates for word documents
by Mark L. / January 30, 2013 12:59 PM PST
In reply to: Google this.

Thanks - I will have to try one of these products - I just thought there might be an easier way without having to get additional software but I guess not.

Collapse -
PS. Just looked.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 1:54 PM PST

Just for grins I edited a few documents and in the Word properties the date created stuck around fine.

Did you look at that information too?

Collapse -
You are right about that Bob ...
by Edward ODaniel / January 30, 2013 2:22 PM PST
In reply to: PS. Just looked.

but if you copy that same file to another drive the creation date becomes the date you copied it rather than the date it was created or modified.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 11:22 PM PST

As you can see, all is working properly here. The file was indeed created at the time the copy was done. Sometimes folk think this is broke.

You have a few apps to look at that copy and preserve the date.

And one more test. I sent the doc into a zip file (that's native to XP and more) and copied the .zip to a memory stick. I copied the document out and the creation date survived. Of course the access date was today.

Collapse -
memory stick vs backup drive
by Mark L. / February 1, 2013 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Yup.

So Bob - if I understand correctly - if the document goes onto a memory stick and then put back onto a hard drive, it will preserve the original creation date - which is what I want to accomplish. As Edward pointed out, files that are put onto an external drive create a new file and that date becomes the new creation date and although that may be the way the program is supposed to work, that does me no good as I want to preserve the original date of when the file was first created. So outside of getting some type of outside program - is putting the file onto a memory stick the only alternative and if so, do I have to put them into a zip file or can I just copy them onto the memory stick. Thanks

Collapse -
Only if it was inside the zip folder.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 1, 2013 11:30 AM PST

I'm using a workaround to the issue. Sorry but it's just that and at this point you should try it.

Collapse -
Another alternative might be to include the file date
by VAPCMD / January 28, 2013 9:01 AM PST

within the file name.


Collapse -
Good idea, but....
by Mark L. / January 30, 2013 12:58 PM PST

Thanks - that is a good idea going forward but I have a ton of old documents that will take a very long time to go in and manually change - but again - it is a good idea going forward.

Collapse -
You haven't mentioned ...
by Edward ODaniel / January 28, 2013 3:13 PM PST

the VERSION of Windows you are using if using Windows or your OS if using something else.

If using Windows ROBOCOPY can do just what you want if you familiarize yourself with its switches.

Read through this link and the links the thread points you to:

XP retains file dates if using the mir switch but not for the directories but if you run the same command again even the directory dates are correct.

Collapse -
Windows XP
by Mark L. / January 30, 2013 1:01 PM PST

Yes - I am using Windows XP - I wil tryout Robocopy although I am not that tech savy so any new program is difficult for me - just thought there might be something within Word that would work but I guess not. Thanks again.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Big screens for the big game

Still looking for the best TV deals ahead of Sunday's game? Here are our top three big screen picks.