File modification time

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File modification time
You are encouraged to solve this task according to the task description, using any language you may know.
File modification time
You are encouraged to solve this task according to the task description, using any language you may know.

This task will attempt to get and set the modification time of a file.


[edit] Ada

Ada does not allow you to change the date of a file but you can definitely read it:

with Ada.Directories;          use Ada.Directories;
with Ada.Text_IO; use Ada.Text_IO;
with Ada.Calendar.Formatting; use Ada.Calendar.Formatting;
procedure File_Time_Test is
Put_Line (Image (Modification_Time ("file_time_test.adb")));
end File_Time_Test;

[edit] ALGOL 68

Definition of the PROC is lifted from the Algol68 Genie documentation.

PROC get output = (STRING cmd) VOID:
IF STRING sh cmd = " " + cmd + " ; 2>&1";
STRING output;
execve output ("/bin/sh", ("sh", "-c", sh cmd), "", output) >= 0
THEN print (output) FI;
get output ("rm -rf WTC_1"); CO Ensure file doesn't exist CO
get output ("touch WTC_1"); CO Create file CO
get output ("ls -l --time-style=full-iso WTC_1"); CO Display its last modified time CO
get output ("touch -t 200109111246.40 WTC_1"); CO Change its last modified time CO
get output ("ls -l --time-style=full-iso WTC_1") CO Verify it changed CO
-rw-r--r-- 1 pcl pcl 0 2015-08-10 17:57:50.279854695 +0100 WTC_1
-rw-r--r-- 1 pcl pcl 0 2001-09-11 12:46:40.000000000 +0100 WTC_1

[edit] AutoHotkey

FileGetTime, OutputVar, output.txt
MsgBox % OutputVar
FileSetTime, 20080101, output.txt
FileGetTime, OutputVar, output.txt
MsgBox % OutputVar

[edit] AWK

Works with: gawk
@load "filefuncs"
name = "input.txt"
# display time
stat(name, fd)
printf("%s\t%s\n", name, strftime("%a %b %e %H:%M:%S %Z %Y", fd["mtime"]) )
# change time
cmd = "touch -t 201409082359.59 " name

Non-GNU awk's don't have direct access to the filesystem but can execute system-commands.

#!/bin/awk -f
BEGIN { # file modification time on Unix, using stat
fn ="input.txt"
cmd="stat " fn
print "#", cmd
system(cmd) # just execute cmd
cmd="stat -c %Y " fn # seconds since the epoch
print "#", cmd
cmd="stat -c %y " fn # human-readable format
print "#", cmd
print "##"
cmd | getline x # get output from cmd
#print x
n=split(x,stat," ")
#for (i in stat) { print i, stat[i] }
print "file:", fn
print "date:", stat[1], "time:", stat[2]
### change filetime with touch:
cmd="touch -t 201409082359.59 " fn
print "#", cmd; system(cmd)
cmd="stat " fn
print "#", cmd; system(cmd)
# stat input.txt
  File: `input.txt'
  Size: 126       	Blocks: 8          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 700h/1792d	Inode: 2195620     Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: (   48/  apache)   Gid: (   48/  apache)
Access: 2014-11-05 20:18:39.000000000 -0600
Modify: 2014-11-05 20:18:39.000000000 -0600
Change: 2014-11-05 20:18:39.000000000 -0600
# stat -c %Y input.txt
# stat -c %y input.txt
2014-11-05 20:18:39.000000000 -0600
file: input.txt
date: 2014-11-05 time: 20:18:39.000000000
See also

File modification time#Batch_File, #Run_BASIC, #UNIX_Shell

[edit] Batch File

Works with: Windows NT version 4
for %%f in (file.txt) do echo.%%~tf

The date/time format is dependent on the user's locale, like the contents of the %DATE% and %TIME% built-ins. There is no built-in way of setting a file's modification time.

[edit] BBC BASIC

      DIM ft{dwLowDateTime%, dwHighDateTime%}
DIM st{wYear{l&,h&}, wMonth{l&,h&}, wDayOfWeek{l&,h&}, \
\ wDay{l&,h&}, wHour{l&,h&}, wMinute{l&,h&}, \
\ wSecond{l&,h&}, wMilliseconds{l&,h&} }
REM File is assumed to exist:
file$ = @tmp$ + "rosetta.tmp"
REM Get and display the modification time:
file% = OPENIN(file$)
SYS "GetFileTime", @hfile%(file%), 0, 0, ft{}
CLOSE #file%
SYS "FileTimeToSystemTime", ft{}, st{}
date$ = STRING$(16, CHR$0)
time$ = STRING$(16, CHR$0)
SYS "GetDateFormat", 0, 0, st{}, 0, date$, LEN(date$) TO N%
date$ = LEFT$(date$, N%-1)
SYS "GetTimeFormat", 0, 0, st{}, 0, time$, LEN(time$) TO N%
time$ = LEFT$(time$, N%-1)
PRINT date$ " " time$
REM Set the modification time to the current time:
SYS "GetSystemTime", st{}
SYS "SystemTimeToFileTime", st{}, ft{}
file% = OPENUP(file$)
SYS "SetFileTime", @hfile%(file%), 0, 0, ft{}
CLOSE #file%

[edit] C

[edit] POSIX utime()

utime() has a precision of one second. This program would truncate the time to the last second, losing precision if the filesystem is more precise.

Library: POSIX
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <time.h>
#include <utime.h>
const char *filename = "input.txt";
int main() {
struct stat foo;
time_t mtime;
struct utimbuf new_times;
if (stat(filename, &foo) < 0) {
return 1;
mtime = foo.st_mtime; /* seconds since the epoch */
new_times.actime = foo.st_atime; /* keep atime unchanged */
new_times.modtime = time(NULL); /* set mtime to current time */
if (utime(filename, &new_times) < 0) {
return 1;
return 0;

[edit] BSD utimes()

With BSD, utime() is obsolete. utimes() has a precision of 1 microsecond (where 1 second = 1000000 microseconds).

Library: BSD libc
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <sys/time.h>
#include <err.h>
const char *filename = "input.txt";
int main() {
struct stat foo;
struct timeval new_times[2];
if (stat(filename, &foo) < 0)
err(1, "%s", filename);
/* keep atime unchanged */
TIMESPEC_TO_TIMEVAL(&new_times[0], &foo.st_atim);
/* set mtime to current time */
gettimeofday(&new_times[1], NULL);
if (utimes(filename, new_times) < 0)
err(1, "%s", filename);
return 0;

[edit] POSIX utimensat()

utimensat(2) has a precision of 1 nanosecond (where 1 second = 10**9 nanoseconds). Program needs to be linked with -lrt.

Library: POSIX
Works with: POSIX version -1.2008
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <sys/time.h>
#include <time.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <stdio.h>
const char *filename = "input.txt";
int main() {
struct stat foo;
struct timespec new_times[2];
if (stat(filename, &foo) < 0) {
return 1;
/* keep atime unchanged */
new_times[0] = foo.st_atim;
/* set mtime to current time */
clock_gettime(CLOCK_REALTIME, &new_times[1]);
if (utimensat(AT_FDCWD, filename, new_times, 0) < 0) {
return 1;
return 0;

[edit] Windows

Declare FILETIME modtime; and then use GetFileTime(fh, NULL, NULL, &modtime); to get the file modification time, or SetFileTime(fh, NULL, NULL, &modtime); to set it.

Library: Win32
#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <wchar.h>
/* Print "message: last Win32 error" to stderr. */
oops(const wchar_t *message)
wchar_t *buf;
DWORD error;
buf = NULL;
error = GetLastError();
NULL, error, 0, (wchar_t *)&buf, 0, NULL);
if (buf) {
fwprintf(stderr, L"%ls: %ls", message, buf);
} else {
/* FormatMessageW failed. */
fwprintf(stderr, L"%ls: unknown error 0x%x\n",
message, error);
setmodtime(const wchar_t *path)
FILETIME modtime;
wchar_t date[80], time[80];
return 1;
* Use GetFileTime() to get the file modification time.

if (GetFileTime(fh, NULL, NULL, &modtime) == 0)
goto fail;
FileTimeToSystemTime(&modtime, &st);
date, sizeof date / sizeof date[0]) == 0 ||
time, sizeof time / sizeof time[0]) == 0)
goto fail;
wprintf(L"%ls: Last modified at %s at %s (UTC).\n",
path, date, time);
* Use SetFileTime() to change the file modification time
* to the current time.

date, sizeof date / sizeof date[0]) == 0 ||
time, sizeof time / sizeof time[0]) == 0)
goto fail;
SystemTimeToFileTime(&st, &modtime);
if (SetFileTime(fh, NULL, NULL, &modtime) == 0)
goto fail;
wprintf(L"%ls: Changed to %s at %s (UTC).\n", path, date, time);
return 0;
return 1;
* Show the file modification time, and change it to the current time.

int argc, i, r;
wchar_t **argv;
/* MinGW never provides wmain(argc, argv). */
argv = CommandLineToArgvW(GetCommandLineW(), &argc);
if (argv == NULL) {
if (argc < 2) {
fwprintf(stderr, L"usage: %ls file...\n", argv[0]);
r = 0;
for (i = 1; argv[i] != NULL; i++)
if (setmodtime(argv[i])) r = 1;
return r;

[edit] C++

compiled with g++ -lboost_filesystem <sourcefile> -o <destination file>

#include <boost/filesystem/operations.hpp>
#include <ctime>
#include <iostream>
int main( int argc , char *argv[ ] ) {
if ( argc != 2 ) {
std::cerr << "Error! Syntax: moditime <filename>!\n" ;
return 1 ;
boost::filesystem::path p( argv[ 1 ] ) ;
if ( boost::filesystem::exists( p ) ) {
std::time_t t = boost::filesystem::last_write_time( p ) ;
std::cout << "On " << std::ctime( &t ) << " the file " << argv[ 1 ]
<< " was modified the last time!\n" ;
std::cout << "Setting the modification time to now:\n" ;
std::time_t n = std::time( 0 ) ;
boost::filesystem::last_write_time( p , n ) ;
t = boost::filesystem::last_write_time( p ) ;
std::cout << "Now the modification time is " << std::ctime( &t ) << std::endl ;
return 0 ;
} else {
std::cout << "Could not find file " << argv[ 1 ] << '\n' ;
return 2 ;

[edit] C#

using System;
using System.IO;
File.SetLastWriteTime("file.txt", DateTime.Now);

[edit] Clojure

(import '( File)
'(java.util Date))
(Date. (.lastModified (File. "output.txt")))
(Date. (.lastModified (File. "docs")))
(.setLastModified (File. "output.txt")
(.lastModified (File. "docs")))

[edit] Common Lisp

Common Lisp doesn't provide a way to set the modification time. The write date can be accessed, however, using file-write-date:

(file-write-date "input.txt")

Implementations may, in addition, provide other ways of accessing these file attributes, e.g., POSIX bindings:

Works with: SBCL
(1.0.30, OS X, Intel),
Translation of: C

(sb-posix:utime takes an access time and a modification time rather than an array of two times.)

(let* ((filename "input.txt")
(stat (sb-posix:stat filename))
(mtime (sb-posix:stat-mtime stat)))
(sb-posix:utime filename
(sb-posix:stat-atime stat)

[edit] D

import std.stdio;
import std.file: getTimes, setTimes, SysTime;
void main() {
auto fname = "unixdict.txt";
SysTime fileAccessTime, fileModificationTime;
getTimes(fname, fileAccessTime, fileModificationTime);
writeln(fileAccessTime, "\n", fileModificationTime);
setTimes(fname, fileAccessTime, fileModificationTime);

For Windows systems there is also getTimesWin(), that gives the file creation time too.

[edit] Delphi

procedure GetModifiedDate(const aFilename: string): TDateTime;
hFile: Integer;
iDosTime: Integer;
hFile := FileOpen(aFilename, fmOpenRead);
iDosTime := FileGetDate(hFile);
if (hFile = -1) or (iDosTime = -1) then raise Exception.Create('Cannot read file: ' + sFilename);
Result := FileDateToDateTime(iDosTime);
procedure ChangeModifiedDate(const aFilename: string; aDateTime: TDateTime);
FileSetDate(aFileName, DateTimeToFileDate(aDateTime));

[edit] E

Works with: E-on-Java
Translation of: Java

E follows the Java File interface, except that it replaces boolean success/failure returns with an ejector parameter, so that the default behavior if the client does not handle the case is not to continue ignoring the failure.

def strdate(date) {
return E.toString(<unsafe:java.util.makeDate>(date))
def test(type, file) {
def t := file.lastModified()
println(`The following $type called ${file.getPath()} ${
if (t == 0) { "does not exist." } else { `
was modified at ${strdate(t)}` }}`)
println(`The following $type called ${file.getPath()} ${
escape ne { file.setLastModified(, ne); "was modified to current time." } catch _ { "does not exist." }}`
println(`The following $type called ${file.getPath()} ${
escape ne { file.setLastModified(t, ne); "was modified to previous time." } catch _ { "does not exist." }}`
test("file", <file:output.txt>)
test("directory", <file:docs>)

[edit] Emacs Lisp

(nth 5 (file-attributes "input.txt")) ;; mod date+time
(set-file-times "input.txt") ;; to current-time
(set-file-times "input.txt"
(encode-time 0 0 0 1 1 2014)) ;; to given date+time

set-file-times sets both the access time and modification time of the file. Time values are in the usual Emacs list form. Emacs file name handler magic applies to both file-attributes and set-file-times so they can act on "remote" files too.

File visiting buffers record the modification time of the file so as to guard against changes by another program. set-file-times from within Emacs doesn't update those buffer times and so looks like an external change.

[edit] Erlang

-module( file_modification_time ).
-export( [task/0] ).
task() ->
File = "input.txt",
{ok, File_info} = file:read_file_info( File ),
io:fwrite( "Modification time ~p~n", [File_info#file_info.mtime] ),
ok = file:write_file_info( File, File_info#file_info{mtime=calendar:local_time()} ).

[edit] F#

open System
open System.IO
let main args =
File.SetLastWriteTime(args.[0], DateTime.Now)

[edit] Factor

"foo.txt" file-info modified>> .

Setting the modified time is not cross-platform, so here's a Unix version.

"foo.txt" now 2 hours time+ set-file-modified-time

[edit] Go

package main
import (
var filename = "input.txt"
func main() {
foo, err := os.Stat(filename)
if err != nil {
fmt.Println("mod time was:", foo.ModTime())
mtime := time.Now()
atime := mtime // a default, because os.Chtimes has an atime parameter.
// but see if there's a real atime that we can preserve.
if ss, ok := foo.Sys().(*syscall.Stat_t); ok {
atime = time.Unix(ss.Atim.Sec, ss.Atim.Nsec)
os.Chtimes(filename, atime, mtime)
fmt.Println("mod time now:", mtime)

[edit] GUISS

In Graphical User Interface Support Script, we can can only use facilities that the underlying user interface provides, so we can display file timestamps, but cannot alter them. In this example, we get the date and timestamp for the file Foobar.txt.

Start,My Documents,Rightclick:Icon:Foobar.txt,Properties

[edit] Haskell

import System.Posix.Files
import System.Posix.Time
do status <- getFileStatus filename
let atime = accessTime status
mtime = modificationTime status -- seconds since the epoch
curTime <- epochTime
setFileTimes filename atime curTime -- keep atime unchanged
-- set mtime to current time

Alternative (only gets modification time):

import System.Directory
import System.Time
do ct <- getModificationTime filename
cal <- toCalendarTime ct
putStrLn (calendarTimeToString cal)

[edit] HicEst

CHARACTER timestamp*18
timestamp = ' ' ! blank timestamp will read:
SYSTEM(FIle="File_modification_time.hic", FileTime=timestamp) ! 20100320141940.525
timestamp = '19991231235950' ! set timestamp to Millenium - 10 seconds
SYSTEM(FIle="File_modification_time.hic", FileTime=timestamp)

[edit] Icon and Unicon

Icon doesn't support 'stat' or 'utime'; however, information can be obtained by use of the system function to access command line.

every dir := !["./","/"] do {
if i := stat(f := dir || "input.txt") then {
write("info for ",f ," mtime= ",ctime(i.mtime),", atime=",ctime(i.ctime), ", atime=",ctime(i.atime))
i := stat(f)
write("update for ",f ," mtime= ",ctime(i.mtime),", atime=",ctime(i.ctime), ", atime=",ctime(i.atime))
else stop("failure to stat ",f)


  • Icon and Unicon accept both / and \ for directory separators.
  • 'ctime' formats an integer representing an epoch time into human readable form
  • 'utime' updates the atime and mtime values

[edit] J

The standard file access library only supports reading the file modification time.

   load 'files'
fstamp 'input.txt'
2009 8 24 20 34 30

It is possible to set the time but it has to be done through OS specific external calls.

[edit] Java

import java.util.Date;
public class FileModificationTimeTest {
public static void test(String type, File file) {
long t = file.lastModified();
System.out.println("The following " + type + " called " + file.getPath() +
(t == 0 ? " does not exist." : " was modified at " + new Date(t).toString() )
System.out.println("The following " + type + " called " + file.getPath() +
(!file.setLastModified(System.currentTimeMillis()) ? " does not exist." : " was modified to current time." )
System.out.println("The following " + type + " called " + file.getPath() +
(!file.setLastModified(t) ? " does not exist." : " was modified to previous time." )
public static void main(String args[]) {
test("file", new File("output.txt"));
test("directory", new File("docs"));

[edit] JavaScript

Works with: JScript

Get only.

var fso = new ActiveXObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject");
var f = fso.GetFile('input.txt');
var mtime = f.DateLastModified;

The following works in all browsers, including IE10.

var file = document.getElementById("fileInput").files.item(0);
var last_modified = file.lastModifiedDate;

[edit] Julia

fname = "fool.txt"
tfmt = "%FT%T%z"
println("The modification time of ", fname, " is ")
println(" ", strftime(tfmt, mtime(fname)))
println("\nTouch this file.")
println("The modification time of ", fname, " is now ")
println(" ", strftime(tfmt, mtime(fname)))
The modification time of fool.txt is 

Touch this file.
The modification time of fool.txt is now 

[edit] Lasso

Note this is retrieve only.

File modification date is updated on save of file.

local(f) = file('input.txt')
handle => { #f->close }
#f->modificationDate->format('%-D %r')
// result: 12/2/2010 11:04:15 PM

[edit] Lua

require "lfs"
local attributes = lfs.attributes("input.txt")
if attributes then
print(path .. " was last modified " .."%c", attributes.modification) .. ".")
-- set access and modification time to now ...
-- ... or set modification time to now, keep original access time
lfs.touch("input.txt", attributes.access, os.time())
print(path .. " does not exist.")

[edit] Mathematica / Wolfram Language

Get file modification time:


results is returned in format: {year,month,day,hour,minute,second}. Setting file modification time:


where date is specified as {year,month,day,hour,minute,second}.

[edit] MATLAB / Octave

   f = dir('output.txt');  % struct f contains file information % is string containing modification time
f.datenum % numerical format (number of days)
datestr(f.datenum) % is the same as
% see also: stat, lstat

Modifying of file access time can be done through system calls:

  system('touch -t 201002032359.59 output.txt'); 

[edit] MAXScript

MAXScript has no method to set the mod time

-- Returns a string containing the mod date for the file, e.g. "1/29/99 1:52:05 PM"
getFileModDate "C:\myFile.txt"

[edit] Modula-3

IMPORT IO, Fmt, File, FS, Date, OSError;
TYPE dateArray = ARRAY [0..5] OF TEXT;
file: File.Status;
date: Date.T;
PROCEDURE DateArray(date: Date.T): dateArray =
dateArray{Fmt.Int(date.year), Fmt.Int(ORD(date.month) + 1), Fmt.Int(,
Fmt.Int(date.hour), Fmt.Int(date.minute), Fmt.Int(date.second)};
END DateArray;
file := FS.Status("test.txt");
date := Date.FromTime(file.modificationTime);
IO.Put(Fmt.FN("%s-%02s-%02s %02s:%02s:%02s", DateArray(date)));
| OSError.E => IO.Put("Error: Failed to get file status.\n");
END ModTime.
2011-07-14 14:12:46

This program sets the modification time to any value we wish:

date: Date.T;
(* Set the modification time to January 1st, 1999 *)
date.year := 1999;
date.month := Date.Month.Jan; := 1;
date.hour := 0;
date.minute := 0;
date.second := 0;
date.offset := 21601; := "CST";
FS.SetModificationTime("test.txt", Date.ToTime(date));
END SetModTime.

We can see the output with the Unix command stat

stat test.txt | grep Mod
Modify: 1999-01-01 00:00:01.000000000 -0600

[edit] NetRexx

/* NetRexx */
options replace format comments java crossref symbols binary
-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
method runSample(arg) public static
parse arg fileName
if fileName = '' then fileName = 'data/tempfile01'
mfile = File(fileName)
mtime = mfile.lastModified()
dtime = Date(mtime).toString()
say 'File' fileName 'last modified at' dtime
if mfile.setLastModified(0) then do
dtime = Date(mfile.lastModified()).toString()
say 'File modification time altered...'
say 'File' fileName 'now last modified at' dtime
say 'Resetting...'
dtime = Date(mfile.lastModified()).toString()
say 'File' fileName 'reset to last modified at' dtime
else do
say 'Unable to modify time for file' fileName
File data/tempfile01 last modified at Fri May 24 14:45:55 PDT 2013

File modification time altered...
File data/tempfile01 now last modified at Wed Dec 31 16:00:00 PST 1969

File data/tempfile01 reset to last modified at Fri May 24 14:45:55 PDT 2013

[edit] NewLISP

;; print modification time
(println (date (file-info "input.txt" 6)))
;; set modification time to now (Unix)
(! "touch -m input.txt")

[edit] Nim

import os, times
let accTime = getLastAccessTime("filename")
let modTime = getLastModificationTime("filename")
import posix
var unixAccTime = Timeval(tv_sec: int(accTime))
var unixModTime = Timeval(tv_sec: int(modTime))
# Set the modification time
unixModTime.tv_sec = 0
var times = [unixAccTime, unixModTime]
discard utimes("filename", addr(times))
# Set the access and modification times to the current time
discard utimes("filename", nil)

[edit] Objective-C

NSFileManager *fm = [NSFileManager defaultManager];
// Pre-OS X 10.5
NSLog(@"%@", [[fm fileAttributesAtPath:@"input.txt" traverseLink:YES] fileModificationDate]);
[fm changeFileAttributes:[NSDictionary dictionaryWithObject:[NSDate date] forKey:NSFileModificationDate]
// OS X 10.5+
NSLog(@"%@", [[fm attributesOfItemAtPath:@"input.txt" error:NULL] fileModificationDate]);
[fm setAttributes:[NSDictionary dictionaryWithObject:[NSDate date] forKey:NSFileModificationDate]
ofItemAtPath:@"input.txt" error:NULL];

[edit] OCaml

#load "unix.cma";;
open Unix;;
let mtime = (stat filename).st_mtime;; (* seconds since the epoch *)
utimes filename (stat filename).st_atime (time ());;
(* keep atime unchanged
set mtime to current time *)

[edit] Oforth

Get only :

File new("myfile.txt") modified

[edit] OpenEdge/Progress

The file modified time can only be read.

FILE-INFO:FILE-NAME = 'c:/temp'.

[edit] Oz

Getting the modification time:

[Path] = { ['x-oz://system/os/Path.ozf']}
Modified = {Path.mtime "input.txt"} %% posix time
{Show {OsTime.localtime Modified}} %% human readable record

Setting the modification time is not possible, unless implemented as an extension in C or C++.

[edit] Pascal

See Delphi

[edit] Perl

Works with: Perl version 5
my $mtime = (stat($file))[9]; # seconds since the epoch
# you should use the more legible version below:
use File::stat qw(stat);
my $mtime = stat($file)->mtime; # seconds since the epoch
utime(stat($file)->atime, time, $file);
# keep atime unchanged
# set mtime to current time

[edit] Perl 6

Works with: Rakudo Star version 2013-02
use NativeCall;
class utimbuf is repr('CStruct') {
has int $.actime;
has int $.modtime;
submethod BUILD(:$atime, :$mtime) {
$!actime = $atime;
$!modtime = $mtime;
sub sysutime(Str, utimbuf --> int) is native is symbol('utime') {*}
sub MAIN (Str $file) {
my $mtime = $file.IO.modified // die "Can't stat $file: $!";
my $ubuff =,:mtime($mtime));
sysutime($file, $ubuff);

Sets the last access time to now, while restoring the modification time to what it was before.

[edit] PHP

$filename = 'input.txt';
$mtime = filemtime($filename); // seconds since the epoch
time(), // set mtime to current time
fileatime($filename)); // keep atime unchanged

[edit] PicoLisp

(let File "test.file"
(info File)
(prinl (stamp (cadr @) (cddr @))) ) # Print date and time in UTC
(call 'touch File) ) # Set modification time to "now"
2010-02-20 15:46:37

[edit] Pop11

;;; Print modification time (seconds since Epoch)
sysmodtime('file') =>

[edit] PowerShell

$modificationTime = (Get-ChildItem file.txt).LastWriteTime
Set-ItemProperty file.txt LastWriteTime (Get-Date)
$LastReadTime = (Get-ChildItem file.txt).LastAccessTime
Set-ItemProperty file.txt LastAccessTime(Get-Date)
$CreationTime = (Get-ChildItem file.txt).CreationTime
Set-ItemProperty file.txt CreationTime(Get-Date)

You can also use alternates to get UTC time: LastWriteTimeUtc LastAccessTimeUtc CreationTimeUtc

[edit] PureBasic

Debug FormatDate("%yyyy/%mm/%dd", GetFileDate("file.txt",#PB_Date_Modified))
SetFileDate("file.txt",#PB_Date_Modified,Date(1987, 10, 23, 06, 43, 15))
Debug FormatDate("%yyyy/%mm/%dd - %hh:%ii:%ss", GetFileDate("file.txt",#PB_Date_Modified))

[edit] Python

import os
#Get modification time:
modtime = os.path.getmtime('filename')
#Set the access and modification times:
os.utime('path', (actime, mtime))
#Set just the modification time:
os.utime('path', (os.path.getatime('path'), mtime))
#Set the access and modification times to the current time:
os.utime('path', None)

[edit] R

See this R-devel mailing list thread for more information.

# Get the value$mtime
#To set the value, we need to rely on shell commands. The following works under windows.
shell("copy /b /v filename +,,>nul")
# and on Unix (untested)
shell("touch -m filename")

[edit] Racket

#lang racket
(file-or-directory-modify-seconds "foo.rkt")

[edit] RapidQ

name$ = DIR$("input.txt", 0)
PRINT "File date: "; FileRec.Date
PRINT "File time: "; FileRec.Time

[edit] REALbasic

The Date object has properties which correspond to various date formats such as SQLDateTime (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS), DayOfWeek, DayOfYear, and TotalSeconds since 12:00AM, January 1, 1904, among others.

Function getModDate(f As FolderItem) As Date
Return f.ModificationDate
End Function

[edit] REXX

Works with: Regina REXX

The REXX language has no facility to update a file's modification time.

/*REXX program (Regina) to obtain/display a file's time of modification.      */
parse arg $ . /*get the fileID from the CL*/
if $=='' then do; say "***error*** no filename was specified."; exit 13; end
q=stream($, 'C', "QUERY TIMESTAMP") /*get file's mod time info. */
if q=='' then q="specified file doesn't exist." /*give an error indication. */
say 'For file: ' $ /*display the file ID. */
say 'timestamp of last modification: ' q /*display modification time.*/
/*stick a fork in it, we're all done. */

output   when using the file ID for this particular REXX program (source file):   FILEMTIME.REX

timestamp of last modification:  2015-05-30 14:22:26

[edit] Ruby

#Get modification time:
modtime = File.mtime('filename')
#Set the access and modification times:
File.utime(actime, mtime, 'path')
#Set just the modification time:
File.utime(File.atime('path'), mtime, 'path')
#Set the access and modification times to the current time:
File.utime(nil, nil, 'path')

[edit] Run BASIC

files #f, DefaultDir$ + "\*.*"                  ' all files in the default directory
print "hasanswer: ";#f HASANSWER() ' does it exist
print "rowcount: ";#f ROWCOUNT() ' number of files in the directory
print '
#f DATEFORMAT("mm/dd/yy") ' set format of file date to template given
#f TIMEFORMAT("hh:mm:ss") ' set format of file time to template given
for i = 1 to #f rowcount() ' loop through the files
if #f hasanswer() then ' or loop with while #f hasanswer()
print "nextfile info: ";#f nextfile$(" ") ' set the delimiter for nextfile info
print "name: ";name$ ' file name
print "size: ";#f SIZE() ' file size
print "date: ";#f DATE$() ' file date
print "time: ";#f TIME$() ' file time
print "isdir: ";#f ISDIR() ' is it a directory or file
name$ = #f NAME$()
shell$("touch -t 201002032359.59 ";name$;""") ' shell to os to set date
end if

[edit] Seed7

$ include "seed7_05.s7i";
include "osfiles.s7i";
include "time.s7i";
const proc: main is func
var time: modificationTime is time.value;
modificationTime := getMTime("data.txt");
setMTime("data.txt", modificationTime);
end func;

[edit] Sidef

var file =;
say file.stat.mtime; # seconds since the epoch
# keep atime unchanged
# set mtime to current time

[edit] Scala

Library: Scala
import java.util.Date
object FileModificationTime extends App {
def test(file: File) {
val (t, init) = (file.lastModified(),
s"The following ${if (file.isDirectory()) "directory" else "file"} called ${file.getPath()}")
println(init + (if (t == 0) " does not exist." else " was modified at " + new Date(t).toInstant()))
println(init +
(if (file.setLastModified(System.currentTimeMillis())) " was modified to current time." else " does not exist."))
println(init +
(if (file.setLastModified(t)) " was reset to previous time." else " does not exist."))
// main
List(new File("output.txt"), new File("docs")).foreach(test)

[edit] Slate

Modifying the timestamp value is not currently a built-in feature. This code gets a raw value:

slate[1]> (File newNamed: 'LICENSE') fileInfo modificationTimestamp.

[edit] Smalltalk

a := File name: 'input.txt'.
(a lastModifyTime) printNl.

[edit] Standard ML

val mtime = OS.FileSys.modTime filename; (* returns a Time.time data structure *)
(* unfortunately it seems like you have to set modification & access times together *)
OS.FileSys.setTime (filename, NONE); (* sets modification & access time to now *)
(* equivalent to: *)
OS.FileSys.setTime (filename, SOME ( ()))

[edit] Tcl

Assuming that the variable filename holds the name of the file...

# Get the modification time:
set timestamp [file mtime $filename]
# Set the modification time to ‘now’:
file mtime $filename [clock seconds]


TUSCRIPT does not allow to modify/set the timestamp of a file, but it is able to read it:

modified=MODIFIED (file)
PRINT "file ",file," last modified: ",modified
file rosetta.txt last modified: 2011-12-14 23:50:48

[edit] UNIX Shell

There are several ways to handle files' timestamps in most *nix systems. For these examples, we'll assume you need to retrieve the timestamp to a variable. These examples use stat and touch from the GNU Core Utilities, under bash, but they should work with any POSIX-compliant implementation under any sh-compatible shell.

For all of these examples, $F is a variable holding the filename to examine, while T (and $T) is the timestamp.

To get the timestamp in seconds since the epoch:

T=`stat -c %Y $F`

To get the timestamp in human-readable format:

T=`stat -c %y $F`

Note that the only difference between the above examples is capital Y vs lower-case y.

In the following examples, the "-c" argument to touch tells it to not create any files that don't already exist.

To set file F to time T, where T is in a human-readable format:

# Note the quotation marks -- very important!
T="2000-01-01 01:02:03.040506070 -0800"
touch -c -d "$T" $F

To set file F to time T, where T is in the format [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.ss] (the square brackets mark optional parts):

touch -c -t $T $F

If the year is left out, the current year is used. If the seconds are left out, 0 (zero) is used. Leaving out the optional parts of the above results in this:

touch -c -t $T $F

If no time is specified, then the timestamp is set to the current time:

touch -c $F

There are, of course, other ways to do both tasks -- for example, one could use ls -l --time-style=full-iso and then process the resulting list with some other tool (e.g. awk or Perl).

[edit] VBScript

Works with: Windows Script Host version *

VBScript provides no way to set the last modification time. It does allow you to retrieve it, however.

WScript.Echo CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject").GetFile("input.txt").DateLastModified

[edit] Vedit macro language

Display file's last modification time as number of seconds since midnight.


Displays file's last modification date and time as a string.

File_Stamp_String(10, "input.txt")

Vedit Macro Language has Blog in SEO no method to set the modification time

[edit] Visual Basic .NET

Platform: .NET

Works with: Visual Basic .NET version 9.0+
Dim file As New IO.FileInfo("test.txt")
'Creation Time
Dim createTime = file.CreationTime
file.CreationTime = createTime.AddHours(1)
'Write Time
Dim writeTime = file.LastWriteTime
file.LastWriteTime = writeTime.AddHours(1)
'Access Time
Dim accessTime = file.LastAccessTime
file.LastAccessTime = accessTime.AddHours(1)

[edit] zkl"input.txt");
// -->T(size,last status change time,last mod time,isDir,mode), from stat(2)
File.setModTime("input.txt",Time.Clock.mktime(2014,2,1,0,0,0));"input.txt")[2] : Time.Date.ctime(_).println();
Sat Mar 15 12:15:32 2014
Sat Feb 1 00:00:00 2014
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