FAQs about modified dates for files and folders

The modified date of a file or folder represents the last time that file or folder was updated. If you’re having trouble with the modified dates of your files or folders, check out these frequently-asked questions.

How do I view the modified date of a file or folder?

On dropbox.com:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Hover over the file or folder and click the checkbox.
  3. The most recent modified date and time will be in the Info pane in the right sidebar next to Modified. If you need to expand the right rail, click the left-facing arrow.
    Note: There’s also a Modified column for files (not folders).

On the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Open the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  2. Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties for Windows or Get Info for Mac.

On the Dropbox mobile app:

Note: The Dropbox mobile app displays the modified dates of files but not of folders.

iOS:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap Files.
  3. Tap  "..." (ellipsis) next to the filename.
  4. The modified date appears under the filename.

Android:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the menu button at the top left (marked by three horizontal lines).
  3. Tap Files.
  4. The modified date appears under the filename.

What changes the modified date of a file?

A file’s modified date will update on all devices and dropbox.com if you edit the file in your Dropbox account or another user edits the file in a shared folder.

In some cases, like the ones listed below, a file’s modified date will change only on the device it’s edited on and won’t be synced to other devices.

  • If you download a file from dropbox.com to a device, the file’s modified date on that device will change to the time it was downloaded but won’t sync with other devices.
  • If you manually change a file’s modified date on the Dropbox desktop app without editing the file’s content, the file’s modified date on that device will change to the time you set but won’t sync with other devices.

Note: A file’s modified date will not change if you change the Smart Sync status of the file.

Will Dropbox preserve the modified date of a file or folder if I upload or download it to my account?

To preserve the modified date of a file, upload or download the file using the Dropbox desktop app

Note: A file’s modified date will not be preserved if the file is uploaded or downloaded using dropbox.com or a mobile device.

Why is the modified date of my folder different across devices?

The following actions could result in conflicting modified dates:

  • You download the folder from dropbox.com to a device. The folder’s modified date on that device will change to the time it was downloaded (or edited) but won’t sync with other devices.
  • You change the Smart Sync status of the folder on a device. The folder’s modified date on that device will change to the time the Smart Sync status was changed but won’t sync with other devices.
  • You manually change the folder’s modified date on the Dropbox desktop app without making edits to the folder. The folder’s modified date on that computer will change to the time you set but won’t sync with other devices.
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