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?

You can view a file’s modified date on dropbox.com, the Dropbox desktop app, or the Dropbox mobile app. However, a folder’s modified date can only be viewed on the Dropbox desktop app.

To view the modified date of a file on dropbox.com:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click Files.
  3. Click the dropdown menu next to the second column header.
  4. Click Modified.

To view the modified date of a file using the Dropbox mobile app:

iOS:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap Files.
  3. Tap the ... (ellipsis) icon next to the file name.
  4. You should see the modified date under the file name.

Android:

  1. Open the Dropbox app and tap the menu button at the top left of your screen (marked by three horizontal lines).
  2. Tap Files.
  3. You should see the modified date under the file name.

To view the modified date of a file or folder using the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your system tray or menu bar.
  2. You should see the modified date of your files and folders under the Date modified column.

What changes the modified date of a file?

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

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

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

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

When you take certain actions on a folder in the Dropbox desktop app, the modified date of the folder is updated on that computer but doesn’t sync with other devices. The following actions may result in conflicting modified dates:

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