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This is done to make it easier to track the build or version of a set of files.
With respect to files created by a computer user, however, the last modified date will generally indicate the last date and time that a file was saved.
Since so many activities can update last access dates, last access date stamps can be very useful in determining the recent history of a computer system.
Creation dates do not necessarily reflect when a file was actually created.
The last access date, which is generally the most recent date record for a file, can show that a file existed on a certain date, but nothing after that date.
The Windows Recycle Bin can allow some determination of when files where deleted, but only if the files are deleted to the Recycle Bin.
The problem begins with computer clocks, whose accuracy depends on both a battery life and on its accurate setting in the first place.
It is important to note that the dates applications may store in their data files will generally only reflect the information that existed at the last time the file was saved or written to.
The application-specific dates may not show date information pertaining to moving, copying or viewing a file. For example, Windows NT and its successors record a date and a time for each date stamp.
Windows 95, 98 and Me, record all the MAC dates, but only creation and last modification times.
What could be more trustworthy than the date of a file?
From the early days of DOS to the graphical file management programs of the present, computers have displayed file dates with apparent certainty down to the minute.