Ilias Tsagklis

About Ilias Tsagklis

Ilias Tsagklis is a senior software engineer working in the telecom domain. He is an applications developer in a wide variety of applications/services. Ilias is co-founder and Executive Editor at Java Code Geeks.

Change File Last Modified date in Java example

In this example we are going to see how you can change the “Last Modified” date of a File in your File System in Java. We are simply going to use the setLastModified method of the File class. We are also going to see how you can parse a string with a date format to a Date object which is kind of cool.

So the basic steps to change the “Last Modified” date of file in Java are:

  • Use the SimpleDateFormat("MM/dd/yyyy") constructor to make a new SimpleDateFormat class instance.
  • Construct a String object with the “MM/dd/yyyy” format.
  • Use parse(String date) method of the SimpleDateFormat class to create a new Date object with the date value of the String.
  • Use File.setLastModified(Date.getTime()) method to set the new “Last Modified” date of the file.

Let’s see the code:


import java.text.ParseException;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;

public class ChangeFileLastModifiedDate {

	public static final String filepath = "/home/nikos/Desktop/testFile.txt";

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		try {

			File file = new File(filepath);

			SimpleDateFormat dateFormat = new SimpleDateFormat("MM/dd/yyyy");

			// print the original Last Modified date
			System.out.println("Original Last Modified Date : "
					+ dateFormat.format(file.lastModified()));

			// set this date
			String newLastModifiedString = "01/31/1821";

			// we have to convert the above date to milliseconds...
			Date newLastModifiedDate = dateFormat.parse(newLastModifiedString);

			// print the new Last Modified date
			System.out.println("Lastest Last Modified Date : "
					+ dateFormat.format(file.lastModified()));

		} catch (ParseException e) {






Original Last Modified Date : 02/21/2013
New Last Modified Date : 02/02/2000

This was an example on how to change the Last Modified date value of a File in your File System in Java.

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