How to Change the Creation Date on a Word Document

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It's surprisingly difficult to change the creation date on Word document formats. You can simply start a new document, but the new document will display the current date. Inserting a custom date into the document is a more involved process. The need to change file time stamps is rare and not often considered by the average Microsoft Word user, but making the change is possible with some technical know-how.

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Access the File Data

The key to change file time stamp is through the file itself and not the actual document. You don't work within the Word system to change file creation date settings. Your computer stores the date on the file itself to organize and classify the file within your file settings. When you retrieve files on your hard drive or any external storage device, the option to organize by creation date is available. This is the feature you are changing rather than the text or document settings. Open the folder where your file is stored without actually opening the Word document. You'll see the creation date here. Right-click to open a menu of options and select "Change Attributes." This will generate a window with the file properties where you can change the file creation date and other custom settings.

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Change the File Creation Date

To change the creation date on Word document settings, select the "File Properties" tab and check the box next to Modify File Date and Time Stamps. The dates are located below, and you can manually change the creation date and, if desired, the date and times of edits and modifications. You can even change the date the file was last accessed. Make your desired changes and select "Save" to make them semipermanent. You can always go back into the settings later to make additional changes as needed. If the changes don't work for some reason, try changing the date and time on your computer clock settings. Copy and paste into a new Word document and save to stamp the new file with an artificial time and date.

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Time Stamp Cautions

Only make changes to time stamps when you own the document and have permission to make the changes. In an official government or work setting, changing time stamps pushes ethical limitations, and the action has potential legal repercussions. Changing creation dates and time stamps, or manipulating an official document, is considered fraudulent activity under some circumstances. When you own the document and simply want a different date and time for organizational purposes, go ahead and make the changes to sort the file internally. If the date and stamp are wrong due to faulty clock settings on the computer, changing the date is acceptable as well.

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