The frequently asked questions about Box file timestamps are answered in this article:

 

What are Box file timestamps?

Box records file times and dates when files are created, modified, or uploaded on Box.

Box stores timestamp values in UTC format, so they are not affected by changes in time zone or daylight saving time.

 

What timestamps does Box display for each file?

Box displays the following timestamps for each file operation:

  • Created: The timestamp when the file was created.
    This timestamp display does not change if you save or modify this file.
  • Modified: The timestamp when the contents of a file were last modified. 
  • Uploaded: The timestamp when the file was uploaded to Box. This timestamp display changes for each uploaded version.
  • Updated: The timestamp when the file was last changed in Box (Modified or Uploaded).

The timestamp display does not change when you open, close, view, or rename a file.

 

Does Box preserve Created and Modified timestamps when uploading content to Box?

The timestamps are preserved based on the file upload method and protocol as described in the following table.

Caution: Be aware that some browsers are affiliated with particular upload mechanisms like Flash, HTML, or Ajax.

Box Upload Method Version


 Modified Timestamp 
Preserved?



Created Timestamp
Preserved?


Box Drive

1.0.9 or later

Files: Yes

 

Folders: Folders that you have opened on your desktop will be updated with timestamps as updates occur. Folders you have not opened on your desktop will not be updated with timestamps in Box Drive, even if there have been updates to those folders on Box.

Files: Yes

 

Folders: Folders that you have opened on your desktop will be updated with timestamps as updates occur. Folders you have not opened on your desktop will not be updated with timestamps in Box Drive, even if there have been updates to those folders on Box.

Sync (on user's desktop)

Box Sync (Box Sync 4.0.4376 and later)

Yes Yes
FTP

If the FTP client supports this feature

Yes

Yes (if the FTP client supports this feature)

See FTP: Preserve Original Created/Modified Times for additional details

Mobile

iPhone (Box for iPhone 3.0.1 and later)

Yes Yes

Android

Yes

No

The created timestamp is set to the last modified date for the first version of a file, and not changed for subsequent versions

Web Application and Embed Widget

For all web browser uploads, the created timestamp is set to the last modified date - based on when the file was first uploaded to Box

Chrome v10+

Yes

No

The created timestamp is set to the last modified date for the first version of a file, and not changed for subsequent versions



Firefox1 (v3.6+)

Safari1 (v4+)

IE1 (v10+)

File uploads/File drag and drop uploads: Yes

Folder uploads: Yes, if you have installed Java on your computer.

IE1 (v7, 8, 9)

File uploads: Yes, if you have installed Flash on your computer (IE 8 and 9 only)

Folder uploads: Yes, if you have installed Java on your computer.

Other options

Upload Widget

WebDAV

Email Upload

No No

1Browser does not support folder drag and drop.

 

Where are the file timestamps visible?

Box file timestamp information is displayed in several locations:

  • Web application: The File Properties pop-up displays the Created and Modified timestamps.
    To view this pop-up, click the downward arrow for a file and select Properties > General Info.
  • Box Sync: Your local file system displays the Created or Modified timestamps in the Finder or Explorer window for newly-synced files.

 

What file operations affect the Modified timestamps?

The Modified timestamp changes when you edit the contents of a file.

 

What file operations do not affect the Modified timestamps?

The Modified timestamp does not change when you perform any of the following file operations:

  • Preview or download a file
  • Add, update, or delete comments/tasks/file descriptions
  • Share or unshare a link
  • Send a shared or direct link
  • Open, close, or rename a file

 

When I add a new file version, what timestamps are affected?

The following list identifies the affected timestamps each time you add a new file version:

  • Created: The new version does not affect the Created timestamp.
  • Modified: The new version reflects the Modified timestamp for this file version.
  • Uploaded: The new version reflects the Uploaded timestamp for this file version.

 

Are timestamps preserved when downloading files from Box?

When you download a single file, the created and modified date is not preserved, rather it will be set to the time of download.

 

When you download multiple files from Box, the selected files (folders) are downloaded to your computer as a ZIP file. The Modified timestamp for each file (or files within a folder) is set to the same timestamp as when the content was last modified in Box.

 

Each ZIP client handles the uncompressed timestamp information differently. See your ZIP client documentation for further details.

 

You can also use the Box API to obtain file timestamp information.

 

Is the timestamp affected when I delete a file or restore a file from trash?

If you delete a file and restore it from trash at a later date, there is no change to the timestamp. Box continues to maintain the timestamp of the file and restores it seamlessly.

 

What timestamp is displayed if one of my files does not have an associated timestamp for the Created and Modified operations?

If a file does not have a created timestamp or the modified timestamp after it is uploaded to Box, then Box uses the timestamp when this file was first uploaded to Box.

Similarly, if your local device cannot pass the timestamp, then Box uses the timestamp when this file was first uploaded to Box.

 

How does Box Sync handle timestamps for synced files?

Effective Release 4.0.4376, Box Sync  preserves the created and modified timestamps when downloading files from Box. Additionally, when a file is added to Box Sync via the desktop, the created and modified timestamps for each file are also visible via the web application.

 

Box Sync preserves timestamps when content changes on Box or in your local file system, sending timestamps to Box during uploads, and setting timestamps on the local file system during downloads.

 

If a timestamp changes without the file's content changing, the new timestamp won't be applied to the other file system.

 

How do the Box APIs handle timestamp displays?

See the developer documentation for more information on timestamps used in Box APIs. All information provided in this article also applies to timestamp displays using Box APIs.