How to Find Last Modified Date of a File in Java


There are two ways to get the last modified date of a file in Java.

  • Using File.lastModified() method- Using this method you can get the file's last modified timestamp.
  • Using Files.readAttributes() method- Java 7 onward you can use Files.readAttributes() method which returns an object of java.nio BasicFileAttributes that encapsulates all the attributes associated with the file. That way apart from last modified date you can also get the file creation date and several other attributes.

Java program to find the last modified date of a file

Following program uses both of the above mentioned methods to get the last modified date of a file in Java. Note here that when's lastModified method is used it returns the time in milliseconds (long) so SimpleDateFormat is used to format it into dd/MM/yyyy format.

Files.readAttributes() method returns an instance of BasicFileAttributes. BasicFileAttributes class has methods creationTime() and lastModifiedTime() to get the file creation date and last modified date. Both of these methods return an instance of FileTime which is converted to milliseconds and then formatted to the desired format using SimpleDateFormat.

public class FileDate {
public static void main(String[] args) {
/*For below Java 7*/
// get the file
File f = new File("F:\\NetJS\\programs.txt");
// Create a date format
SimpleDateFormat sdf = new SimpleDateFormat("dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss");
// get the last modified date and format it to the defined format
System.out.println("File last modified date " + sdf.format(f.lastModified()));

/*Java 7 or above using NIO*/
// Get the file
Path path = Paths.get("F:\\NetJS\\programs.txt");
BasicFileAttributes attr;
try {
// read file's attribute as a bulk operation
attr = Files.readAttributes(path, BasicFileAttributes.class);
// File creation time
System.out.println("File creation time - "
+ sdf.format(attr.creationTime().toMillis()));
// File last modified date
System.out.println("File modified time - "
+ sdf.format(attr.lastModifiedTime().toMillis()));
} catch (IOException e ) {
System.out.println("Error while reading file attributes " + e.getMessage());

That's all for this topic How to Find Last Modified Date of a File in Java. If you have any doubt or any suggestions to make please drop a comment. Thanks!

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