How to Change the Last Modified Date, Creation Date, and Last Accessed Date for Files and Folders

Every file you create or modify on Windows 10 has file attributes attached to it, telling you (or somebody else) when the file was created, modified, opened, and possibly more. It doesn’t matter if you’re late submitting an assignment or you’re just trying to cover your tracks—the information will always be there unless you change it.

If you want to change file attributes like these, you have a few options. You can use the new Windows PowerShell to change or remove this data, or you can do it using Windows File Explorer or another third-party app like Attribute Changer. Here’s how to change file attributes on Windows 10 using these methods.

Removing File Attributes Using Windows File Explorer

If you want to change the last modified date or other file attributes on Windows 10, your first thought may be to do so using the Properties menu for a file in Windows File Explorer.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. You can view certain and change certain file attributes in File Explorer, but you can’t change the last viewed, edited, or modified dates. It will remove other personal data, however, such as author name for documents, ratings for media files, as well as set a file to read-only or hidden.

To change other file attributes like your last modified date, creation date, and other essential file information, you’ll need to use one of the methods listed later in this article—in particular, using the Attribute Changer app.

  • To remove certain personal file attributes, open Windows File Explorer and locate a file. Right-click the file and press Properties.
  • In the Properties box, press the Details tab, then click the Remove Properties and Personal Information option link.
  • As we’ve mentioned, you can’t remove or change the file creation date or other essential file attributes here. If your file has other personal information attached, you can create a copy of the file with that information removed by pressing the Create a copy with all possible properties removed option, then press OK to save and perform the action. A copy of your file will appear in the same folder as the original file with your chosen attributes removed.
  • To remove this information from an existing file, select the Remove the following properties from this option instead, then choose the properties you want to remove. Press OK to save and remove this information from your file.
  • You can also use File Explorer to change or set other file attributes, such as whether your files are hidden or read-only. In the Properties box, switch to the General tab, then press either the Hidden or Read Only checkboxes to enable or disable those settings, then click OK to save.

To change the last modified date and other attributes, you’ll need to use another method listed below.

Change File Attributes Using The PowerShell

The attrib command from the Windows PowerShell allows you to view and change file attributes for Windows 10 files. It’s included as standard, so you don’t need any additional software to use it.

This is a fairly complex method, but also quite limited. If you want an easier way to change file attributes, use the Attribute Changer app listed below.

  • To start, open a PowerShell window—preferably with administrative privileges. To do this, right-click the Windows start menu and press PowerShell (Admin) to launch a new PowerShell window with admin privileges enabled.
  • Use the cd and ls commands to move folders and list file contents. Once you’re in the correct folder, you can list all the relevant attributes for your file by typing Get-ItemProperty -Path file | Format-list -Property * -Force, replacing file with your file path.
  • You can use the Set-ItemProperty command to change file attributes such as read-only access. To do this, type Set-ItemProperty -Path file -Name IsReadOnly -Value True, replacing file with your file name. For a full list of possible variables for this command, see the full Microsoft PowerShell documentation for more details.

A successful change will result in the PowerShell returning no response, but you can check whether it was successful by typing the Get-ItemProperty -Path file | Format-list -Property * -Force command again, or by viewing the file properties using File Explorer.

This isn’t the easiest method to change file attributes, as we’ve mentioned. Third-party apps like Attribute Changer exist to make this far easier, as well as allowing you to change the last modified date and more.

Using Attribute Changer To Change Windows 10 File Attributes

Attribute Changer offers the best way to change file attributes on Windows. Along with typical hidden and read-only attributes, Attribute Changer allows you to modify file access and file creation dates, as well as other options.

  • An advanced properties box for your file will open—this is the Attribute Changer software in action. Check (or uncheck) to enable or disable various system attributes like hidden file or read-only access at the top of the File Properties tab.
  • If you want to change the last modified date or change the file creation data, press to enable the Modify date and time stamps checkbox. This will enable you to change the created, modified, and accessed timestamps—change these using the options provided.
  • Once you’ve made your changes, press the OK or Apply buttons. Attribute Changer will ask you to confirm the changes, so press the additional OK button in the Processing Confirmation box that appears.

Attribute Changer will switch to the Reporting tab and, assuming no issues, will list the progress of the changes and apply the changes you’ve requested. You can double-check this by right-clicking your file, pressing Properties, and viewing your file attributes in the General and Details tabs.

File Management On Windows

As the above methods show, there are plenty of ways to change file attributes on Windows 10 and which will, hopefully, get you into the habit of better file management on Windows. You could start by switching to a replacement for Windows Explorer to make it easier to sort and manage your files.

If you’re worried about losing your files, don’t worry—you can prevent Windows files from being deleted, too. Let us know your tips for file management in the comments section below.

10 Tips To Use Dropbox More Effectively

Cloud services like Dropbox have changed the way we all use our computers and mobile devices. When was the last time you actually carried files home from work on a USB drive? However, one sometimes annoying aspect of using cloud services is that the features and interfaces change at the whim of the platform owner. Who can keep up with all the tweaks? 

So here are some new (and old but updated) tips for how to use Dropbox more effectively. If you’ve apathetic to your cloud-based hard drive, one of these hot tips might just make you feel excited about it again.

Restoring Dropbox Files

Although you only see one copy of your data in Dropbox at first glance, the service actually has a rolling window that you can revert to for any file. The window differs between free and paid accounts, but free users can restore any changes in the last 30 days. 

You can restore individual files and folders manually. However, if you need to set your entire Dropbox back to an earlier time (because of say a ransomware attack) you’ll need to write an email to Dropbox support.

  • In order to use this feature, sign into Dropbox.com.
  • Click Files and then deleted files.
  • Pick the file you want to restore, click on it and then click restore.
  • Your files should now be back in place.

How To Use Two-Factor Authentication On Dropbox

Let’s face it, the current password-based system most sites use isn’t perfect. We constantly hear about new data breaches and hacks where user credentials are exposed. When it comes to a service like Dropbox which is likely to hold sensitive personal information, the need for a better solution is much more urgent. 

That’s where two-factor authentication comes into play. It combines two separate sources of verification, such as a password and a one-time phone PIN, to make it much harder for hackers to get at your stuff.

Here’s how to use two-factor authentication on Dropbox:

  • Log into the site.
  • Click your account picture and then click settings.
  • Click on the security tab and then toggle two-step verification on.
  • From here just click get started and follow the instructions.

Once the process is done you’ll have much more security for your embarrassing poetry collection.

Using LAN Sync To Speed Up Local Dropbox Machines

Most people have multiple devices these days and if you have wired internet at home you’ve also got a little LAN via your router as well. If your various connected machines are all syncing Dropbox over the internet that can put a real dent in your bandwidth. 

By activating LAN Sync, devices connected to the same LAN and Dropbox account will share files between themselves. Which means you don’t end up downloading the same data more than once.

  • To activate it, or check that it is activated, right-click on the Dropbox icon in the notification area.
  • Click the gear icon and choose preferences.
  • Click on the Bandwidth tab and under Lan Sync, ensure there’s a check mark.

Now your devices will play nice and share their data with each other.

Camera Upload Rocks For iOS Users

While Android users can easily find their photos in their Google Drive with no effort, iOS users have been limited to using iCloud, which can be a little less elegant to use. Luckily, Dropbox offers an automatic camera upload function that works on Android too, but for iOS users it’s especially useful.

  • To check if camera upload is on using iOS, open the Dropbox app.
  • Tap Account.
  • Tap Camera Uploads.
  • Toggle uploads as you desire.
  • Now your snaps will automatically go to your Dropbox.

Selective Syncing Saves You Wasted Bandwidth & Space

On desktop and laptop computers, Dropbox syncs every folder by default. For most people this is fine, but if you only need certain folders synced to a specific device, you can use selective syncing to make sure only relevant folders get downloaded to that device.

  • To activate it, right-click on the Dropbox icon in the notification area.
  • Click the gear icon and choose preferences.
  • Click on the Sync tab.
  • Click selective sync and remove the checkmark next to anything you don’t want to sync. Now those folders won’t take up space or bandwidth for that particular machine.

Make Important Files “Available Offline” On Mobile Devices

By default Dropbox doesn’t download anything to your mobile device at all. It just shows you all the files in the app, downloading if you try to open any of them. This is obviously a measure to deal with expensive data and limited storage on phones. 

You can however mark specific files to ensure that they are always up to date and available on your device, even if you have no internet connection.

It’s easy as pie. In your Android or iOS app, tap the three dots next to any file and tap make available offline. Now they will always be available until you reverse the process. Just be aware that this is now a paid feature of DropBox Plus.

Use Dropbox & “Open With” Integration To Edit Files Directly

Editing a Word or other Office file from the synced folder on your computer couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is open it as usual and then save it when the edits are done. The problem comes when you need to quickly edit a file from a computer that doesn’t have a synced folder. 

Luckily Dropbox now allows you to open a file from the website directly in the app and then automatically save the edits. This saves you from manually downloading the file, editing it, uploading it and then deleting or renaming the original.

How to Use Open With on Dropbox:

  • Open the file preview on Dropbox.
  • Click Open With and select the right app. In the case of a Word file, this correct application is of course Word.

The file will open in Word, where you can edit it as usual. After saving and closing the file, the changes will immediately reflect in the online Dropbox file.

Use Dropbox Paper To Seamlessly Collaborate & Work

Dropbox is quickly becoming much more than just a place to store and share documents. There’s stiff competition from the likes of Google and Microsoft, who integrate their cloud storage solutions with cloud-based productivity tools.

Paper is a collaborative tool where team members can work together at the same time. Dropbox didn’t design it simply to be an alternative to Google Docs. It’s also a general-purpose workspace where remote teams can hash out projects. You can use Paper to take meeting notes, have brainstorming sessions and plan out projects, while tapping into all the resources you’ve stored in your shared Dropbox cloud space. 

Paper can be used through a browser interface or through dedicated Android and iOS apps.

How To Integrate Dropbox With G Suite

Dropbox Paper is a smart, minimalist collaboration tool. However it’s definitely not a serious replacement for the productivity cloud apps you get with Google’s G Suite. G Suite is the paid, business-focused version of the Google Cloud apps we all know and love.

If your workplace uses both Dropbox and G Suite, it’s now possible to merge the two using Dropbox for G Suite. It’s one of the slickest integrations of two completely different cloud services yet seen and the benefits are pretty substantial. By using Dropbox for G Suite you can store native Google file formats in your Dropbox file storage. So Docs, Sheets and Slides will live right next door to your normal Office documents.

Speaking of which, this integration also lets you edit Office format documents directly from your Dropbox using the Google editing tools – without having to convert them at all. This option means you no longer have to make a hard choice between two of the leading cloud storage providers.

Bring Dropbox Into Slack

Just as G Suite has become essential to many businesses, Slack has become a critical team management and communication tool. It’s an excellent way to let people work together over a computer network, but Slack lacks good file storage and management tools. 

Luckily Dropbox have again recognized that there’s a need to fuse these two products and has provided official integration for Slack.

You can start Slack conversations from Dropbox itself, pertaining to specific files. You can send Dropbox files to people through Slack directly and Dropbox Paper documents can also be accessed and collaborated upon directly from Slack. 

If you use both Dropbox and Slack, this feature will cut down on the amount of inelegant fudging you currently have to do.

Thinking Outside The Box

These are just a few ways you can use Dropbox more effectively, but the community is also coming up with plenty of unofficial “hacks” and Dropbox itself keeps working hard to stay ahead of the competition. You could literally write a book on all the things that are possible with this seemingly simple cloud service.

How to Submit Your Music to Spotify

Are you a new artist wondering how to get your music on Spotify? Distributing your music in the digital age is very different than it used to be.

This article will explain how to get your music on one of the most popular online streaming services. Learn how to submit your music to Spotify.

Music Distribution Companies

Content on Spotify is either delivered by a distributor or a record label. Unless you are signed to a label, to submit your music to Spotify, you will need to work with a third-party distributor or aggregator service.

Spotify works with companies that distribute and license your music. They pay the earned royalties when your music is streamed.

There are numerous music distribution services. However, the three most popular ones are:

  • TuneCore
  • DistroKid
  • CDBaby

What are the Differences in Each Platform?

All the above sites basically work the same way and distribute your music to the same platforms. The process starts with paying the fee, uploading your song or album, and entering all the applicable information.

Distrokid

DistokKid is a relatively new company. It is also the first service to offer a one-time annual fee of $19.99 for unlimited distributions.

There are no additional fees when releasing new songs or albums. The turnaround time is quick, and they don’t charge a commission. Artists keep 100% of the royalties. 

DistroKid recently rolled out a new, exclusive feature called Synced Lyrics

Any artist can automatically create and upload synced lyrics. Listeners can sing along as the words scroll in perfect time with the music, just like karaoke.

CDBaby

CDBaby has been in business since 1998. There are no annual fees. Instead, you pay for each piece of music once.

If you are looking for a service that will offer physical distribution of CDs so you can sell them in their online store, CDBaby is the service for you.

They also charge 30% commission for YouTube distribution and 9% for streaming your music.

TuneCore

TuneCore doesn’t take commissions. Artists keep 100% of the royalties they earn.

TuneCore also offers reports to show where fans are streaming and downloading your music. They charge a fee for each song or album you want to distribute.

Steps to Submit Your Music to Spotify

The process to sign up for any of the above three services is straightforward and relatively similar.

To submit your music to Spotify:

  • Sign up for the distribution service you choose
  • Select the type of release (single or album)
  • Enter the artist, release information, and song (or album) details
  • Upload your music file or files (File Format: 16-bit/44.1k WAV files) and artwork
  • Choose the platform(s) where you want to distribute your music
  • Select a release date
  • Confirm your information and submit

Spotify Playlists

Spotify playlists are the easiest way for people to hear your music. They are one of the best ways to introduce your music to new fans.

Playlists are owned by the people who create them. The best way for new artists to get started with playlists is to start building their own.

Searchable, well-constructed playlists are a path from Spotify’s search box to an artist’s profile. Including favorite songs from well-known musicians and mixing them with your own similar-sounding music might seem tacky, but it is not dishonest and it is effective.

The better a artist curates and promotes their playlists, the higher their chances of attracting and engaging listeners.

Of course, getting on the playlists of famous artists is an ideal way to get your music heard. One method is to reach out to music influencers or regular Spotify artists who have a large following.  

You can send them a message on social media and request swapping exposure. Ask them to include your song on their playlist in exchange for sharing their music, playlists, and posts on your social media.

How to Create a Playlist on Spotify

From your desktop, open the Spotify web player. Click the New Playlist option on the bottom left of the player.

Add a name and description to your new playlist. Use keywords to increase the chances of coming up in search.

Choose or create an image for your playlist. It is highly recommended that you choose an engaging and relevant cover to attract listeners to your music.

To add tracks to your playlist, look through new releases, recommended songs, browse, or search. Look for the three dots next to the PLAY button and select Add to Playlist from the dropdown menu.

You can also drag tracks into the name of your playlist on the left side navigation.

How to Create a Spotify Playlist Cover

As discussed above, Spotify playlists have a significant impact on getting your music heard. When a listener comes across a track in a playlist, it is the cover art that they see first.

The artwork for your music will contextualize your song, grab attention, or tell the story of your single or album.

There is no need to be a graphic designer or a Photoshop expert to create an engaging playlist cover. Below are a few tools you can use to create impressive and cool artwork.

Replace Cover

A quick and easy tool to create your own playlist artwork is Replace Cover.

You can also use the random button and cycle through random image and theme combinations to find one you like.

Bannersnack

Bannersnack is a drag-and-drop and easy-to-use graphics editor used to create all kinds of images, including Spotify playlist covers.

Use a pre-made template and customize it or create your own. Bannersnack has more features than Replace Cover.

Canva

Canva offers a library of pre-made Cover templates to get you started.

Customize the colors, fonts, images, and filters to create cover art that reflects your identity.

Cover Art Guidelines for Spotify

Follow the rules below when creating your playlist cover image:

  • Images must be a square
  • Use high-resolution images for quality display
  • 4 MB maximum image file size
  • Jpeg images only

Streaming is the most common way people listen to music today. And Spotify is one of the most popular platforms for artists to get their music heard.

When you submit your music to Spotify and get your tracks added to others’ playlists, you’ll have the opportunity for greater exposure to listeners.

Spotify also offers an Artists App for Android and iOS where musicians can track their music as it goes live, learn more about their listeners, and control their presence on Spotify.

How To Right-Click With The Keyboard In Windows & Mac

There was a time when having a mouse was weird. It was an expensive peripheral only a few professional users could justify. Today you can get a basic mouse for five bucks and just about every computer operating system is built around this ubiquitous pointing device. 

So if something happened to your mouse today, how would you right-click? Heck, how would you left-click? It’s a scary thought, right? But by the end of this article you’ll know exactly how to take keyboard control of your mouse in any emergency and right click with the keyboard like a pro.

Why Right Click With the Keyboard Instead of the Mouse?

There are two main reasons to operate a graphical user interface with the keyboard and no mouse. The first is an issue of accessibility. There are many people who lack the mobility or limbs to operate a mouse easily, while still having the ability to operate a keyboard.

The second has to do with hardware failure. Your trackpad or mouse could simply stop working for one reason or another and you probably need to operate your computer until a replacement or fix arrives.

In some cases, using keyboard shortcuts to operate your computer can also be faster and more efficient than using a mouse. Professional computer users already know this, since keyboard shortcuts are basically essential for professional workflows.

So it may turn out that you prefer some of these keyboard shortcuts to using your mouse. There’s nothing wrong with developing a style of computer control that fits your needs.

Use Mouse Keys In Windows 10

Windows 10 offers a feature known as “Mouse Keys”, which is designed to give users keyboard control of the mouse cursor. To activate Mouse Keys in Windows 10:

  • Click Start.
  • Type Mouse Keys.
  • Click on Turn Mouse Keys on or Off.

You can also reach a more advanced set of Mouse Key settings by going to Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center > Make the Mouse Easier to Use > Set Up Mouse Keys

Once you activate Mouse Keys you can move the cursor around using the numerical keypad buttons. Now, “/”, “*” and “-” act as the mouse buttons. With “-” acting as the right mouse button. Under the advanced Control Panel settings for Mouse Keys, you can fine tune how the pointer behaves and right click with the keyboard if you want.

Use Mouse Keys In macOS Catalina

Not to be left out, macOS also has an accessibility feature that allows you to use the pointer via keyboard keys. As you might expect, it doesn’t work in quite the same way as the Windows take on the idea, but it works well.

To activate the feature:

  • Click the Apple menu button.
  • Choose System Preferences.
  • Choose Accessibility.
  • Now click Pointer Control.
  • Click Alternative Control Methods.
  • Activate Mouse Keys.

You can activate Mouse Keys quickly and easily by using Option-Command-F5 or, if you have a Mac with a Touch ID button, press it three times in succession.

Since many Magic Keyboards and MacBooks don’t have number pads, you can also use these keyboard key alternatives to right click with the keyboard. As shown in this official Apple diagram.

The “I” and numpad “5” act as the mouse click here. “M” and “0” will press and hold the button. In either scheme the full stop (period) button will release the mouse.

Right-Click In macOS

If you’re a Mac user you probably already know that the so-called “alternate click” isn’t set up by default. So if you try to right-click with the keyboard out of the box on a Mac, well, nothing happens.

You need to set up right-click behavior with the mouse in System Preferences under the mouse and trackpad options. Then your Magic Trackpad or Mouse will provide a right-click when you click with two fingers (on a trackpad) or on the right-hand side (with the Magic Mouse).

By default, however, you need to use the mouse and the keyboard to generate a right-click. Simply hold down the control button and then left-click. Don’t confuse it with the “options” button.

If you hold that down instead you’ll still get a popup menu in many cases, but not the right-click menu. For example, holding options and clicking on the WiFi icon opens advanced WiFi options.

Use a Right-Click Shortcut Key

In Windows, you can select items using Tab and the cursor keys.You can then use Enter to activate the item. Taken together, that more or less gives you the same functionality as left-clicking or double-clicking on items. 

What most people don’t know is that you can also perform a keyboard shortcut to do a right-click. On some Windows keyboards, there’s a button that looks like this.

However, many modern keyboards don’t have this. Luckily Windows has a universal shortcut, Shift + F10, which does exactly the same thing. It will do a right-click on whatever is highlighted or wherever the cursor is in software like Word or Excel.

Who Needs a Mouse?

OK, maybe that’s overstating it. Still, if your pointing device stops working or you find a mouse too hard to use, then these keyboard-based workarounds can be invaluable. 

If you are forced to use something other than a mouse in order to control the pointer thanks to a disability, you should consider investing in an alternative type of pointing device.

There are many specialized  controllers designed for people with a variety of mobility issues. For example, eye-tracking cameras or voice-control. You can even use a piece of software such as Keysticks to use a standard off-the-shelf game controller to control your mouse pointer.

While the mouse pointer is still integral to most desktop operating systems today, you have plenty of choices when it comes to moving that pointer around. 

How to Read and Open .DAT Files in Windows

If you find a file with a .dat extension on your computer, it’s simply a generic data file that contains important information about the program used to create the particular file.

It can be anything like an email attachment (as winmail.dat files), image or video, a document or even data, which stores information for software to handle. The information contained within the .dat file can be binary or plain text but is related to the program that created the file.

In order to read or open a .dat file, you need to know what kind of file it is, and then convert it to make it easier to open.  

Such files aren’t associated with a particular program though, so if it’s in plain text, you can try to open it with different programs like MS Document or Notepad among others, and it’ll display the content.  Otherwise you’ll only see some rough data that you can’t understand unless you’re a programmer.

In rare cases though, you can find .dat files having the actual data for video files that open with programs like CyberLink Powerdirector or VCDGear.

How To Read & Open DAT Files

Most files have default programs that read and open the files, for example MP3 opens audio files, while plain text files are opened using TXT files, but with .dat files, there’s no obvious program to open it.

If you feel stuck with a .dat file and aren’t sure how to open it, what to do with it, or even think it should be used or opened in a particular way, you need to figure out whether it’s video or text-based, an email attachment or other kind of .dat file.

The easiest way to figure this out is by going back to how and where you got the .dat file from, as this usually gives you the information you need to know how to read .dat files.

Using a Text Editor To Open DAT Files

For text-based .dat files, you can easily read and/or open it using a text editor. It’s the first tool to try when you’re not sure how to open a DAT file.

In Windows, the native and basic Notepad text editor will help you, though there are other alternative programs that can replace Notepad.

Not all .dat files are text files though, so you may not be able to open them using a text editor. The .dat files may not be easy to edit, delete or even move, because they may be locked, or they may be part of the program’s configuration files, in which case you may never need to open it manually, or manipulate it.

To open the .dat file in Windows using a text editor, right-click on the file you want to open, and select Open With.

Select the text editor you want to use, and click OK.

You’ll be able to read the file’s contents if it’s a text-based .dat file. If not, you’ll see many NUL references and incomprehensible characters.

If you received an email attachment in the form of a winmail.dat file, you can easily open it using Winmaildat.com without the sender having to resend it to you in the mail. Once you download the .dat file attachment, go to Winmaildat.com and click Browse next to Upload a File.

Find the .dat file and click Open. Once uploaded, click Start, allow the file to be analyzed.

Check for the results in the Result page so you can see the contents of the .dat file. You can also click on it to download it to your computer and view everything the .dat file contains.

For video .dat files, you can check the program it was saved from and try to open using that program. If it’s in a program folder linked to a specific video file program, you can use it to play the file, or try using VLC on your computer.

How To Convert DAT Files

You can also convert the .dat file using a free or paid file converter. The steps you’ll take to convert .dat files depend on the kind of file you have, but you really don’t have to convert it to another format especially if it’s used to store configuration data as we mentioned above.

Similarly, converting the .dat file could also render it unusable. For example, you can open a .dat video file in the program that was used to create it, and then save it or export to another format like the popular MP4, WMV, AVI or FLV.

Another way of reading and opening .dat files that came as email attachments is by renaming it to the correct extension that your computer recognizes, especially if you know it’s supposed to be a particular file type but is a DAT file instead.

For example, if you know it’s meant to be an image file, you can rename it to JPG or PNG, or for Microsoft Word documents, you can rename the DAT file extension to .doc or .docx. Make sure to read out article on how to open a file with no extension as it explains the process in more detail.

Before renaming the DAT file though, configure Windows to show file extensions properly.

We hope you now know how to read and open DAT files in Windows. Let us know which of the three methods worked for you by sharing your comment in the section below.