How to Enable Friendly Dates in Windows 10 File Explorer

Microsoft is adding a new feature to File Explorer called Simple Dates. It replaces the legacy numeric date stamps, making it easier to find changed files.

Starting with Windows 10 1903, Windows File Explorer introduces a new feature for displaying dates on files called “Use Friendly Dates.” It replaces the legacy numeric date format with a more readable format, e.g., January 1, 2019. It’s a small change, yet I wanted to point it out today to give it a spin after you upgrade to the latest build of Windows. I think it’s easier to find files based on timestamps.

How to Enable File Explorer Friendly Dates on Windows 10

  1. Open up File Explorer and click the View tab. Then click the Options button on the right corner of the ribbon and then choose Change folder and search options from the menu.
  2. You can also enable the feature without opening File Explorer first. Hit the Windows Key and type: folder options and choose the result for File Explorer Options at the top.
  3. Whichever way you get there, when the Folder Options dialog opens, choose the View tab, scroll down the list, and check the Use-friendly dates option. Click OK and close out of the Folder Options dialog.

You can also sort your files using the “friendly names format” just like you would normally do, like clicking the “Date Modified” column and viewing the documents by date modified in ascending or descending order. But with this option enabled, you should be able to find documents more quickly than by reading through the extended date and time naming convention.

Friendly Names Example File Explorer

This should allow you to find documents easier, especially if you’re working with a team. Your colleague might say, “It’s the document I made changes to just a few minutes ago.” And instead of looking for the exact date and time previously used in File Explorer. Of course, some of the documents will still have the traditional archival naming convention, and if you prefer that, you don’t need to use friendly dates.

Keep in mind that this is a new option coming to Windows 1903, which, at the time of this writer, is rolling out to Insiders as 19H1. So, if you don’t see it yet, don’t panic. It will arrive once the update is rolled out to your system later this year.

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