All the ways to prove when a Word document was created


There are several ways of finding out when someone created a Word document. However, some methods are more accurate than others. So in this article, we will investigate all the different ways of determining when a Word document was made.

Inside the application:

  • Go to File > Info.
  • Locate the ‘Related Dates’ heading.
  • You will find the ‘Created’ date below.

Outside the application:

  • Locate the Word document on your computer.
  • Right-click the file and select ‘Properties’ from the drop-down menu.
  • You can find the ‘Created’ date in the ‘General’ and ‘Details’ tabs.

Please continue reading our visual, step-by-step guide on how to prove when a document was created in Microsoft Word.

Method 1 – Find the created date inside a Word document (app)

You can use this method if you have access to the Desktop version of Microsoft Word. Please start this guide by opening your Word document in the application.

  • Click on File in the top menu.
In Word click File.
  • Then click on Info in the blue menu.
  • You can find the Created date under the Related Dates heading.
Click info then look for the created date under the Related Dates header.
  • You can also find the created date by going to Properties and Advanced Properties.
Click on properties then click on advanced properties.
  • Click on the Statistics tab in the properties box.
  • You can find the created date at the top of the statistics.
Click on the statistics tab to find the created date.

Method 2 – Find the created date outside a Word document

You can use this method if your Word document is stored on your computer. Please start this guide by locating your file.

  • Right-click your file and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
Right-click your file and select properties from the menu.
  • You can find the Created date in the General tab.
Look for the created date in the general tab.
  • You can also find the Content created date in the Details tab.
Look for the content created date in the details tab.

Method 3 – Find the created date inside a Word document (web)

You can use this method if your Word document has been uploaded to OneDrive. Please start this guide by opening Word or OneDrive and locating your document.

Note: You will only see the original created date if the Word document was made on the web version of Word. If your Word document was made in the desktop or mobile application, you would only see the date when someone uploaded the document to OneDrive.
  • Open your Word document.
  • Click on File in the top menu.
In Word click on File.
  • Click on Info in the blue menu.
  • Then click on Version History.
Click on Info then click on version history.
  • Version History will open on the right side of the window.
  • Click on the down arrow next to the bottom version.
  • You can see that the document was uploaded to OneDrive 2 hours ago.
  • You can download the original version by clicking the three dots and selecting Download.
Click the drop-down arrow and look for the creation date.
  • You can also access Version History by clicking on Saved or the file name at the top.
  • Click Version History at the bottom of the drop-down box.
Click on saved or your file name at the top, then click on version history.
  • The file below was created on the web version of Word and now has multiple edits.
  • The bottom version will show the original created date.
click the drop-down arrow for the bottom version and look for the created date.

Method 4 – Find the created date outside a Word document (web)

Your Word document must have been uploaded to OneDrive or created using the web version of Word to use this method. Please start this guide by opening OneDrive and locating your Word document.

  • Click the three dots next to your file name.
  • Then select Version History from the pop-up menu.
Click the three dots next to your file and select version history.
  • The Version History will appear on the right side of the window.
  • The original created date will be version 1.0 found at the bottom of the list.
Look at version 1.0 for the creation date.
  • You can also find the Created date by hovering over the name of your file.
  • Click on See details on the pop-up box.
Hover over your file name and click see details.
  • The details for this document will appear on the right side of the window.
  • Scroll down and look for the version at the bottom of the Activity list.
Scroll down to the bottom version in the activity list.

Method 5 – Find the created date of a Word document in PowerShell

You can try this method if you have PowerShell installed on your PC. PowerShell comes installed as default in Windows 7 or above, but you can also download PowerShell from Microsoft. You will also need to have your Word document downloaded on your PC.

  • Click on the Windows search bar and type in PowerShell.
  • Then click on the PowerShell icon in the top right corner.
Type PowerShell into the windows search bar and click on the PowerShell app.
  • First, open the folder or directory where your file is located.
  • Type in: cd c:/users/(user_name)/(folder_name) then press Enter on your keyboard.
CD to the directory where your word document is located.
Note:You can find your username by opening File Explorer:
Go to This PC > Local Disk > Users.
Your username will be the name of the folder that links to your desktop.
  • Now type in: Get-ItemProperty "(file_name.docx)" | fl * and press Enter.
Use the Get-ItemProperty cmdlet to view the creation time.
Notes:
CDCD stands for Change Directory. This tells PowerShell that you are trying to move to a particular folder on your computer.
flfl stands for Format-List. This cmdlet arranges the data ready for output. The asterisk at the end (*) will select all the data. However, this is not necessary to view the creation time.
For more information on PowerShell and the Get-ItemProperty cmdlet, please visit Microsoft.

Problems proving when someone created a Word document

You can modify the created date of a Word document, making it impossible to prove concretely when a document was made. A document’s content can be copied and pasted into a new document, resetting the creation date. Or the clock on the PC can be altered so that a false time is given to the created date when the document is saved.

It’s also important to remember that a Word document’s properties are reset when uploaded to OneDrive, including the created date.

Conclusion

The best method to choose will depend on where your document is located. If your document is on OneDrive, method four is the easiest way of finding when someone created a document. But if your document is on your PC, method two will make a better choice as you can find the document’s creation date without having to open it.

While PowerShell is an excellent tool for retrieving item properties, it does require more work to get the answer you need. It’s also advisable to familiarize yourself with how PowerShell works before using it, as files can be deleted and modified with this application.

Thanks for reading.

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