How to stop OneDrive changing modified date when opening files

The “modified date” column in Windows’ file explorer details the last time someone made a change to a file, folder, or folder’s contents. Information regarding when someone modified a file helps hold employees accountable for potential issues with a file or folder. Take, for instance, if you worked on a spreadsheet on Monday, and the file was ruined by Tuesday — when your colleague altered the file. It would be clear you are not responsible due to the modification date differing from the last time you worked on a file. Despite that, OneDrive makes the information unreliable when it alters it — just for opening the file.

Solution:

  1. Click the OneDrive for business taskbar icon
  2. Click the “Help & Settings” button
  3. Select the “Settings” option in the context menu
  4. Switch to the Office tab
  5. Uncheck the “Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open” box
  6. Open an Office document from your OneDrive for business folder
  7. Close the document without making any changes
  8. Ensure the “modified date” is unchanged

You will find a comprehensive step-by-step guide on disabling “modified date” changes when you open a OneDrive Office document in the following post. If you get stuck, please refer to the provided images for each step; most of what you’re looking for will be outlined in red or highlighted in yellow. Alternatively, if you’d rather hide the problem, you can prevent the “date modified” column from being shown in much less time- I’ll also be covering that.

Contents:

How to prevent OneDrive from changing “modified date” when a file is opened

Step 1 – Open your OneDrive application’s settings

If you haven’t altered its location, you will find your taskbar positioned at the bottom of your screen. The blue OneDrive icon can be found to the right of your taskbar- depicting a cloud. Click the icon, followed by “Help & Settings” in its resulting menu. Lastly, select “Settings” to produce the window we require to proceed.

Step 2 – Disable office file syncs when office apps are opened

The “Office” tab within the OneDrive settings window contains a toggle labeled, “Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open.” When the toggle is enabled, Office applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint will re-sync upon being opened- causing them to appear as though someone has modified them. Thus, deactivating the toggle should resolve your issue.

Step 3 – Open an Office document from your OneDrive folder

Before assuming we’ve succeeded, we must first test our actions have taken the intended effect- access your OneDrive folder; open an Office document.

Step 4 – Close the document and check its “modified date”

Now you have opened the Office file, close it without making any changes- check its “Date modified” value in your OneDrive folder.

How to hide the “date modified” column

Step 1 – Open the file explorer

Open the file explorer via the “Documents” icon in the taskbar or the “Ctrl + E” keyboard shortcut. As one would imagine, a file explorer’s UI settings are within the said file explorer.

Step 2 – Access your OneDrive folder

Below quick access or (if you use it often enough) inside it, you should be able to spot your OneDrive personal or OneDrive for Business folder. Click the folder to access it.

Step 3 – Deactivate the “date modifeid” column

To begin, you will need to right-click any of the folder’s column headers, such as “Name,” “Status,” or “Date modified.” Afterward, in the resulting dropdown, you’ll need to click “Date modified” to uncheck it.

Step 4 – Check it worked

If you no longer see the “Date modified” column, you managed to follow along fine- otherwise, consider going over the instructions one more time. There’s a slight chance you misclicked or disabled the wrong column.

Recap & Farewell

Recap

OneDrive features a toggleable setting that controls whether or not Office applications are synced by OneDrive when opened. If active, OneDrive will sync Office documents in its folder whenever you open them; “date modified” will be updated as a result. Therefore, the logical solution to resolve the issue is to toggle the setting off. If you’re not particularly interested in using the “date modified” feature but are still bothered by the unwanted changes, you can also simply hide the column via the file explorer.

Farewell

Thank you for letting us support you in resolving your technical difficulties. If you primarily use Microsoft365 in your Office, you may want to consider taking a peek at the rest of our site. We’re always adding new posts to fill you in on the latest additions to Microsoft365 or even jump its newly discovered obstacles.

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Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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