Feature request: preserve timestamps on downloaded files
Reported by ax...@outlook.com, Nov 19 2008
Chrome Version : <REPLACE this with your version. Ex: 0.3.154.3> URLs (if applicable) : Other browsers tested: Add OK or FAIL after other browsers where you have tested this issue: Safari 3: FAIL Firefox 3: OK (with DownThemAll) IE 7: FAIL FDM, Orbit, FlashGet and other popular download managers: OK What steps will reproduce the problem? 1. Download a file. 2. Check modification date in file properties 3. What is the expected result? Last modified date is the same as reported by server. What happens instead? Last modified date is the date file was downloaded. Please provide any additional information below. Attach a screenshot if possible. In my opinion, file modification date should reflect exactly that - when the file was last _modified_. Downloading in that regard should be no different than copying a file from one drive to another. Preserving timestamps makes sense for, e.g., comparing different versions of the same file, or checking if the file has been changed since last time it was downloaded. If that goes against other people's preferences of organizing their downloads, I'd be happy if that feature is optional or even hidden in the configuration file.
Nov 20 2008,
Setting the download to the current time matches the behavior of IE, Firefox, and Sarafi (that is to say Chrome is not acting abnormally). My sense is that there probably is not going to be a lot of acceptance of the team of adding a configuration option (in general the team errors on the side of simplicity), but it doesn't hurt to ask... marking as untriaged and changing to a feature request.
Dec 9 2008,
Jun 21 2009,
If the behaviour of IE or any other was anything to go by, there would be no point in developing Chromium, in the first place - the reason it exists is because its developers thought they could do better, right? As for someone wanting to know when they got some file or whatever, there's always the creation date stamp - that's what it's there for.
Jul 4 2009,
C4l0sMC, creation date does not exist on every platform, and for the platforms where it does exist (i.e. Windows), it seems counterintuitive to have a creation time newer than the last modification time. I'd really love this feature, but seems it could result in confusion for some. Firefox has this on one of its wiki pages: <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Feature_Brainstorming:Downloads> (grep for "preserve"). Couldn't find a bug for it, though
Jul 4 2009,
It took me a while to figure it out, but coming from where it's coming, nothing should surprise you. Naming it more logically (filing date/edition date should do it) should be dead easy, though. Still, that goes beyond us, mere mortals :( Glad to see Firefox agrees :) In any case, as usual, setting it as an option should leave everyone happy.
Dec 18 2009,
Area-UI-Features label replaces Area-BrowserUI label
Feb 17 2010,
Apr 13 2010,
Safari on Mac OS X handles this fine. It's really helpful so that you can see if file has changed since the last time you downloaded it. (e.g. with course documents on a university website)
Jun 2 2010,
Please, we fought a hard and long battle with Firefox developers to fix this bug. The fix will appear in firefox in the next release. Take a look here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=178506 Chrome should join Firefox and fix this bug also, please!!!
Jun 3 2010,
This is how CVS (but not SVN) checks out files from a repository. If the OS allows file creation time to be newer than file modification time (a counterintuitive state), I tend to support this change.
Nov 15 2010,
@filamento (#9) Later in August this functionality was removed and feature request was closed as WONTFIX: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=178506#c218
Nov 27 2010,
Internet Explorer and Safari use the Last-Modified HTTP header to set the file timestamp. Independent of whether the behavior is deemed to be correct, there should be an option or setting to control the behavior.
Dec 7 2010,
Feb 13 2011,
“Internet Explorer and Safari use the Last-Modified HTTP header to set the file timestamp.” On Mac OS X, yes, but not on Windows. A file whose creation time is newer than its last-modified time may seem counter-intuitive, but it is still a common occurrence because the file system’s creation time field is the time the file was created /in this volume/, not when the file was originally created in its original volume. Changing the last-modified time of a copied file when the file /has not been modified/ is not only more counter-intuitive, it is completely illogical. File system support for creation time is irrelevant because chrome://downloads/ already records the time each file was downloaded. Chrome should preserve the last-modified time of downloaded files because it is the only logical choice: users who, for illogical reasons, want the last-modified time of downloaded files to be the time the file was downloaded instead of when it was actually last modified can use touch(1) or another means to update the file’s last modified time; users who prefer logic and consequently want the last-modified time of downloaded files to actually be the last-modified time cannot use Chrome to download files because Chrome cannot preserve the last modified time of downloaded files. This issue should be changed from a low(er) priority feature/enhancement request to a top priority bug because last-modification time preservation is fundamental functionality expected from all programs capable of copying files. The top of this page defines Chromium as “An open-source browser project to help move the web forward.”. Until Chromium’s download (file copy) implementation is fixed, this claim is a marketing fantasy. Opera Software also claims to deliver “simply the best Internet experience”, which is simply false because they are ignoring at least 2 basic requests from users, including myself, on their forums: to preserve last-modified time of downloaded files and use “Page x of y” instead of “Page x” on print (paged) media. The best Internet experience can never be delivered until Opera Software prioritises fixing such basic issues. Of course, Opera Software’s issue tracker is private too so I cannot see how many other user requests they are ignoring. Internet Explorer for Windows is such a joke it still reports itself as compatible with Mozilla/4.0 from 1997. Microsoft did not even implement Print Preview until Internet Explorer 5.5 in 2000. Google appears to be attempting to outdo Microsoft by being so late to add Print Preview to Chrome, but such lateness is probably more excusable now than in the 1990s due to the popularity of printing to PDF files with virtual printers. Anyway, Firefox is still my primary Web browser because I need full support for http://lazarus.interclue.com/ .
Mar 9 2011,
When I download a file, I want *exact* copy of the file provided by the server. That includes the modification time. The reason is the same as with "-p" option of "cp" - you *can* and sometimes *want* to preserve file metadata on copy, for further reuse. If it was impossible by file system design, I would agree with the current interpretation/behaviour. But that's possible and exploited everywhere: you *can* preserve metadata (including modification date) on file transfer. For instance, I use it for sorting manually downloaded system updates by the *original* file date. Chrome simply does not allow such a scenario at the moment. That's sad.
May 9 2012,
ELinks and wget set the downloaded file's modification time to the server-reported Last-Modified time, too. So does Curl if you use the --remote-time option. I love this because it allows me to refresh my local copy of a file only if the server actually has a newer version using wget's --timestamping option or curl's --time-cond option. It would be nice if Chromium could elevate itself to the functionality of tools that have been around for decades. ;)
Mar 10 2013,
Apr 30 2013,
Jun 2 2013,
Can chrome provide a download option like wget -N? I don't want to get a renamed file from server.
Aug 7 2013,
Please provide a way for Chrome to reserve the date/time of downloaded files, even if that is not the default. This would be invaluable, for example, when updating the thousands of files that come with LaTeX, a few of which are occasionally changed. I expect this kind of behavior as found e.g. in WSFTP.
Oct 24 2014,
I use Firefox with DownThemAll extension for downloading files in order to get this behavior (downloaded file modification timestamp matches timestamp on server). This allows me to easily monitor when a file has changed. I wish Chrome could do this as well.
Feb 5 2015,
It looks like this isn't a hidden option either. Would appreciate if this was added as an option also, so I don't have to use Firefox on the same download. Some third-party download managers have trouble with Chrome integration on some websites and the download goes to the built-in download manager, so in those cases the present workaround is to use another browser.
Feb 5 2015,
Not sure about Windows, but on Mac OS X, HFS+ supports 5 standard timestamps: created, last accessed, contents last modified, attributes last modified, last backed up [http://ntfs.com/hfs.htm] In addition, arbitrary metadata can be added via xattrs, including the "com.apple.metadata:kMDItemDownloadedDate" key, which Safari uses to record the download timestamp (with, as has been previously mentioned, FS modification date set to value from Last-Modified HTTP header) So you have six standard timestamps the Finder can display/sort by. If Chrome is to integrate better with the host OS, a variety of timestamps should be supported, which may differ by OS.
Apr 28 2015,
May 11 2015,
See also issue 486620 .
Jun 30 2016,
This issue has been available for more than 365 days, and should be re-evaluated. Hotlist-Recharge-Cold label is added for tracking. Please re-triage this issue. For more details visit https://www.chromium.org/issue-tracking/autotriage - Your friendly Sheriffbot
Jun 30 2016,
Issue 486620 has been merged into this issue.
Jun 30 2016,
Jul 4 2016,
Just a quick info. The first post is now wrong as of july 2016. Firefox has now blocked DownThemAll from being able to preserve timestamps. Currently there's no browser that I know of capable of preserving timestamps. It's sad indeed :(
Jul 4 2016,
Let's make Chrome the only one that can do it!
Jul 12 2016,
Safari uses the Last-Modified HTTP header to set the file timestamp.
Jul 13 2016,
The only other option I know of for preserving the last modified timestamp is to use drag and drop of files from web pages to file managers in Ubuntu MATE. Why is this so hard to implement?
Jul 13 2016,
btw, it is not unusual to find a file with a creation date newer than the modified date. The creation date notes when the file was created on that particular system. The last modified time notes, if passed on correctly, when the contents of the files were last modified. Please, do make Chrome the browser to set the standard for others by implementing this feature correctly.
Jul 14 2017,
This issue has been Available for over a year. If it's no longer important or seems unlikely to be fixed, please consider closing it out. If it is important, please re-triage the issue. Sorry for the inconvenience if the bug really should have been left as Available. If you change it back, also remove the "Hotlist-Recharge-Cold" label. For more details visit https://www.chromium.org/issue-tracking/autotriage - Your friendly Sheriffbot
Jul 14 2017,
Since there doesn't seem to be any agreement that retaining the last modified time of a file from the downloading server is of any import and since I've found that the Firefox Downthemall addon is doing this task correctly again, I'll be sticking with Firefox for most of my browsing. It's a shame, really, how an addon can do the task that one would have expected from a browser itself.
Jul 14 2017,
btw, if the Firefox addon Downthemall was unable to keep the last modified time at some point in the last year, they seem to have fixed it. I just tried it again on a machine with a newer version of Ubuntu, Firefox and Downthemall, than I normally use, because of issues like this, and it's working properly, to my way of thinking, again. This means I'll likely do that long overdue upgrade of my main workstation computer to Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS with the latest Firefox and Downthemall. Take care. Now, how do we close this since no one really could do anything about it?
Jul 20 2017,
Assigning to xingliu@ just to take a look and review the history here. xinglu, feel free to kick back to triage if you think we should change.
Jul 21 2017,
Keeping my fingers crossed, thinking of developers of *nix culture for whom preserving timestamps and relying on accurate timestamps for scripts is useful, convenient, and as natural as breathing. Good luck to us, and let's raise a glass to cp -p sourcefile targetfile.
Jul 21 2017,
Interesting that this should get some new traction after all this time. Given the prevalence that Chrome is gaining over Firefox and whatever Microsoft is foisting on users these days it would be a real boon to have this feature working correctly on Chrome. Cancel my idea of dropping this issue. More than developers like to keep track of old timestamps.
Sep 26 2017,
With regard to DownThemAll - the author has discontinued development so it is very likely it will stop working sometime soon (if it hasn't already). That is literally the only thing I use FireFox for - to use DTA to download files while preserving the date/timestamp. I never understood why browsers didn't do this natively, and as mentioned earlier, it would be great if Chromium lead that charge. If it costs nothing extra other than to implement the feature (and make it an advanced option if you are so inclined) - then why not do it? Not doing it because no one else does it is a terrible reason.
Nov 16 2017,
I for one go out of my way to bring the modified timestamp with the file. When working through corporate networks, I don't always have a choice what tool to use, so rely on Chrome. Would dearly appreciate having the option to preserve the modified date/timestamp in Chrome.
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