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MacOS File Movements

MacOS File Movements

Lee Whitfield has undertaken a great study to show how file movements on MacOS systems affect the metadata on the destination. 

According to author, HFS+ has five distinct date and time stamps:

  • Created
  • Modified (last written)
  • Accessed
  • Record Change
  • Added Date

In his article Lee discusses how these timestamps change while a user copies or moves a file from HFS+ to HFS+, HFS+ to ExFAT, HFS+ to FAT32 and finally ExFAT or FAT32 to HFS+. Also you will learn about hidden “._” files and their timestamps.

Finally Whitfield notes that Access timestamp on HFS+ volumes is updated if user selects a file and click on “Get Info” from the context menu, but NOT updated updated when a file is opened and not saved.

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