How to get the file creation date in Java

There are no official way to get the file creation date in Java. However, you can use the following workaround to get the file creation date in Windows platform.

How it work

In Windows command prompt, type the command to list the file creation date.

C:\>cmd /c dir c:\logfile.log /tc
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 0410-1EC3
 Directory of c:\
31/05/2010  08:05                14 logfile.log
               1 File(s)             14 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  35,389,460,480 bytes free

The “31/05/2010 08:05” is what you need. The idea is use the Java “Runtime.getRuntime().exec” to execute the above command, hold the output, and parse it by lines until you get the date and time.


In this example, it will get the creation date of file (c:\\logfile.log).

package com.mkyong.file;
import java.util.StringTokenizer;
public class GetFileCreationDateExample
    public static void main(String[] args)
    		Process proc = 
    		   Runtime.getRuntime().exec("cmd /c dir c:\\logfile.log /tc");
    		BufferedReader br = 
    		   new BufferedReader(
    		      new InputStreamReader(proc.getInputStream()));
    		String data ="";
    		//it's quite stupid but work
    		for(int i=0; i<6; i++){
    			data = br.readLine();
    		System.out.println("Extracted value : " + data);
    		//split by space
    		StringTokenizer st = new StringTokenizer(data);
    		String date = st.nextToken();//Get date
    		String time = st.nextToken();//Get time
    		System.out.println("Creation Date  : " + date);
    		System.out.println("Creation Time  : " + time);
    	}catch(IOException e){


Extracted value : 31/05/2010  08:05  14 logfile.log
Creation Date  : 31/05/2010
Creation Time  : 08:05
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  • rushman

    In Java7 there is a more sophisticated way to get (or set!) file attributes, including creation time.

    public void printFileCreationTime() throws IOException {
    Path path = Paths.get(“C:\\myfile.txt”);
    BasicFileAttributeView basicView = Files.getFileAttributeView(path, BasicFileAttributeView.class);
    BasicFileAttributes basicAttr = basicView.readAttributes();“BasicFileAttribute creationTime: %s”, basicAttr.creationTime()));

    If you don’t use log4j, replace the to System.out.format(), or something similar.

    There are lots of other attribute views, with lots of fields. Check them out.

  • RamuM

    Please provide the MAC based file/directory creation time or any other work around compatible to java 6.
    Thank you very much.

    Ramu madabhushani

  • parimala

    Extracted value : null
    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.NullPointerException
    at java.util.StringTokenizer.(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.StringTokenizer.(Unknown Source)
    at ratna.GetFileCreationDateExample.main(

    • saraby

      Your problem could be the white spaces. Try this:

      String path =
      Process proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(“cmd /c dir \”” + path + “\” /tc”);

  • narain

    I think we can show AM/PM too.

    String date = st.nextToken();//Get date
    String time = st.nextToken();//Get time
    String amPm = st.nextToken();//Get AM or PM

    System.out.println(“Creation Date : ” + date);
    System.out.println(“Creation Time : ” + time + ” ” + amPm);

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