Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Illustration of a clock showing the time of 10:09.

A timestamp or time stamp is a time registered to a file, log, or notification that records when data is added, removed, modified, or transmitted. Below are examples of how a timestamp may be used, and where.


A date stamp is similar to the timestamp but only shows the date instead of only the time or time and date. For example, Computer Hope uses a date stamp on its updated notice shown below the page title to indicate when a page was last updated.

Network attack aimed at banking data

In the example below, the timestamp shows a time and date when a news article was submitted. Many web pages that have several updates a day post a date and time to let users know when something was posted or last updated.

Network attack aimed at banking data
Submitted Friday, July 28, 2020 @ 08:11 A.M.

Command line timestamp

In the example below, you can see that the MS-DOS command line, like every operating system, shows a time and date stamp of when a file was last modified.

06/21/1998 09:35p 6,815 ch.gif

Should I write timestamp as one word or two words?

Timestamp can be written as one word or two words depending on the style guide you follow. The Oxford English Dictionary and Computer Hope write "timestamp" as one word. Merriam-Webster and the Microsoft Manual of Style write "time stamp" as two words.

Changing the timestamp of a file

When a file or folder is edited, modified, or otherwise changed the timestamp of the file is updated to the current time and date. To change the timestamp of a file, edit the file, make a minor change, and save the file. Alternatively, if you're running Microsoft Windows you can NewFileTime tool from SoftwareOK to modify any file or folder to any timestamp.

Business terms, Date, Epoch, Time, Y2k