Retrieving the Last-Write Time

The following example uses the GetFileTime function to retrieve the last-write time for a file. It converts the time to local time based on the current time-zone settings, and creates a date and time string that can be shown to the user.

#include <windows.h>
#include <tchar.h>
#include <strsafe.h>

// GetLastWriteTime - Retrieves the last-write time and converts
//                    the time to a string
// Return value - TRUE if successful, FALSE otherwise
// hFile      - Valid file handle
// lpszString - Pointer to buffer to receive string

BOOL GetLastWriteTime(HANDLE hFile, LPTSTR lpszString, DWORD dwSize)
    FILETIME ftCreate, ftAccess, ftWrite;
    SYSTEMTIME stUTC, stLocal;
    DWORD dwRet;

    // Retrieve the file times for the file.
    if (!GetFileTime(hFile, &ftCreate, &ftAccess, &ftWrite))
        return FALSE;

    // Convert the last-write time to local time.
    FileTimeToSystemTime(&ftWrite, &stUTC);
    SystemTimeToTzSpecificLocalTime(NULL, &stUTC, &stLocal);

    // Build a string showing the date and time.
    dwRet = StringCchPrintf(lpszString, dwSize, 
        TEXT("%02d/%02d/%d  %02d:%02d"),
        stLocal.wMonth, stLocal.wDay, stLocal.wYear,
        stLocal.wHour, stLocal.wMinute);

    if( S_OK == dwRet )
        return TRUE;
    else return FALSE;

int _tmain(int argc, TCHAR *argv[])
    HANDLE hFile;
    TCHAR szBuf[MAX_PATH];

    if( argc != 2 )
        printf("This sample takes a file name as a parameter\n");
        return 0;
    hFile = CreateFile(argv[1], GENERIC_READ, FILE_SHARE_READ, NULL,
        OPEN_EXISTING, 0, NULL);

        printf("CreateFile failed with %d\n", GetLastError());
        return 0;
    if(GetLastWriteTime( hFile, szBuf, MAX_PATH ))
        _tprintf(TEXT("Last write time is: %s\n"), szBuf);