How to preserve original/organic properties of a file as/after it is uploaded into SharePoint onilne

Copper Contributor

I am having a hard time trying to find a method, without the use of a 3rd party application, to preserve the organic/original properties of a file being uploaded into SharePoint Onilne document library.

I have tried by uploading files or trying to sync from a local drive, once the file is uploaded it loses its properties. The date it was created is not the date the file was created but it takes the date it was uploaded into the SharePoint site.

The only other option/solution I have discovered is ShareGate light for $2000/year subscription.

Would appreciate if (1) someone can direct me to a method of uploading or syncing files into SharePoint in a method that preserves the original date the file was created as an inherent property of the file to be maintained after it is uploaded onto SharePoint (2) If there is no organic way of doing this- anyother more economical way than ShareGate ($2k/yr)?


In legal proceedings files have properties and uploading such files into SharePoint modifies their properties even if they are synced from the sharepoint local drive folder to sharepoint online. On the local drive first they have their own properties to start with, but once they are synced with the cloud using the sharepoint one drive application, the files in the local drive also have the date created as the date the files were uploaded into SharePoint and not the original date they were created. Thus, a file with date created or modified as in year 2013 loses its 2013 date inherently in the file if it is uploaded into SharePoint in 2017 and supports same properties of 2017. This is not the case when photos are uploaded into sharepoint, but documents lose their properties.

Am i missing something here?

Here is a link of a post in the community where a member suggests using PowerShell and confirms the need to use a 3rd party application.


I cannot imagine losing properties of a file as it is uploaded into SharePoint!!!!!!!! Help!

12 Replies
Well, if a third party tool is not feasible I only see the option of creating a PowerShell script / .NET Code that essentially makes the same but you would probably ended investing same amount of money

OOTB this is not possible. The free SharePoint Migration Tool retains the original modification date but requires a client-side install and is not integrated with the browser. This makes it less attractive for day to day usage by end-users.

There are 3rd party tools that provide this functionality (keep original modification date, extract metadata from the original files, set custom metadata, ...) within the browser (e.g. add-in) and that are cost effective. For example,

Please keep in mind that SharePoint modifies files upon loading (e.g. docx, msg, tiff, ..) by inserting additional metadata or schema information. This is not the case for image files like jpg, gif and png.

Paul de Jong |


Thanks a ton Paul for your directions.
Sincerely appreciate same.
I searched on the link you provided for a list of 3rd party applications, but could not find one, which stated that it could maintain the native properties of the file, such as date created.
Is there one application that you are aware of that can do the transfer retaining the original properties of the file into SharePoint that you have tested.
Does the slim application tool do this?
Thank you.

Hi Ashwin. If you are looking to preserve the file modified dates and create dates as part of your initial migration to SharePoint Online and you would consider a commercial solution, take a look at Files To Go. Files To Go is a dedicated file share migration tool for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. It will preserve modified dates and created dates of files migrated. The tool starts from $195 USD for a 1 month subscription. A free trial is available here.


Disclosure: I work for the company that develops Files To Go.





Thanks Dean.

I just placed a question to confirm if I can use the tool you recommend

Do you know if so?

Appreciate your response- would be awesome if it can do it.


Hi Ashwin,

Migration Manager allows you to migrate content to SharePoint and keep the original modification/creation date. It also automatically caters for illegal characters, long names, very large files, etc..

The tool is browser-based so there is no need to install anything. Visit for a 15-day trial. Note: I am affiliated with the vendor.

Paul |


I agree - this is an absolutely egregious oversight when creating SharePoint and OneNote tools.

Unfortunately, all the solutions I see here are after migration.  


Since SharePoint (and OneDrive) store the date created and modified as the date when STORED (created) and UPDATED (modified) and not the actual file date created and modified, this has created immense issues in finding which files are most recent, etc. 

I am recommending to Microsoft that you use different terminology for SharePoint and OneDrive as suggested above Stored vs Created and Updated vs Modified.  If there is ANY WAY you can query the metadata (which I can see when I open the file) for the actual File Created and Modified and automatically create and update metadata columns for those in SharePoint, this would be a HUGE win. 

For now my files that were *actually* created from 2006 to when we migrated to our new SharePoint (company sold and split we have had two migrations in three years) all have the SAME CREATED and MODIFIED dates making it impossible to a) eliminate old files, b) determine which files (stored in folders which I hate) are the most recent, and so much more. 

I have hundreds of files.  In SharePoint, I had created manual metadata with FileDate and FileCreator (because it also stores the person who uploaded the file as "Modified by" (again should be "Updated by")) but lost all of that on migration AND am not willing to try to go through that again.  I tried to figure out a way to query the files and pull date and time with an Excel macro but was unsuccessful.  (And I made a mistake on several files when looking for the actual date modified and forgot to turn off the automatic saving feature and sadly lost that info - sigh.) 


Dates are critical to document management and we really need to get this right. 

Question: Is there a solution already that can help me (after files are already in SharePoint)?

@Shelli Godfrey 
What files types do you have?
Rationale: popular file types contain embedded modify/create details such as
docx, xlsx, pptx, vsdx, pdf, png, jpg, tiff, msg, eml, dwg, psd, mov, mp4, ...

Some file types do not contain details, e.g. txt, zip, ...

I am not aware of tools offering that capability: extract modify/create details from files already present in SharePoint. But it is not rocket science to develop that. The main question: is there sufficient demand? Do others also perceive this as a problem. I personally fully agree with you. Retaining the original properties is key for user acceptance.
Paul | SLIM Applications (

@Ashwin Nanda Hi, I hope you are going well! You could use OneDrive to move files to SharePoint's library. This action will keep the creation and modification dates.


I know this is an older thread, but has anyone found a solution to this issue? I need to create a data retention policy for files based on the created date. Unfortunately, the original created date was changed after the files were migrated to SharePoint.


Have the files already been uploaded to SharePoint?
If the files have not yet been uploaded you can use 3rd party tools like example to extract the original create date stored within the files and capture the values into a SharePoint column during uploading. This works for most common file formats such as Office (e.g. docx), emails, pdf, jpg, binary Office files (doc, ...), audio files, video files, ...

If the files are already present in SharePoint things become more complicated. You will need to look for applications/scripts that can extract metadata from files stored in SharePoint and then update the SharePoint columns. For emails there are solutions (e.g., example) but you will probably have a mix of different file formats.