This sounds really stupid - but I bought my Mac (supposedly brand new) from a retailer friend in 2014, and I just found apps that are created in 2013 while going through Finder.

Does Date Created for apps & files in OS X can be not the exact date that it was installed on the Mac?

  • If you're looking for a Finder column that will tell you when it was installed, Date Added will do that.
    – Tuesday
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


In most cases, "Date Created" is the date you created the file. For example, if you write a document and save it, "Today" is the creation date.

If I check my Applications folder, I can see that "App Store.app" was created on June 18, 2015. However, it's impossible for it to have been installed on that date because I installed El Capitan on the USB drive I'm currently booted from just a couple weeks ago (in other words, in June 2015 I didn't own a bootable copy of El Capitan). This means that the "Date Created" was the date that the app itself was created and not when it was installed.

In some other cases (I can't find the file I'm thinking about right now but if I do I'll edit my answer) you can download files and they could retain their metadata. You can download a file created years before you even owned your computer. If the metadata is retained you could have a creation date that is before your owning of that computer (e.g. download a document written in 2013 on a 2014 laptop).

  • Thanks for the answer. These are only build-in applications - like calculator, dashboard, chess, etc. But I can assume that the created date is the actual date of releasing the app, correct? If I could ask another question.. my iTunes was opened yesterday, and I completely shut it down and re-opened but the last opened date is still some day in September. I'm just wondering if something is not synced correctly...
    – am1212
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 13:42
  • Theoretically, yes, downloaded apps should have the date they are released. I'm not sure about the Last Opened date though. I actually get varying creation dates for different built-in apps.
    – Arc676
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 13:43
  • Same here. Most of my built-in apps are created in 2013 which is a year before I got this laptop and wasn't sure why.. thanks!
    – am1212
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 13:49

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