Windows 10 1903: Dates in conversational format in Explorer

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 4, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

The snail-paced rollout of Windows 10 version 1809 is still ongoing as development of Windows 10 version 1903 continues to push new features that might be supported in the next feature update for Windows 10.

Microsoft has not changed the schedule yet; Windows 10 version 1903 is expected in late March or early April 2019.

Users who run Insider versions of Windows 10 can test some of the functionality already. Microsoft tests a new feature in File Explorer currently that displays the data in conversational format.

File Explorer, the default file browser of Windows 10, displays modification dates by default. The dates that it displays uses the format day-month-year-time, e.g. 04-Oct-18 09:26 AM by default (as do other date listings such as creation date).

file explorer old date format

The new conversational format for dates in File Explorer changes this to a format that removes the time parameter from the listing in most instances and changes the date as well.

File Explorer displays dates such as August 4, 2010, Yesterday at 13:26, or "just now" instead in listings.

file explorer conversation format

The format uses rules that determine what is displayed to the user:

  • Current year dates omit the year.
  • All dates older than 2 days are displayed in the format Month Day, e.g. November 29.
  • Yesterday: displays the modification time.
  • Today: displays "hours ago" or "just now".

Sorting works as expected; File Explorer takes the full date and time into account and sorts the file and folder listing of the active folder based on that.

options file explorer conversational format

It is unclear whether the new conversational format will be the default in Windows 10 version 1903. Recent builds include a setting to turn the new format on or off:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 10.
  2. Select View and click on the Options button.
  3. Switch to the View tab in the Folder Options window that opens.
  4. Scroll down until you find "Show dates in conversational format".

Check the option to enable the new conversational format and uncheck it to turn it off and go back to the default format used in previous versions of the Windows operating system.

The functionality is powered by a value in the Registry:

  1. Open the Registry Editor on the system. Tap on the Windows-key to display Start, type regedit.exe, and select the result to load it.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt that Windows displays.
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Locate the Dword FriendlyDates.
    1. If it does not exist, right-click on Advanced and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
    2. Name it FriendlyDates.
  5. Double-click on the value and set it to the value 1 to use the new conversational format or to 0 to use the old date display format.

We have created a Registry script that you may run to enable or disable the new format for dates. Download the zip archive with the two Registry scripts with a click on the following link:

Microsoft did add dark mode to File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1809.

Now You: Do you prefer the old or the new format? (via Deskmodder)

Windows 10 1903: Dates in conversational format in Explorer
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Windows 10 1903: Dates in conversational format in Explorer
Microsoft plans to add a new date display format to File Explorer in Windows 10 version 1903 called conversational format.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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