Document Modified Date does not Update after Editing Metadata

I am surprised to see that the Modification Date is not updated after editing metadata. It does not even change when renaming an item. Is this intentional?

As a workaround I tried a Smart Rule to update the modification date after Saving an item; but editing metadata does not trigger “On Saving.” Is this intentional?

This Smart Rule is triggered after tagging or renaming or moving or labeling an item; so for now that suffices in many situations and if I want to change the modified date in other situations I can simply add a random tag. But I am puzzled why renaming or changing other metadata is not sufficient by itself to change the modified date.


The modification date is only updated after modifying the contents of the file (and likewise On Saving is only triggered after modifying a document).

Yes - that is what it does.

But is that what most users would want it to do? In my view at least, a user-initiated change in metadata is as pertinent as a change in content in terms of tracking versions.

(Though in defense of the current behavior, I do note that the Finder does not change Modified date when renaming a file- I had not noticed that before.)

Actually it works like that since version 1 and like in the filesystem, therefore I guess that’s what most users expect.


Even more interesting: what happens when you set the “modified date” via touch? Say, you set it to yesterday noon. According to your idea, finder should use this attempt to change the modification date to “now” (since setting the modification date were a modification of the metadata, so it should change in the modification date ;-). I’m afraid the poor Finder would go into an infinite loop, considering the ramifications of this paradoxon…

Seriously, though: I think that “modification date” should refer to the content. I wouldn’t want it to change whenever I add or remove a tag or so.


Fair enough - my use case for this question is a bit non-traditional so I can understand why there is a difference in desired behavior. So Smart Rule to the rescue here.

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