Looking at the modified values in Site Contents has always been a quick way to recognize where activity has occurred – if it has. Without running any code we can quickly see if a site has been used recently. (It was easier to eyeball this in SharePoint 2007 in the vertical listing than it is in SharePoint 2013+, but that’s a different UI issue – tiles aren’t helpful for every use case.)
For months now, a list no one has touched for over a year on Office 365 might say “Modified 23 hours ago”. It seems as though lists and libraries are being “touched” by some background process(es), changing the modified time incorrectly.
An example would be the site in my Sympraxis Office 365 tenant at https://sympraxis.sharepoint.com/sites/Demos2013/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx
On that page, I see a number of lists and libraries that say “Modified 5 days ago”. I know for a fact that I have not modified any of those lists or libraries in quite a long time (at least months) and I’m the only person who would be in there.
I’ve seen this in multiple tenants on Office 365, so it isn’t just something in my tenant. It’s VERY confusing to end users and brings into question the integrity of the platform.
I’ve been told by support that this is “expected behavior” and has been the case since SharePoint 2013. I believe this should be fixed.
I’ve added two UserVoice items to collect votes on this. It seems to be the best way to get some people in Redmond to pay attention to the issue, as my support conduits have failed.
- SharePoint UserVoice: Modified dates in Site Contents should reflect content changes, not system changes
- Office 365 UserVoice: Modified dates in Site Contents should reflect content changes, not system changes
It’s a shame when I feel I need to become an agitator to get my friends out Seattle way to pay attention to this sort of issue. I know they are better and smarter than this, but large companies sometimes end up with processes that aren’t conducive to absorbing input. Things are SO much better in Redmond now, and I am sincerely enjoying working with the Product Group out there as an MVP.
In this case, let’s politely and constructively let them know this matters to us (and in my case, to my clients) by voting for the UserVoice items. Requests with more votes get more attention. so let’s let them hear us.
As of mid-October, 2017, this issue should be fixed in all tenants, as noted in the SharePoint UserVoice item above (Modified dates in Site Contents should reflect content changes, not system changes).
Thanks for this feedback. This is an example of how User Voice and Twitter brought this to our attention.
We have rolled out a fix to all of production for this issue. Going forward, Site Content’s dates will only update based upon real user behavior, not system changes.
It’s worth noting that this is a go-forward fix – we did not feel it right to go back and change existing dates.
Please let us know if you see any dates update that are unexpected.