Modified dates in Site Contents should reflect content changes, not system changes
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 might say "Modified 23 hours ago". It seems as though lists and libraries are being "touched" by some background process, 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 9 days ago" or "Modified 10 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'm attaching a screenshot showing this.
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 also submitted this to sharepoint.uservoice.com at https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/329214-sites-and-collaboration/suggestions/15112005-modified-dates-in-site-contents-should-reflect-con. Please vote early and often!
why does this need 2 user voice posts and surely it is a bug not an enhancement request to get the value to report as expected.
do we have any solution for this issue?
This needs to change, it worked nicely in 2010, and was an quick and easy way to ID dormant sites...
Brian Kinsella commented
same behavior here across all tenants I work (worked) with: mine and customers. Thank you Marc for flagging - been nagging me for a while!
Irina Winsley commented
I noticed that too in our Office 365 tenant. It gives me a lot of grief with our collaboration workspaces. To keep our workspaces tidy, we have a policy of closing spaces that have not been used for over 3 months. By checking the modified dates in Site Contents I could easily establish in SharePoint 2010 whether a particular space has been used in the last 3 months or not. In Office 365 however date modified in Site Contents always indicates that all workspaces have been modified in the last week or so, even if no one was accessing or using their content for a year. Modified dates in Site Contents should reflect content changes. I strongly believe this should be fixed.