Document.lastModified

The lastModified property of the Document interface returns a string containing the date and time on which the current document was last modified.

Syntax

var string = document.lastModified;

Examples

Simple usage

This example alerts the value of lastModified.

alert(document.lastModified);
// returns: Tuesday, December 16, 2017 11:09:42

Transforming lastModified into a Date object

This example transforms lastModified into a Date object.

let oLastModif = new Date(document.lastModified);

Transforming lastModified into milliseconds

This example transforms lastModified into the number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00, local time.

let nLastModif = Date.parse(document.lastModified);

Notes

Note that as a string, lastModified cannot easily be used for comparing the modification dates of documents. Here is a possible example of how to show an alert message when the page changes (see also: JavaScript cookies API):

if (Date.parse(document.lastModified) > parseFloat(document.cookie.replace(/(?:(?:^|.*;)\s*last_modif\s*\=\s*([^;]*).*$)|^.*$/, "$1") || "0")) {
  document.cookie = "last_modif=" + Date.now() + "; expires=Fri, 31 Dec 9999 23:59:59 GMT; path=" + location.pathname;
  alert("This page has changed!");
}

…the same example, but skipping the first visit:

var
  nLastVisit = parseFloat(document.cookie.replace(/(?:(?:^|.*;)\s*last_modif\s*\=\s*([^;]*).*$)|^.*$/, "$1")),
  nLastModif = Date.parse(document.lastModified);

if (isNaN(nLastVisit) || nLastModif > nLastVisit) {
  document.cookie = "last_modif=" + Date.now() + "; expires=Fri, 31 Dec 9999 23:59:59 GMT; path=" + location.pathname;

  if (isFinite(nLastVisit)) {
    alert("This page has been changed!");
  }
}

Note: WebKit returns the time string in UTC; Gecko and Internet Explorer return a time in the local timezone. (See: Bug 4363 – document.lastModified returns date in UTC time, but should return it in local time)

If you want to know whether an external page has changed, please read this paragraph about the XMLHttpRequest() API.

Specifications

Specification
HTML Standard (HTML)
# dom-document-lastmodified-dev

Browser compatibility

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