I do a lot of work with Excel and am frequently updating files, so I make heavy use of the ‘recently used files’ list. One day, I noticed that the most recent file was showing as being last updated in the year 3618. This is clearly impossible (unless Excel has invented time-travel?!) so it suggested that something had become corrupted.

I tried everything I could think of to solve the problem – I tried saving the file again, I copied it, renamed it, deleted it, but nothing helped. It still showed as the most recent file even when it didn’t exist on my PC. Luckily, I was able to find the solution and fix this – it was related to Microsoft’s online service. The timestamp must have been corrupted when the file was synced.

To fix this, I logged into office.com and looked for my recent files. Sure enough, the culprit was listed with the incorrect future timestamp. I deleted the file on office.com and this fixed the problem. Note that this will delete the corresponding file on your local drive, so make sure to copy it before deleting online. Now your recent files list will correctly show your most recent files.

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