Example Apps for Businesses, Schools & Developers

Version 2.2           Approx 1.2 MB                 First Published 2 July 2017                 Page Last Updated 31 Dec 2023

A recent forum thread Windows 10 Retrieving Extended File Properties raised issues about using the GetDetailsOf method to retrieve extended file properties.

GetDetailsOf is a member of the VBA library: Microsoft Shell Controls and Automation based on Shell32.dll.

All files include several extended properties which can be retrieved as needed using this method.

For example:
•   Date created / date modified / date last accessed
•   File size / file type / author / location

Certain types of file will also contain additional extended properties including:
•   Height / width / horizontal resolution / vertical resolution / bit size (image files)
•   Contributing artist / album / year / genre / tile / track # / length / bit rate (audio files)

There are currently over 320 extended file properties, though no files will ever contain all of those.

I decided to investigate this method further and have created an Access app which provides an easy way of obtaining and storing all the extended properties for an individual file or all files of a specified type in a selected folder.

The Access app includes the VBA reference library: Microsoft Shell Controls and Automation

The app also includes an example of a dynamic crosstab query where the column headers are automatically updated to match the underlying data

Example Screenshots

List of Extended File Properties (320 in total)


Main Form with Progress Bar


All PDF files in folder


Extended Properties for a file


Dynamic crosstab report


Saved list for a group of files


Extended properties for a group of files



The zip file contains the following items:
a)   the database FileAttributes.accdb
b)   a PDF file with full details and screenshots
c)   several text files with examples of the extended properties obtained for different types of file

Click to download:       Extended File Properties v2.2   (zipped)

Version History

v2.0     18/03/2019    Initial release
v2.1     19/10/2019    Bug fixes mainly related to handling apostrophes
v2.2     02/09/2021    Updated to handle 320 extended file properties

Further Info / Videos

1.     Crystal Long (Access MVP) and I ran a joint session for the US Pacific Access User Group on 2 Sept 2021 comparing these two different methods of
        obtaining extended file properties.
        The video is available on the Access User Groups YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/fwQnhKWo1Ks or you can click below:


2.     I also have a separate video on this topic which is available on my Isladogs YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/7jK_qRXetNs or you can click below:


3.     Wayne Phillips from EverythingAccess.com uses a different approach to obtain extended file properties.
        Wayne's utility can be found at: Accessing detailed file info provided by the operating system


Please use the contact form below to let me know whether you found this article interesting/useful or if you have any questions/comments.

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Colin Riddington           Mendip Data Systems                 Last Updated 31 Dec 2023

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