The standard written structure of dates has subtle differences between cultures around the world. These differences can cause misunderstandings when communicating with people in other countries. To reduce the chance of miscommunications, it’s generally a good idea to specify the order being used. Alternatively, writing out the month and year in the long-form also make it clear, no matter what order the information is in.
All software that you use, that includes dates, has to make some assumption about your preferred date structure. This is generally ok if the software checks your region information or the system date format and matches that. Occasionally though you may want to adjust the date format manually to your preference if it defaults incorrectly.
How to change the date format in Dropbox
If you want to change the date structure used in Dropbox, you can do so through your account settings. To be able to access your account settings, sign in to the Dropbox website. Once you’re logged in, click on your profile icon in the top-right corner, then click “Settings”.
In the default “General” tab of the settings, scroll to the second option in the “Preferences” section, labelled “Date format”. To change the date format, click on the drop-down box, then select your preferred format. The options are: MM/DD/YYYY as is common in the US, DD/MM/YYY as is common in the UK, and YYYY-MM-DD as is common in China.
Tip: The YYYY-MM-DD format as specified by ISO 8601 is intended to replace the other formats as a standard. This is supposed to help remove any potential source of confusion about dates. Even in countries that still generally prefer other formats, this format has been picked up by many governments and militaries for clarity reasons.
Having your preferred date format used by all software removes any potential source of confusion about dates. By following the steps in this guide, you can change the date format used by Dropbox to match your preference.