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  • #3937794

    File Timestamps

    by tomrock166 ·


    I am looking for some advice regarding file management; specifically photo meta data.

    I have approximately 15k photos and videos from various mobile phones backed up in a single large folder.

    During one of the back up processes, I lost all of the time metadata. The Created, Modified, Accessed time stamps all now say the date I did the backup.

    This is frustrating, and means when sorting by time (e.g. if I put the files on an SD on my current phone) the images are not in chronological order.

    The correct creation date is however timestamped in the names of the files (e.g. 20180920_134652.jpg taken on 20th Sept 2018 at 13:46.52).

    Is there any way I could fix the meta data?


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    • #3940385
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      Re: time stamps

      by kees_b ·

      In reply to File Timestamps

      You’re a little bit confusing. The metadata of a jpg-picture is inside the jpg and won’t change if you copy the file. You can see them in the right click>properties>details tab.

      The 3 fields you mention (date created, modified, accessed) are maintained by Windows. And, yes, they can be changed. A program like Attribute Changer from lets you do it via the GUI.
      A programmer, no doubt, can write a program that does it automatically from the metadata in the file for all files in a folder (or from the filename), in case you don’t like to do it manually 15,000 times.

      These 3 attributes aren’t about the contents (the picture), but about a specific file and can be different for a copy of that file. Some file copier programs let you choose if you want them to be the same in the copy or changed by the Windows file system. Maybe you should have used one of those file copiers.

      But since the creation date already is in the filename, you’ll see them automatically chronologically inside a folder in any file manager that lets you sort the display on filename (which I think is the default in Windows File Explorer). It’s not clear from your post why you need more than that.

    • #3940381
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      I see Kees started here. File date-time stamps are about the files.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to File Timestamps

      And not about when the picture and file was first made.

      IRFANVIEW continues to amaze here as it can in batch set the file’s date time to be what’s in the EXIF metadata of the photos.

      From the web:

      Allows GUI or command line changes of batch or per file date/time transfer from EXIF to file spec or vice versa (with no other file changes if so desired).

      Source: Free from

      This is MUCH easier and quicker in practice after just a few uses than the instructions below make it appear. eg
      To convert a single file’s date/time to EXIF values requires
      Shift-J, Alt-F, Enter.
      Seeing why the 1st few times takes longer.

      To do this for a batch of files SOUNDS complex to learn –
      It requires: T, Ctrl-A, Alt-F, J, Enter, (Alt-F), Enter
      (Or: T, Ctrl-A, Shift-J, Enter)(gives fewer options)
      BUT in fact it is almost wholly intuitive after a little use – menus guide you initially until brain path forms.”

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