I did ample research before posting this.

I am using macOS Sierra 10.12 on a brand-new iMac, and when I search my files (I am searching for all .psd files in a folder with many sub-folders) the Date Modified column in the search result doesn't match the files' info.

For example, the first .psd that pops up from the search is dated yesterday 2AM in the 'Date Modified' column (in list view), but opening the file info reveals the correct date, which is today, as I have just created the file.

I tried a number of solutions I found online:

  1. Rebooting
  2. Relaunching Finder
  3. Resetting the system preferences for date and time
  4. Deleting com.apple.finder.plist and the sidebar.plist and relaunching Finder

At this point I don't know what to try anymore.

Edit: I forgot to say that if I view the files in Finder in list mode, without searching for them, the dates are correct! It's only when I search.

Edit 2: Here is a screenshot of the problem, search window on the left, regular window on the right.


I can't determine whether it happens only with .psd files, but here's some more data which might be useful: The files are shot on a camera, then downloaded on a Windows computer, then transferred to my iMac on an SD card. The dates on both date created and date modified fields don't match with the dates they were shot, downloaded, nor transferred.

If I create a new PSD or JPG or TXT file on my Mac, it displays correctly both in search and regular browsing.

I really need to be able to sort these files by date modified!

  • Can you post a screenshot? Does it only happen with .psd files? I just tried searching my home directory for .txt and a new file shows the correct Date Modified info (after I enabled the column).
    – MacManager
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:06
  • @Macmanager Here you go, added screenshot and additional data! Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 0:48
  • For what it's worth, I just had my MBP in for another issue and asked them to look at this problem. I was told that the issue has now been escalated up to OS engineering and that it should be fixed in a future OS update. Fingers-crossed.
    – user253836
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


I am also experiencing the same issue and here are my findings.

I am assuming the difference between file and EXIF dates are clear, otherwise ask google before reading my post.

I edited the dates of 3 raw image files (A, B, and C.CR2) as following:

  • File creation date: Jan 1, 2016 - 3:00PM;
  • File modification date: Jan 1, 2016 - 4:00PM;
  • EXIF Date time original: Jan 1, 2016 - 5:00PM.

After editing the dates (see attached picture !):

  • The top right Finder window containing the 3 files shows the edited file creation and modification dates under the "Date created" and "Date modified" columns;
  • The top left Finder window displaying the search results (I wrote "cr2" in the search field) shows the "Date time original" EXIF timestamp (shooting date) under the "Date created" column and the "Date time digitized" EXIF timestamp under the "Date modified" column (cf. metadata in the Lightroom window). Note the "Date time digitized" EXIF timestamp under the "Date modified" column is the "File modification" date prior editing the dates.

enter image description here

The dates were edited with "A better Finder Attributes" app. Note that the result is the same if the dates are edited through terminal with the "touch" command.

Hence, I conclude the problem described in the OP is due to the fact the Spotlight search result displays the file EXIF dates, while a normal Finder window display the file creation and modification dates. I assume this is not a problem but an intentional behavior; however, this is clearly very misleading.

I hope my post fully explains the inconsitency reported in the OP.

(MacOS Sierra 10.12.1, A better Finder Attributes 5.37, Lightroom 6.6.1)

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