I ran into big problem yesterday night.

I took out my old digital camera, and started using it without setting current date and time.

All photos clicked now have date as Jan 01, 2009

I want to change the date and time (and other EXIF image meta-data) of multiple images.

Please recommend some software which can process on multiple images in single click/go.

6 Answers 6


ExifTool is the one to go for.

It has a time shift feature that allows you to shift the dates.

Date/Time Shift Feature

Have you ever forgotten to set the date/time on your digital camera before taking a bunch of pictures? ExifTool has a time shift feature that makes it easy to apply a batch fix to the timestamps of the images (ie. change the "Date Picture Taken" reported by Windows Explorer). Say for example that your camera clock was reset to 2000:01:01 00:00:00 when you put in a new battery at 2005:11:03 10:48:00. Then all of the pictures you took subsequently have timestamps that are wrong by 5 years, 10 months, 2 days, 10 hours and 48 minutes. To fix this, put all of the images in the same directory ("DIR") and run exiftool:

exiftool "-DateTimeOriginal+=5:10:2 10:48:0" DIR

The example above changes only the DateTimeOriginal tag, but any writable date or time tag can be shifted, and multiple tags may be written with a single command line. Commonly, in JPEG images, the DateTimeOriginal, CreateDate and ModifyDate values must all be changed. For convenience, a shortcut tag called AllDates has been defined to represent these three tags. So, for example, if you forgot to set your camera clock back 1 hour at the end of daylight savings time in the fall, you can fix the images with:

exiftool -AllDates-=1 DIR

See Image::ExifTool::Shift.pl (download in PDF format) for details about the syntax of the time shift string.

Some things to note:

Test on a small batch of copies first until you get the date syntax you want.

I suggest you copy or move your images to a new folder first. And run the command on that directory.

If you run exiftool on a directory it will look in sub directories and modify any image files it finds.

Exiftool WILL automatically append '_original' on the end of your original files and create a new copy for you with the modifications.

You can override this by using the '-overwrite_original' option.

exiftool  -overwrite_original -AllDates+="0:2:1 10:48:0" /Users/UserName/Desktop/testFolder

This example shifts forward 0 years, 2 months, 1 day, 10 hours, 48 minutes, 0 seconds.

Using a single set of time shifts i.e instead of "0:2:1 10:48:0" you use "10:48:0".
Exiftool will see this as hh:mm:ss. And you can omit 0 where you do not want to put a shift.

exiftool  -overwrite_original AllDates+="9::" /Users/UserName/Desktop/testFolder

This example shifts forward 9 hours.

   exiftool  -overwrite_original -AllDates-="9::" /Users/UserName/Desktop/testFolder

This example shifts back 9 hours.

Notice AllDates-=" and AllDates+=" , one has a plus one has a minus.

Also Remember you are shifting time not stamping a time stamp.

So if my original date was : 2011:07:21 01:41:29

and I used exiftool -overwrite_original -AllDates-="24::" /Users/UserName/Desktop/testFolder

Then I would get : 2011:07:20 01:41:29

Do download the PDF with the syntax

And make sure you look at the difference with the options -overwrite_original_in_place and -overwrite_original


OS X Photos app has this functionality built in, under Image -› Adjust Date and Time.

It opens a dialog showing current time stamp and prompting for corrected one. If multiple images were selected, date and time of the first photo is shown; the adjustment is used to calculate time shift to apply to all selected photos.


iPhoto and Aperture can do this too.

On iPhoto, select the images. Go Photos -> Adjust Date and Time and make the calculation you need to correct the date. tick the box to adjust the Original files and click ok


I haven't tried any of the other answers, but GraphicConverter is a great program for batch processing images (as well as good standalone image editing software) and can edit metadata as well. GraphicConverter is available through the developer's web site or the Mac App Store.

  • It actually uses the exiftool engine :-)
    – markhunte
    Feb 7, 2012 at 23:29
  • Ah, that's interesting. Makes sense though, I guess! :D
    – Tuesday
    Feb 8, 2012 at 2:11

my best pick for you would be Xnview with its "change timestamp" option under "tools" menu.

Its robust and let you change all five (3x Exif and 2 file) date/time attributes belonging to a single photo.

This tool works in batch mode with adjusting days, hours, minutes, seconds and picking the correct date/time of specific photo.

You can see which date/time attribute will be applied and you can choose which of those five date/time attributes will be affected


I used EXIF Pilot with Batch Edit Plugin when I had this issue. Unfortunately, it's Windows-only.

ExifTool was recommended to me and I see they have an OSX package but I haven't used it.

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